PARK HILLS — The final point was the toughest to obtain for the Central volleyball team Thursday night, as Farmington showed its greatest level of resilience when perched on the brink of defeat.
The 5th-seeded Lady Rebels finally capitalized on their 10th match point following a clutch stuff-block from junior Abby Fischbeck, and prevailed 25-18, 31-29 in the MAAA Tournament third-place match.
Brook McKinney recorded six kills and Fischbeck added five with four blocks, as Lady Rebels (18-12) topped the defending champs for a second time in nine days after ending a 10-year drought against Farmington last week.
Senior middle hitter Rachel Williams compiled 13 kills and six digs for 6th-seeded Farmington (17-12), and delivered nearly all of her team’s offensive output during a lopsided opening game.
Sydney Skaggs delivered a stuff-block and served an ensuing ace to bring Central within two points of victory. She then stretched to save a ball near the back line, and Fischbeck terminated the play for a 24-19 lead.
Williams extended the action with two straight kills, and Madison Brown completed a desperation scoring run with five consecutive serves.
A missed attack negated the sixth match point after Briley Merritt spiked the Lady Rebels to a 26-25 edge, and digs from setter Kourtney Knox and Williams helped Farmington take a 27-26 lead.
The Knightettes got tying kills from Mattie Bradley and Brown after a net serve nullified their only game point. McKinney restored a 30-29 margin for Central with a deflected left-side swing.
Beth Anderson served Farmington to an immediate 6-0 start in game one, but her team was hampered from there by a combination of errant passes, net violations and attacking errors.
Sophomore MacKenzie Jones dropped a surprise set over the net to give the Lady Rebels their first lead at 11-10. She finished with 13 assists and Central registered just five kills despite taking control of game one.
Williams kept the Knightettes within 20-16 by smashing her seventh kill of the opening stanza before Central pulled away.
McKinney lifted the Lady Rebels to a 12-6 spread in game two by knocking down two in a row from the left position.
Junior libero Kelsey Manion made seven digs and freshman Megan Skaggs added six for Central.
Whitney Johnson collected six kills and made two separate blocks during a lost rally for Farmington. Knox dished out 21 assists.