PARK HILLS — From the very outset, the Mineral Area Lady Cardinals looked to be at a disadvantage to the West Plains Grizzlies, and it took little playing time to establish it as a fact, but game two brought out the best for Mineral Area, despite losing the match in five. West Plains won the meet 25-17, 20-25, 25-17, 25-16.
The Lady Grizzlies had Mineral Area reeling with kill after kill in game one, coming from all angles at the net. Grabbing the early lead, the Lady Grizzlies kept the host team in check, breaking their serve each time after a side-out.
Tish Meyer found Anna Laitinen on her sets, and the freshman from Finland made five or her 14 kills in the first game. Game two realized a stronger attack game for the Lady Cardinals. Both Laitinen and Monika Barros de Alcantara used Meyer’s sets for four kills each. Rachel Kleekamp hammered down the final point of the game.
West Plains’ blocking was devastating for the Lady Rebels as they made 20 double-blocks in the match for stuffs of Knightette attacks. Trying to hit around or over the blocks, the Lady Cardinals struggled in their attack game, but West Plains continued to pound the ball.
Once again West Plains would take over the power game at the net. Paticia Figueiredo became the go-to girl for the Lady Grizzlies with five of her 12 kills in the third game. West Plains won the battle at the net 14-9 in game-three kills.
Game four saw several players on both sides hit the deck in trying to dig up attacks from the other team. The results were met by time-outs to wipe up moisture left on the floor by each player as the game’s intensity heated up.
The Lady Grizzlies jumped out to an 11-3 advantage and Mineral Area coach Tim Copeland called time as his team seemed to be a little disorganized. The time-out resulted in a coach-kill as the next serve for West Plains was into the net.
The Lady Cardinals could not stop West Plains’ attack and service points became somewhat rare for Mineral Area as the match wore down to its final end.
Mineral Area will travel to Kaskaskia this Saturday for a pair of matches.