The Rolla volleyball team made the short trip down 44 to face off against St. James on Tuesday, Sept. 4. The Lady Bulldogs were a force to be reckoned with on the night, sweeping the match 25-7, 25-17.
Rolla got out to a hot start on Tuesday night and never let the Lady Tigers get settled in the opening set. The Lady Bulldogs took a quick 10-3 lead and only built on that with a string of runs. Sophie Parsons closed the opening set with a stellar serving stretch that saw Rolla score the last 8 points in the match on their way to a 25-7 win, which was capped off by a block by Shelby Ply.
The Lady Bulldog momentum carried into the second set, as Rolla scored the first nine points with Parsons serving. St. James responded with a five-point run of their own to keep things close, but Rolla turned things on late and stretched their lead out to 21-11 thanks to an ace by Parker Bourne. During that stretch, St. James struggled with serve receive and couldn't get into a rhythm. Rolla and St. James went on to trade points. Ply again finished off the set and the match with a kill to give the Lady Bulldogs a 25-13 win and a victory in the match.
"They did, I don't know what else to say about that, they played well," said Rolla head coach Stephanie Pritchett after the game. "We took care of business. We blocked where we were supposed to, we played good defense, we ran after the ball. We did everything we were supposed to do and finished, which is what I really wanted them to do because the first few games we've played we've kinda let teams back in."
Parsons was excellent in the serving game all night long, as she had 19 points on service in her rotation. She added 11 setting assists, despite spending a lot of the match on the back row. Ply was the big hitter for the Lady Bulldogs with 11 kills to go along with an ace, a solo block and an assisted block. Loran Pritchett added a well-rounded game with five kills, four assists, two aces and an assisted block. Rebecca Janke chipped in with three kills, an ace, a solo block and an assisted block, while Megan Brown added a kill, an ace, a solo block and an assisted block in limited front row action.
"We needed that, because we've got Kickapoo coming up Thursday night and that's going to be another super tough match for us," said coach Pritchett after the game.
Errors proved to be too much to overcome for St. James on the night, as they had six serve receive errors, five service errors and another eight attack errors. Despite some struggles, they did have some strong performances. Mackenna Rodgers has a great night setting with 12 assists, while adding six digs and an assisted block. Raina Forstrom led the Lady Tigers in the attacking game with five kills, an assist and an assisted block. Hannah Marcee and Makayla Case each added three kills, while Makiah Marshall had one kill in limited action due to an injury. St. James head coach Julie Guese saw this game as a wake up call for her girls.
"It was a very eye opening evening for our girls," said coach Guese after the game. "Rolla looked better offensively than I have ever seen them, and they have always had a great team as far as I can remember. Rolla ran a very quick, powerful, offense that most of our girls do not have any experience with. We came out pretty intimidated in the first match, and then looked better in the second."
Both teams return to action on Thursday, as the Lady Bulldogs travel to Kickapoo and St. James remains at home to host Bourbon.