PARK HILLS — Ste. Genevieve narrowly defeated Festus last season to win the Class 3, District 2 volleyball championship, but struggled to generate consistent offense on Wednesday night in a semifinal rematch.
Senior Devin Boecksteigel delivered five key blocks and Festus limited the higher-seeded Hunters’ talented middle hitters to just four kills in a 25-21, 25-20 triumph at Central High School.
Meghan Eggemeyer knocked down seven kills and Boecksteigel matched Ashley Crannick with four each in the victory. Festus later fell to Jefferson County rival Windsor in the title contest.
Senior outside hitter Elle Korenak notched five kills and seven digs for Ste. Genevieve (18-11), which enjoyed an early 9-7 advantage during an opening game that featured six ties.
But occasional passing errors kept the Hunters from sustaining a rhythm, and Festus tallied the next five points to claim a safe 12-9 lead.
Eggemeyer placed two kills deep into the back row, and excellent digs from Jessica Onder and libero Madison Kimes helped the Lady Tigers swing the momentum. A stuff-block from Boecksteigel produced a 19-13 margin.
Ste. Genevieve battled back with defense following a timeout to score the next four points. Candace Burr made a scrambling save to help win a rally, and Paige Schmelzle stuffed an ensuing 10-foot spike.
Junior Courtney Kapper answered in timely fashion with her only two kills of the contest, and Festus converted their fourth game point. The Lady Tigers held a 12-6 advantage in kills during game one.
Ste. Genevieve libero Abby Meyer brought up 12 digs and served a tying ace in game two after Korenak blistered a kill from the left side. But Festus snapped the 6-6 deadlock with a 5-0 scoring spurt.
Two straight kills from Schmelzle brought the Hunters within 16-12. Layne Devine and Burr won back-to-back jousts later in the action, but Eggemeyer tipped neatly over a double-block for a 23-18 Festus lead.
Sarah Steagall totaled eight assists and Malory Huck served six points for Ste. Genevieve. Both players chipped in three kills.