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Jefferson defeats MAC in rematch

Jefferson defeats MAC in rematch

MAC Volleyball

Mineral Area sophomore Ksenija Simun (6) jump serves behind setter Nicole Roeder during game two of a volleyball match against East Central on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Union, Mo.

PARK HILLS – Jefferson executed several crisp transitions to regain control in game four, and defeated Mineral Area 25-17, 25-23, 19-25, 25-21 in a Region 16 volleyball rematch on Wednesday night.

Kyndia Smith knocked down 10 kills on the right side, and Morgan LeBlanc totaled eight kills, 14 digs and three service aces to highlight a balanced attack by the Vikings.

Jefferson (11-14, 1-2) avenged a five-set home loss from last month after four straight kills from Alayna Rooks brought the Cardinals back from two match points.

Mineral Area (12-6, 1-2) did not have Rooks available this time as she recovers from an injured ankle, and could not equal the hitting frequency offered by the Vikings.

Mikayla Johnson had six kills from the middle, and shined defensively in defeat with nine blocks and 14 digs while assuming an expanded six-rotation role.

Nina Janjic spiked a team-high 11 kills along the left side, Chloey Myers added nine kills plus three blocks, and Ksenija Simun tallied eight kills with seven digs for the Cardinals.

Jefferson increased a 16-13 lead in game one with five straight points, beginning with a kill from Kyla Beel and capped by consecutive scoring blocks from Alohilani Bursey and Maureen Mathews.

Beel notched another of her eight kills for a 14-8 advantage in game two. Bursey matched Johnson at the net with nine blocks overall, and chipped in seven kills toward the win.

Mineral Area hung around in game two, and drew within 16-14 on a subtle tip by Johnson after Vikings libero Emilia Bostal stopped a deflected spike on a dazzling dive past the sideline.

LeBlanc landed a big swing to keep Jefferson ahead at 21-19, but a Johnson solo block made it 22-20. A missed serve erased an initial set point at 24-23, but Mathews scored off a LeBlanc dig for a two-set cushion.

Mineral Area dominated game three with a spirited response as Janjic ripped a powerful spike and blocked one to bookend an opening 5-0 run.

Freshman libero McKenzie Yount supplied sparkling coverage and passing throughout the stanza, making 11 of her 21 digs, and three during a single winning rally.

The 19th-ranked Cardinals eventually established leads of 10-2 and 14-7. Janjic hammered her fifth kill of the game at 17-11 while finding a rhythm with setters Nicole Roeder and Addi Casey.

Bursey gave Jefferson some hope for a sweep on consecutive kills, but was answered by Myers from the right side as MAC led 23-17 and prolonged the action.

Jefferson never trailed in game four, and earned a spectacular point at 4-0 as three players dived over one another to punch the ball upward and clear before Julia Lemos dinked neatly to an open spot on second contact.

Lemos compiled 34 assists and Bostal made 22 digs for the Vikings. The outcome ensured that MSU-West Plains will be the No. 1 seed in the three-team region tournament.

Jefferson made it 18-10 in game four when Smith rifled her swing through a double block following digs by Yount in the back corner and Patricia de Souza near the net.

Johnson brought the Cardinals to within 21-18 on another big block, but kills from Mathews and Smith propelled the visitors toward the finish line.

Roeder ended with 24 assists and Casey dished out 13 more for MAC. de Souza had seven kills with four blocks, and Jillian Schmoll picked up seven digs.

Mineral Area will host John A. Logan on Monday in a rescheduled contest. A scheduled home tri-match on Friday against Vincennes and Hutchinson has been cancelled.


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