LEADWOOD – The West County volleyball team ended the victorious first set with the same aggression and confidence in which they started it.
But a few mistakes turned into a lengthy scoring run by visiting Jefferson that two strategic timeouts could not interrupt midway through game 2.
The Blue Jays began to feed attacker Hilah Fish with great success, resulting in 14 kills for the junior, and emerged with a 21-25, 25-17, 25-17 victory on Monday night.
Jefferson grabbed a 10-7 advantage in the decisive third game, and two momentum swings ensued. West County scored five straight points with Hannah Beck serving for a momentary lead.
The visitors answered with six in a row, including two aces from Mackenzie Null and go-ahead spike by Fish, and their 16-12 lead expanded to 20-13 when the Lady Bulldogs sent two passes into the net.
The turning point of the match occurred after West County overcame a small deficit in the second set. Kills by Hannah Hollock and Bailey Marks evened the score, and Callahan connected from the left side to forge the seventh tie at 12-12.
Jefferson won a pair of subsequent defensive rallies, and rolled through a 9-0 streak as Null served back-to-back aces behind kills from Fish and Sydney Weik.
Null posted five kills and Courtney Eisenbeis added seven digs for the Blue Jays, who will face another MAAA opponent tonight when they travel to Arcadia Valley.
West County (3-2) played its first competitive match in 10 days, and came out sharp against the district rival. Junior Courtney Callahan had two kills and a stuff-block during her opening rotation.
Hollock finished with a team-high 10 kills along with six digs. Callahan contributed seven kills and libero Michaela Williams ended with seven digs.
The Lady Bulldogs put plenty of air under their early passes, and capitalized with solid swings. Hollock sent down an overpass and later scored with a spike from near the 10-foot line to highlight an 8-3 start.
Jefferson responded by taking the next four points, and eventually led 15-13 after Weik spiked neatly through a double block.
West County quickly regained focus out of a timeout, and surged back with a kill from Katherine Barnett and two more in a span of three points by Megan Blair. The resulting 22-18 lead remained safe.
The Blue Jays touched the net on a potential kill after pulling within two, and Callahan tipped to bring West County to game point after combining with Beck for a block during the rally.
Marks tallied six kills with 13 assists, and Blair had five kills with 11 assists for West County, which has upcoming matches against Potosi and Kingston before playing four in five days next week.