The Rolla volleyball team (7-8, 2-4 OC) hosted West Plains for an Ozark Conference matchup on Thursday, Sept. 21. Rolla lost to West Plains twice during the Show Me Showdown earlier this month, but the Lady Bulldogs got their revenge in a great three set victory. West Plains took the freshman and JV matches, however. They won the freshman game 7-25, 9-25, before taking the JV game 13-25, 11-25.
The first set was a back and forth grind it out affair. West Plains was able to take a lead as the set continued, but the Lady Bulldogs dug in and managed to pull out a 25-23 victory. The second set didn't go quite as well for Rolla. They struggled to find the same hitting success and West Plains was able to control the set on their way to a 25-10 win to force a third and final set.
The third set was all Rolla. The defense was huge for the Lady Bulldogs. Head coach Stephanie Pritchett specifically pointed out some stellar performances by Macy Moreland and Ami Ikuenobe. Moreland led the team with 13 digs, while Ikuenobe added another 10.
"Every game it seems like someone else steps up to give us a spark. Tonight it was Macy Moreland and Ami Ikuenobe with defense," said coach Pritchett. They did a great job moving and stealing some big hits from them."
That improved defense helped steady the Lady Bulldogs and they dominated the final set on their way to an easy 25-9 win to take the match in three sets. Shelby Ply led the team in kills with eight. She also had a block, two digs and an ace. Rebecca Janke had another six kills, while Ikuenobe added five of her own. Loran Pritchett led the team in assists with 15, she also added nine digs and a pair of aces. Madalyn Franks and Leah Rasco both chipped in to the strong night of defense with eight and seven digs respectively.
"We are definitely moving in the right direction," said the Rolla head coach. "Confidence breeds confidence. Now we move on to our tournament. I’m really proud of our entire team."
Rolla will host their tournament on Saturday, Sept. 23. Pool play will start at 9:00 and bracket play is expected to start some time around 2:00, depending on the pace of pool play.