Lady ‘Cats crave consistency

Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Madison Halterman (No. 24) goes for a kill during the Lady Wildcats’ match against Reeds Spring last week. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

Cassville entering conference play in up-and-down season

The Cassville volleyball team (5-8) has had an up-and-down season, according to Coach Briana Kleine, and the Lady Wildcats are aiming to dial in some consistency during the conference portion of the season and as districts come calling.

Cassville kicked off the year by going 2-3 in the Branson Invitational, then dropped 3 in a row before falling into a .500 routine. On Thursday, the Lady Wildcats bagged what may be their biggest win of the season so far with a five-set victory over Mt. Vernon, winning the final seat 15-6. It was the first win over the Lady Mountaineers since September 2018.

Sharayah Seymour spikes a ball during the Lady Wildcats’ loss to Reeds Spring last week. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

“We started the year with really tough competition,” Kleine said. “The Branson tournament is a great way to open the season, and we opened strong but have been up and down since.

“When we played Mt. Vernon, the kids really fought and battled. That was the most fight I have seen out of them this season, and I hope we carry that over into this week.”

Kleine said the Mt. Vernon game is always hotly contested, as the volleyball girls tend to also be involved in basketball and track, so they may compete against one another in three sports throughout the school year.

Facing from left, Sharayah Seymour, Landry Parnell, Madison Halterman and Josie Keeven celebrate a point scored by the team in the Reeds Spring match last week. Kyle Troutman/editor@cassville-democrat.com

“It’s more of a mental game for us,” Kleine said. “The last couple seasons, those games have not gone our way, but it did on Thursday. We had our heads in it from the first point of the first set, and I think that’s the first time this year that every kid on the floor had an ‘on’ night. Things just clicked.”

About halfway through the season, Kleine said the team is amped up for Big 8 play, after spending the first half of the season preparing for it.

“One reason we bulk up our schedule in the beginning is to be ready or conference play,” Kleine said. “It’s so we’re not caught unaware. The score does not always show it, but our kids work hard in the beginning of the season, and the goal is to compete in the conference, and I expect us to compete well.”

The Lady Wildcats moved into a new district this season, with only Aurora remaining from last year’s grouping.

“I think it got tougher this year because Springfield Catholic is a final four team with three all-state kids returning,” Kleine said. “They are the team to beat, but we see a lot of schools that size and with that talent level, so we hope when we get to districts, seeing those schools will pay off.”

Cassville played at Seneca on Tuesday, with results not available at presstime. They Lady Wildcats will host Aurora on Thursday, and senior night is scheduled for Oct. 12 against McDonald County.

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