PARK HILLS — The powerful jump serving of 6-foot outside hitter Katarina Sretenovic helped the Mineral Area College volleyball team seize command of its season debut on Wednesday night.
Sretenovic tallied two of her six aces during a streak of seven consecutive points in game one, then scored the final nine points of game two as the Lady Cardinals triumphed 25-19, 25-17, 25-14 over the Missouri Baptist J.V.
Four other returning sophomores made significant contributions to the victory for Mineral Area (1-0), which hopes to challenge for a Region XVI championship after finishing runner-up to Jefferson last season.
Meghan Dohogne delivered six kills from the middle to match outside hitter Bailey Layman, and setter Marija Jovanovic compiled 26 assists while libero Brooke Williams made 12 digs.
Hilary Trevino paced the balanced MAC attack with 11 kills and Sretenovic added nine. Trevino hammered a timely spike with her team trailing early, and connected twice more from the left side with Sretenovic at the service line.
Dohogne extended a sudden 19-14 advantage with a deep placement off a quick set, and Sretenovic converted an excellent overhead pass by Williams into a kill after Missouri Baptist had drawn within 22-19.
Cassie Nesbit recorded seven kills and Elizabeth Barrett added five, while Justine Host recorded 10 digs for the Spartans, who kept pace for nine separate ties and briefly forged ahead 16-15 in game two.
But Sretenovic overpowered the Missouri Baptist back row for three more aces after Trevino’s swing evened the score at 17-17, and a final overpass was easily knocked down by Dohogne at game point.
Central graduate Tori Boyer and Potosi product Ashley Thompson saw their first collegiate action midway through game three, which the Lady Cardinals dominated from start to finish.
A stuff-block by freshman Jami Jackson was bookended by two kills from Sretenovic to begin the stanza, and more left-side accuracy from Layman and Trevino helped establish a 20-7 margin.
Mineral Area next faces a tri-match at McKendree on Saturday, and will host the first of two clashes with Jefferson on Wednesday.