PARK HILLS — The Central Lady Rebels’ No. 3 seeding must not have impressed the De Soto Lady Dragons in their opening round match on Monday of the Class 3, District 1 tournament. Seeded sixth, the Lady Dragons put on a solid, unmatched attack to cancel the rest of Central’s season with a 25-17, 25-22 win.
The Lady Dragons attacks kept the Lady Rebels constantly on the defensive and unable to mount any substantial attack of their own.
Setters Kelsey Branson and Emily Thebeau consistently received quality passes from the Lady Dragons’ serve receive, resulting in 13 assists. The De Soto hitters also had several assists by Central’s serve receive as several passes cleared the net instead, and the Lady Dragons promptly hammered them down for a kill each time against a defenseless front row.
De Soto’s barrage was so constant, that despite making 11 hitting errors, the Lady Dragons still made 33 kills in the match. Kelsey Kingsland made good on 12 kills and Kendra Perren had 11.
Central finished with 13 total kills with hitters Abby Fischbeck and Sydney Skaggs not making connection until the second game. Fischbeck made three kills and Skaggs had two to go along with two stuff blocks. Brook McKinney led the Lady Rebels with a total of four kills in the match, and Megan Skaggs added another two.
With Perren at the service line for De Soto, the Lady Rebels were unable to make side-out as she served two stretches of four points each with Kingsland providing the firepower at the net.
Losing the first game quite quickly and the realization that it might be their last match, the Lady Rebels responded with greater blocking and a more consistent serve receive in game two.
Central kept pace nearly the entire game as De Soto’s scoring spurts were limited. Mackenzie Jones made six of her nine assists in the second game as the Lady Rebels stayed within reach. Briley Merritt served an ace to tie the game at 15-15. Two points later Megan Skaggs served another ace to give the Lady Rebels their first lead since the score was 4-3.
The Lady Rebels held the advantage at 21-18, but Emily Thebeau served four straight to tie the game, and Katylin Peters served out the last three points for De Soto.
Central ends its season with a record of 18-13. De Soto will take on Potosi in the tournament’s semi-finals on Wednesday.