PARK HILLS – The Mineral Area women’s volleyball team regrouped from a crushing Region 16 loss and used several player combinations to earn two more home wins on Thursday night.
The Lady Cardinals submerged the Greenville College junior varsity with a barrage of scoring attacks and blocks during the first set, and prevailed 25-8, 25-27, 25-15, 25-17 in their first contest.
Outside hitters Immerah Bethume and Mackenzie Wipfler spiked 12 kills each, and Makayla Campbell tied Hanna Glastetter with 10 apiece. Campbell saw her time up front increase after starting the season primarily as a defensive player.
Mineral Area surged to a massive 20-5 lead with kills from six sources plus a pair of Bethume blocks, and dominated rallies throughout the initial stanza with alert defense.
Greenville answered by digging several hard attacks and showing some authority at the net. The visitors were up 22-17 in game 2 after Joelle Scholten rifled a kill from the left side.
The Lady Cardinals clawed back forcefully, first going to freshman Abby Fischbeck in the middle for a scoring swing. Bethume connected from the 10-foot line off an extended pass by Natalie Gremaud, and another point was earned following two stellar digs by libero Paige Mays.
MAC erased two game points to make it 24-24, but the Panthers broke a 25-25 deadlock on Janisha Pealer’s kill and took the game on Becca Winemiller’s solo stuff.
Campbell started game 3 with three kills among the first five points, and the Lady Cardinals closed it with a 9-3 scoring run.
Gremaud compiled 46 assists plus seven kills, and made a dazzling save near the stands to help secure a Mineral Area point. Mays ended the match with 27 digs and Sami Meyer had 15.
Jenna McGraw lunged backward with one arm to prolong an earlier winning rally, and served six straight times to spur an 18-11 lead in the fourth set.
Wipfler became a focal point for the Lady Cards during their dominant 25-7, 25-15, 25-19 win over the Missouri Baptist junior varsity later in the evening.
She collected a team-high 11 kills, including five during a 12-0 streak in the lopsided first set, but injured her left ankle on an awkward landing while terminating the final point of game 2.
MAC (14-2) was already missing sophomore outside hitter Liza Gray due to an ailing back, and will likely look deeper into its roster in a scheduled tri-match Saturday at Kaskaskia.
Mays brought up 17 digs stepped to the service line with an 8-4 MAC margin. She didn’t rotate until the difference ballooned to 20-4, sprinkling in four of her five aces along the way.
Fischbeck added two kills as 10 points in a span of 12 went to the host squad, resulting in a 17-8 Game 2 advantage. Mariah Kochell and Erin Hillerman combined on a double block to make it 20-10.
The Spartans stayed even at 8-8 in the final set before Mineral Area pulled away. Glastetter sent down her fourth kill of the game to present match point at 24-18.
Gremaud tallied 26 assists with nine digs. Glastetter totaled seven kills and Campbell had six.