PARK HILLS – Although the Fredericktown volleyball team may not have finished the MAAA Tournament where it originally hoped, it still focused on closing with a strong showing Tuesday night.
Mallory Mathes and Marissa Hale knocked down seven kills apiece, and the Lady Blackcats peppered the back row of Valley with scoring attacks during a 25-10, 25-13 victory for ninth place.
Fredericktown (9-20-1) utilized at least a dozen players from its roster – many in specialized roles – and it seemed that each combination produced a positive result.
Freshman middle Kyndal Dodd provided five kills, and Emmaline Glore notched four kills and two blocks. Both were able to pounce on multiple overpasses from the Lady Vikings.
Abby Parson brought up six digs from the libero position, and served a quick 4-0 start for the No. 8 seed Lady Blackcats. Ashton Davis entered to issue three aces later in the opening set.
Valley (6-19) got a powerful strike from Felisha Stewart at 9-4 after Mariah Buxton made a dig and sent down a return pass from Molly Comfort to the floor.
Fredericktown continued to be aggressive at the net, however. Glore and Hale connected from opposite sides, and six consecutive points by Davis created a 20-8 spread.
Mathes terminated three times during her final trip across the front. After one attack narrowly clipped the back line, she whistled a middle smash past single blocking with plenty of room to spare.
Dodd was a catalyst early in game two as consecutive kills opened up a 9-4 advantage. Larissa Kemp notched an ace two points later, and had seven assists while Kaitlyn Comfort tallied nine.
Kayleigh Slinkard chipped in two kills, including a solid shot from just inside the 10-foot line, and made a brilliant punching save on a twisting dive to her left that helped earn another Fredericktown point.
Comfort and Stewart – who each made three kills to lead their team – reduced a 17-6 deficit for Valley with spikes that connected.
But Mathes drove one through from the left side before an overpass was put away by Hale to make it 22-10. Parson had six digs and Mathes picked up five for the Lady Blackcats.
Jaylnn Orrick recorded six assists while Liz Morris and Buxton collected four digs each for Valley.
Fredericktown 2, Bismarck 0
PARK HILLS – A line call reversal spurred a 6-0 scoring run during the first set, and Fredericktown capitalized for an eventual 25-16, 25-19 sweep of Bismarck in the first Bronze Bracket semifinal.
Mallory Mathes redirected a spike off the net for a kill, and scored again by landing a push near the sideline moments after the overruled 9-8 lead switched in favor of the Lady Blackcats.
Katelyn White and Marissa Hale followed with kills from opposite sides, and setter Kaitlyn Coffman served an ensuing ace as the margin quickly ballooned to 19-10.
Bismarck posed a stronger challenge in game two, and eventually built an 18-14 lead on three straight Fredericktown errors after the score had been tied on seven occasions.
Senior Brooklynn Fitzwater opened the set with two kills from the middle. Macy Butery and Brooke Cuerton deflected attacks off blockers to restore an 18-15 separation.
But the Lady Blackcats responded with six in a row to secure the sweep as Kyndal Dodd served two aces after Hale guided a pinpoint shot along the line.
Mathes baffled the Bismarck serve receivers with three more aces over the final four points, and had four kills with six digs in the victory.
Dodd provided five kills and Evann Davis added four more, while Larissa Kemp and Coffman dished out six assists each. Kayleigh Slinkard totaled eight digs, and Abby Parson brought up six.
Freshman Riley Dickey equaled Cureton with a team-high four kills, and made six assists for Bismarck. Lexi Droege ended with seven assists while Jade McEntire, Butery and Fitzwater added five digs each.
Valley 2, Kingston 0
PARK HILLS – The third meeting this season between Valley and Kingston proved to be the most lopsided as the Lady Vikings prevailed 25-14, 25-16 in the second MAAA Bronze Bracket semifinal.
Jalynn Orrick served Valley out to an instant 7-0 advantage with the help of two aces along with an overpass kill by Liz Morris, plus another redirected spike from Molly Comfort.
Sophomores Chasey Dunn and Felisha Stewart each paced the attack with three kills, while Comfort had two kills along with six assists in the win.
The Washington County rivals split a pair of three-set encounters in September, but Valley validated its higher No. 10 seed by controlling the rubber match.
Digs by Orrick and Rilee Ives highlighted one of the longer rallies, and Mariah Buxton served an ace to create a 13-2 differential in game one.
Passing struggles prevented Kingston from developing a consistent attack. Makenzey Boyer and Allison Fogelbach resisted an initial set point with a double block, but the next Valley free ball fell untouched.
The Lady Cougars grabbed a 6-5 edge in game after their opponents were interrupted by three straight errors, but Stewart capped a 4-0 run moments later with a right-side kill.
Emily Nipper gave Valley a 15-10 lead with an ace, and her team triumphed rather convincingly despite committing eight service errors overall.
Kingston stayed within 18-14 when Boyer knocked down a scrambling back-set from Fogelbach. Stewart countered with a kill, and Dunn cashed in a solid pass by Morris to make it 23-15.
Morris had a team-high five digs while Nipper provided four and Buxton chipped in three for Valley.
Kingston was paced defensively by Boyer with three blocks and eight digs. Keely Reyes finished with four digs and three assists, and Jerzie Ware kept alive seven digs.