PARK HILLS — The North County volleyball team ran its offense at a high level of efficiency on Tuesday night, compiling 29 total kills while defeating Central 25-20, 25-14 in conference action.
Strong work by alternating setters Jenna McGraw and Kylie Dement propelled the Lady Raiders, as their teammates were ideally positioned for quality attacks. McGraw totaled 14 assists and Kylie Dement tallied 10.
Freshman Kourtney Kekec registered nine kills to lead all players, and senior Brittany Collins spiked eight. Collins served three of her 13 points for aces, and closed the action with a 5-0 scoring streak.
Brook McKinney matched sophomore teammate Abby Fischbeck with four kills each, and was instrumental in lifting the Lady Rebels (11-12-2) to an early lead on their home court.
Maggie Thompson buried a middle attack off a reaching dig by McKinney, whose powerful kill down the line and subsequent tap into the open middle put Central ahead 10-7 in game one.
The momentum shifted instantly to North County, however, when Collins blistered a back-set from McGraw at a sharp angle, then served two ensuing aces on errant passes along the Central back row.
Middle hitter Paige Charboneau capped the five-point run on a quick set, giving the Lady Raiders a 12-10 edge, and Collins twice delivered timely kills after Central had drawn within one.
Kekec pounded the final kill of game one and notched the first two North County points in the second stanza. The first followed a brilliant dig that libero Ashley Dickey executed with her right fist touching the floor.
Dickey snapped a 6-6 tie by serving the next five points, and the Lady Raiders never looked back. Central pulled to within 16-13, but allowed two innocent passes to fall on its side for costly points.
Briley Merritt posted five assists and McKinney totaled five digs for the Lady Rebels, who suffered their third straight loss.
Dickey brought up 12 digs and served two aces while Celeste Blum added five kills for North County, which hosts Ste. Genevieve in a key MAAA Large-School clash on Thursday.