Cassville spikes Monett, 2-0
By Ken Pollreisz
In the first of two volleyball meetings in the next month, Cassville got the better of Monett on the volleyball court winning in straight sets 25-16, 25-21 on Sept. 10.
The Lady Wildcats got off to a fast start as Cassville's Britani Long served 12-straight points to stake the Lady Cats to a 12-0 lead.
Long notched four aces in the run which included a big kill from outside hitter Jade Null, and a quick tip for a kill by setter Lindsey Nolan.
"That was huge." said Cassville head coach Jennifer Nichols. "They went on a run after that and if we hadn't had our run in the beginning I don't think the game would have went the same. That set the tone for everything."
The Lady Cubs did indeed go on a run, responding to the opening onslaught with a 9-1 run of their own to make it 13-9, behind the serving of Megan Ballay and Elizabeth Arnold.
Monett would get within 2 at 15-13 when Cassville's senior captain Sydney Curnes provided a cushion by serving five-straight points to push the lead out to 20-13. After exchanging points, Cassville's Mikala Deffenbaugh added three straight points to put the game out of reach.
The Lady Cubs would make the second set much more competitive as their front line of Claudia Chadwick, Brooke McLean and Kiley Franke started to have an effect on the Cassville attack. Chadwick especially was a menace blocking up front.
The Lady Cubs started in the hole again as Cassville got out to a 3-0 lead to start the period, but from then on, it was back and forth.
The Lady Wildcats would not lead by any more than 5, while Monett was able to get as close as 2 points including a run to pull within 20-18 and force a Cassville timeout.
Cassville responded with a mini-run to push the lead to 23-18, and would clinch the match as a Monett spike sailed long for the 25-21 final score.
Monett head coach Crystal Shannon liked the play of her team in the second period, but credited the Cassville effort.
"We were better in the second period but a few of them had an off night," said Shannon. "I did see some improvement with not giving up. We did fight, just not enough. I think Cassville just wanted it more tonight."
After winning just three matches in 2012, Cassville now stands at 2-0 on the young season, making Nichols' optimistic about the prospects for the rest of the season.
"Based on the first two games, if we keep working hard like we have there's really no telling," said Nichols. "I think we'll at least be competitive this year. We'll be able to compete and stick with some teams we couldn't last year."
Cassville is back in action on Sept. 19 at East Newton.