FARMINGTON – Despite surging ahead in both sets on Thursday night, the Farmington volleyball team endured several passing errors and fought to hold off hard-charging North County.
Jesse Miller recorded nine of her 14 kills during a sensational progression across the front row to begin game two, and the Knights emerged with a 25-23, 25-21 triumph.
Sarah Bauer totaled 15 assists and five digs, and Blair Busenbark finished with four kills and six digs as Farmington (21-5-1, 4-0) moved closer to an outright MAAA Large-School championship.
Busenbark landed a cross-court shot on match point after Miller successfully cleared while diving to the floor, but the path to victory would not be easy during Homecoming week for both schools.
North County (8-11-5, 0-4) was a defiant challenger until the end while seeking its first conference win, and nearly stole the first set away after falling behind 5-0 at the outset.
Lauren Forrester snapped the initial service streak of Bauer with an outside kill, then rotated back for a six-point run of her own that put the Lady Raiders ahead 8-6.
Kayleigh Winch recorded team highs with seven kills and three blocks, and bolstered the upset bid with back-to-back aces that Farmington mishandled in the back row.
The Knights used a timeout down 13-9, and responded after a North County attacking error prompted a series of miscues and a sudden momentum swing.
Macey Pauls rattled off eight points in a row for an 18-13 lead, and Busenbark found the mark on a deep kill to restore a 20-16 margin.
The Lady Raiders refused to fade, however, as Forrester and Winch notched stuff-blocks. Maddi Oder sent down a tying kill, and North County moved ahead 23-22 on a wide attack.
Miller countered by tipping over a double block, then picked up a crucial ace on an errant reception. Busenbark ranged to the sideline to save a ball after Forrester made two digs on the other side, and Farmington released a yell of relief when Lauren Bishop ripped set point from the middle.
Farmington pushed a 4-3 edge to 11-5 in game two as Miller simply took command up front with nine kills highlighting the first 16 combined points.
North County was further in danger at 14-7 when an overpass by the Knights landed untouched for a score. But the margin narrowed after Forrester angled a kill and Kylie Morris got consecutive aces.
Winch executed a block, Oder guided a perfect tap down the line and Forrester tied the stanza at 17-17 with her second ace of the match.
Kaylee Wooldridge broke the deadlock for Farmington, and Pauls tipped for a 21-18 separation. Jordyn scored just inside the back line at 22-20, and two ensuing miscues cost North County.
Macey Pauls had five digs, and Miller distributed seven assists for Farmington, which will welcome Fredericktown on Tuesday while North County travels to Potosi.
Forrester totaled five kills with nine digs, while Emily Veach made 15 assists and Morris brought up six digs for the Lady Raiders.
Central 2, Potosi 0
POTOSI – Central picked up at least four kills from six different players, and defeated Potosi 25-16, 25-13 on the road for its third conference win.
Senior Callie Thurston recorded a team-high seven kills, and Liberty Coleman added five more for the Lady Rebels (16-6-3, 3-1). Avery Norris finished with 16 assists.
Potosi (8-11, 1-3) was paced by Carley Hampton with four kills and two aces, while Jessi Nicholson tallied three kills, six assists and two aces.
Cameryn Yount chipped in four assists and two kills for the Lady Trojans. Olivia Marsa had a team-high five digs, and Olivia Coleman added three more.
Arcadia Valley 2, Kingston 0
IRONTON – Laney Tucker compiled seven kills and two blocks, and Arcadia Valley got scoring attacks from seven players while staying unbeaten in conference play.
Macey Browers collected 18 digs, 20 service points and four digs, and Cierra Layton tied Josie Landrum with six digs each as the Lady Tigers swept Kingston 25-10, 25-15.
Kirsten Day sent down six kills, and Maddie DeMent connected on five for Arcadia Valley (18-3-1, 4-0), which can capture the MAAA Small-School title outright Tuesday against Bismarck.
Noley Kitchell contributed two kills and four points.
West County 2, Bismarck 0
LEADWOOD – Haylee Watson served eight consecutive points during game one and seven straight in game two while totaling three aces for West County in a 25-19, 25-10 victory over Bismarck.
Sophomore Dori McRaven led with eight kills and two blocks at the net, and setter Kylie Newhouse ended with 11 assists and 13 digs for the Lady Bulldogs (11-6-1, 2-2).
Makenzie Simily dropped three aces during an 11-0 service run within the second set, and notched four kills with eight digs in the win.
Cheyenne Young knocked down six kills, and Jordan Stevens chipped in two more. Ivy Meinershagen made 12 digs, and Kaitlin Spivey added seven digs with seven points.
Valle Catholic 2, Valley 0
CALEDONIA – Riley Siebert smashed 11 kills and served three aces as Valle Catholic returned to the win column in 25-16, 25-10 fashion at Valley.
Brooke Viox totaled 10 digs and 11 serve receptions along the back row, and Lainey Bauman posted six kills, five digs and eight receptions for the Lady Warriors (15-8, 3-1).
Rachel Loida dished out 24 assists, and Rachel Blum served a team-high eight points. Valle Catholic got five kills from Ella Bertram and three more from Hannah Drury, while Olivia Meyer made three digs.
Mariah Buxton sent down three kills and equaled Emily Nipper with three digs each for Valley (4-11, 1-3). Jalynn Orrick made six assists, and Liz Morris had five points.