PARK HILLS – For the second time this season, the Kingston volleyball team shook off a ragged first set and flirted with an elusive victory against longtime nemesis Bismarck on Tuesday night.
But the Lady Indians again managed to pull through late in the action, and improved its bottom seed in the MAAA Tournament by prevailing 25-10, 23-25, 25-20 for 11th place.
Brooklynn Fitzwater registered five of her eight kills in game three, and Bismarck (3-25) snapped a 13-match losing streak since last defeating Kingston (4-21) three weeks ago.
Riley Dickey distributed 13 assists and Lexi Droege collected 11 more while sharing the setting duties in the absence of junior starter Peyton Cole.
The Lady Indians were gifted two attacking errors to extend a narrow 20-19 lead, and kills from Dickey, Fitzwater and Josie Campbell sealed the outcome.
Jade Coleman tallied six kills with five digs, and Makenzey Boyer ended with five kills and four digs to pace Kingston. Keely Reyes made 10 assists, and Chloe McCoy notched a team-high six digs.
The Lady Cougars executed a perfect transition to salvage game two after wasting two separate nine-point lead. An accurate pass by Coleman enabled Boyer to bury a cross-court spike.
Fitzwater opened game three with two quick kills from the middle, and got another for a 5-2 start. Boyer secured an 11-11 tie in response with her strongest termination of the night.
Dickey tipped safely after Droege pulled a stray pass from the net, and Bismarck would not trail the rest of the way even though the teams traded points on numerous miscues.
Game one was never in doubt for the Lady Indians once senior Macy Butery spent her first rotation to the service line dealing five aces in a span of 10 consecutive points.
The hot streak increased the Bismarck advantage to 18-4, and the senior compiled six aces and nine digs overall while equaling Dickey with six kills apiece.
Coleman revived the Kingston offense with three consecutive kills at the outset of game two; sending the ball into a deep corner, then to the middle of the court and finally tipping past the block.
Bismarck trailed 11-2 after an illegal contact play preceded three clearing or hitting errors, and saw the margin reach 18-9 before surging back.
Dickey and Fitzwater scored with attacks after Campbell delivered an ace. Brooke Cureton bolstered the comeback with a solo block, and soon tied the set at 20-20 with a short rolling tap.
Bismarck negated a brief 22-21 lead on a missed serve, then surrendered an ace to Sierra Pinson. A clutch dig by Coleman helped give Kingston a 24-22 edge.
Cureton provided three blocks, Jade McEntire made five digs and Campbell added four kills for the triumphant Lady Indians.