FREDERICKTOWN – A familiar combination found its rhythm, and the Fredericktown volleyball team snapped out of a slight malaise during its season opener.
P.J. Reutzel landed her strongest kill off a jumping set from Ava Penuel in the middle stages of game three, and the Lady Blackcats collectively zoomed away from visiting Herculaneum.
Maggie Wood shined in her varsity debut with nine kills, seven digs and two aces, and Fredericktown shook off a shaky second game to prevail 25-11, 23-25, 25-17, 25-7 on Monday evening.
Reutzel walloped a solid cross-court attack from the right side, and her squad built instant momentum after Alli Francis served her first of two aces at 7-1.
But a smooth opening stanza was followed by a myriad of passing and hitting errors, and Herculaneum capitalized to steal game two and square the match.
The visitors jumped ahead 12-10 in game three behind two kills each from Jillian Jarvis and Gretchen Sutton, but struggled throughout the remainder of the contest.
Penuel surprised the defense with a dink shot on second contact, then clicked with Reutzel after an overpass was tipped down by Francis for the tiebreaking point.
Amelia Miller struck from the middle, and Penuel continued the pivotal 9-0 scoring surge with an ace while totaling 12 assists, seven digs and four kills.
Penuel was stationed at the service line again for a massive 13-0 run that brought Fredericktown to match point in game four.
Miller started it with a solo block at 12-6, and Wood made an excellent dig on a dive to her right a few points later. Reutzel added her 10th and 11th kills, and added 12 assists plus five digs.
Fredericktown showed flashes of a leading contender in the MAAA conference this season during the dominant start and even stronger finish.
Gabbie McFadden tracked down a couple of clearing attempts by Herculaneum in the back corners, and Kinleigh Gresham stopped a hard spike to win another rally for an eventual 20-6 lead in game one.
Gresham finished with six kills and six digs, and was the target of several back-sets to the right side while Wood nailed down the left.
Fredericktown was poised for a possible two-game cushion when Reutzel dinked a second ball following a timeout with her team trailing 21-19.
She drilled a go-ahead spike at 23-22, but hammered an ensuing overpass into the net. Herculaneum achieved set point on a solo block by Gracie Dix, and Mackenzie Duncan served a clinching ace.
Abigail Callahan registered four blocks, and libero Lilly Jenkins tallied three aces in defeat. Jarvis and Sutton sent down four kills apiece.
Miller had four kills plus three blocks, and McFadden ended with eight digs and two aces in the win.
Arcadia Valley 3, Kingston 0
CADET – Cate Newstead-Adams spiked nine kills, and Arcadia Valley cruised past Kingston 25-13, 25-4, 25-11 in the season and conference opener on Monday.
Kayla Sumpter notched seven kills with seven digs and two aces, and setter Taylor Lorenz compiled 22 assists, four aces and eight digs in the victory.
Skylar Romines posted four kills plus one block, and Paige Newstead-Adams added three kills. Breanna Whited picked up a team-high 11 digs.
Arcadia Valley (1-0, 1-0) also received two kills and four digs from Jaydan Crites. Freshman Braelyn Turnbough collected three aces and a pair of kills.
Jackson 3, Ste. Genevieve 0
JACKSON, Mo. – Ste. Genevieve debuted an almost completely new lineup on Monday after placing third in the Class 3 state volleyball tournament last fall.
A strong Jackson squad maintained control throughout a 25-15, 25-9, 25-15 home victory.
Emma Gegg knocked down a team-high six kills for the Dragons, while Abby Boyer and Joleigh Parker made five digs each.
Kale Clements provided six digs with one block defensively, and equaled Kailynn Harmon with four kills for Ste. Genevieve (0-1). Kailyn Fallert chipped in two kills plus an ace serve.
Potosi 3, West County 0
LEADWOOD – Potosi overcame an injury to setter Carsyn Yount, and defeated West County 25-14, 25-21, 25-9 in the first head coaching win for Ashley Matthews.
Grace Lynch totaled 10 kills, seven digs and three assists to lead West County in the second opener for both teams. Kaytlen Hartley added three kills, nine assists and five digs.
Kylie Spivey provided six digs and 13 serve receptions on the back row. Addisyn Hedgcorth made a team-high 19 receptions while Isabella Skaggs and Ally Wigger each picked up five digs.