PARK HILLS – Valle Catholic elected not to warm up for the MAAA volleyball tournament third-place match after losing a hard-fought, three-set battle moments earlier.
The Lady Warriors overcame their fresh disappointment and rebounded with a 25-19, 22-25, 25-21 victory over North County as high intensity was difficult for each team to muster at times.
Riley Siebert knocked down 13 kills while Hannah Drury sent down eight and Ella Bertram equaled Hailey Weibrecht with six each in triumph.
Valle Catholic (23-6-1) never trailed during the final game, and surged ahead 19-11 when Drury spiked with force from the left outside position.
North County trailed 23-17 before taking the next four points on a solo block from Emma Gaugel and immediate double by Kayleigh Winch and Lauren Forrester on the next chance.
Momentum went back to second-seeded Valle Catholic when two Lady Raiders collided along the front row, creating an open space for Bertram to tip. A tremendous rally on match point ended with a long attack.
Brooke Viox capped her superb tournament at libero with 19 digs and 20 serve receptions, while Rachel Loida totaled 10 assists, 10 digs and nine receptions in the iwn.
Kayleigh Winch paced the Lady Raiders (15-16) with 12 kills, six blocks and nine digs – using her feet to keep two separate rallies alive – and Gaugel posted seven kills with six blocks.
The second match of the day for each squad contained significantly more errors compared to spirited contests in the earlier Gold Bracket semifinals.
Valle Catholic utilized more players from its roster, and secured a key point at 22-16 of game one when Drury saved a ball near the net and Siebert stuffed an incoming spike off the resulting free ball.
Game two featured 14 ties and some the best action near its conclusion. North County would ultimately claim the stanza on the strength of just five kills.
Loida showed tremendous athleticism to avoid contact with the net at 20-20 while flicking an errant pass over her right shoulder for a blind kill past the blockers.
Kamryn Winch put the Lady Raiders ahead with one of her six kills on the previous play, and Kayleigh Winch made a timely block to help them score the last three points of the game.
Drury served a 5-0 run among eight total points as Valle sprang ahead 11-5 in game three, getting a right-side line kill from Hannah Fowler.
The greatest separation occurred at 19-11 as the Lady Warriors prevailed with defensive coverage that led to some North County miscues.
Taylor Zerwig supplied six digs plus eight serve receptions, and Weibrecht had four blocks for Valle. Rachel Blum added two aces and Bryna Blum served seven points, while Fowler dished out six assists and Sam Loida distributed five more.
Emily Veach tallied 21 assists, and Forrester brought up 17 digs for North County, which appeared in the Gold Bracket for the first time since winning the tournament in 2014.
Maddi Oder totaled 10 digs and Macy Kamler finished with seven.