FARMINGTON – The Central volleyball team needed three games to dispatch Farmington on Thursday night, but secured sole possession of first place in the MAAA Large-School division.
Junior outside hitter Lizi Marler connected for 13 kills to lead all players, and Kaley Kimball provided 10 kills and five blocks as the visiting Lady Rebels prevailed 25-27, 25-12, 25-13.
Central (21-3-2, 4-0) was ahead for the duration of game two after Kimball got an opening left-side kill and subsequent stuff-block. An ace from Addi Casey pushed the margin to 12-4.
Farmington (8-13-3, 3-1) surrendered four of the last Central points in the stanza on errors, and could not recover at the outset of game three.
Marler and Kimball combined for a solo block during a run of eight consecutive points favoring the Lady Rebels, as libero Jessica Hulsey served her team to an 11-2 advantage.
Senior Buckli Moss limped after colliding with Casey on a successful clear before Knights freshman Grace Duncan sent the next ball to the surface at 19-8.
Moss would stay on the floor and make two solid digs to bring Central to the precipice at match point, and Liberty Coleman landed her second straight kill to end it.
Coleman finished with six kills, and equaled Hulsey with 17 digs each in the victory. Avery Norris ended with 18 assists while Casey totaled 16 more.
A match against Potosi on Tuesday stands between the Lady Rebels and an outright MAAA Large-School championship plus the likely No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
Farmington was superior at the net through the first 30 points of game one, getting five kills and three blocks from freshman Jelena Gray along the way.
Alyssa Wilson spiked inside the back line, and Emma Gerstner connected on a cross-court shot as the Knights established a 12-5 lead.
Central caught up quickly as Coleman served a 7-0 stretch. Shalea Fischbeck sent down a lengthy set from Casey before Norris ripped the go-ahead swing at 14-13.
The Lady Rebels soon enjoyed a 22-17 cushion when Marler scored two kills ahead of a Hulsey ace, but Farmington showed resilience to erase the deficit.
Jade Roth recorded two blocks and two kills within a 5-0 spurt that brought her team even. The Knights would then deny Central on two set points.
Gray answered a Marler kill down 24-23, and struck again for a 25-25 tie after Norris alertly dropped a soft attack into an open space on second contact.
But an errant reception cost the Lady Rebels the next point, and Gray elevated for an uncontested and clinching kill after a minor collision between Norris and Casey created a free ball.
Farmington struggled to find any semblance of the offensive consistency that guided its early success moving forward, and Central conversely seized control with crisp transition.
Roth posted five kills and four blocks as her chances to swing diminished after game one. Sophie Pullen had 14 assists in her return from a concussion.
Bridget Bone provided 15 digs, and Riley Wade made seven more for the Knights, who will face North County on Tuesday for second place in the division.
Ste. Genevieve 2, Potosi 0
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STE. GENEVIEVE – Marysa Flieg totaled nine kills and two blocks to power Ste. Genevieve past Potosi 25-18, 25-22 for its first conference win on Thursday night.
Maci Reynolds dished out 20 assists while making two blocks, and Elizabeth Basler served two aces for the Dragons (5-9-3, 1-3).
Julia McKlin compiled six kills, two blocks and two aces in the victory. Ella Reed knocked down five kills, and Abby Moore chipped in two more.
Potosi (8-12, 0-4) remained winless in conference play.
West County 2, Kingston 0
LEADWOOD – Makenzie Roever made a team-high nine digs and served seven points for West County in a 25-7, 25-12 sweep of visiting Kingston on Thursday.
Jenna Simily served eight of her 14 points in a row during the first game, and finished with three aces. Dori McRaven spiked four kills and Chloe Young added three more for the Lady Bulldogs (12-5, 2-1).
Setter Kylie Newhouse tallied nine assists, four digs and two aces, while Morgan Simily joined the lineup with two blocks.
Peyten Blair picked up seven digs and equaled Chloe Nipper with seven points each. West County will face Marquand in the first round of its home tournament on Saturday morning.
Perryville 3, Farmington 1
PERRYVILLE, Mo. – Freshman Angelia Davis delivered her second straight 3-hit game on Thursday, but Farmington suffered a 3-1 softball loss to Perryville.
The Pirates tallied single runs in the second, third and sixth innings against Jocelyn Cunningham (10-2), who struck out four and allowed just two hits over six innings in defeat.
Davis was 3-for-3 overall with a triple, and scored the lone run for Farmington (17-8) in the top of the sixth. Courtney Swink, Abby Vaugh and Cunningham added singles.
Farmington will close the regular season at De Soto on Monday.
North County 3, Sikeston 1
SIKESTON, Mo. – Three consecutive goals from Grant Strauser helped the North County boys soccer team rally from a halftime deficit on Thursday.
The Raiders (7-5) likely clinched a top-two seed for their future district tournament with a 3-1 triumph at Sikeston.
Dylan Thornbrough put Sikeston ahead by converting an early penalty kick.