The Rolla volleyball team (24-8-1, 7-1 OC) hosted Glendale for their Paint it Pink Night on Tuesday, Oct. 16. The Lady Bulldogs let the first set slip away, but fought back to win the match in three sets for another Ozark Conference win.
The Lady Bulldogs played well in the first set and were points away from a win, before a Glendale comeback. Rolla built a 23-19 lead, but let Glendale chip away. The match needed more than 25 points to decide a victor and Glendale was able to score the final two points in a 25-27 win. They outscored Rolla 8-2 down the home stretch.
"We played okay the first game, then we gave it away," said head coach Stephanie Pritchett. "It was 23-19, 24-20 and we let them with a series of three or four bad passes come back and get in the game. At this point in the season, we can't do that. That is not acceptable to let someone serve you two aces in a row and then a bad pass. You have to go out and execute on your passing, because we're at a point in our season where we want to continue to play. That was disappointing, because I felt like we should've taken that game. We were ahead and we should've taken that game, but we gave it away."
Despite letting the first set slip away, Rolla buckled down in the second set. They started by having a similar score in the second set as they had in the first before the lead slipped away. Rolla had a stronger finish the second time around and took the set 25-19. They then won the third set 25-21 when Loran Pritchett laid down a final spike to seal the victory.
"Glendale doesn't have an off button," said coach Pritchett. "They're going to continue to come at you, they're really good defensively and we knew their record didn't mean anything and I knew that their defense was really good. I knew that we weren't going to get as many kills or stuff blocks, because they're going to cover and get everything.
"That was good for our girls, because we're going to head into hard play where we're going to see teams that play good defense and and they have that offense," continued the Rolla head coach. "We haven't had a game like that in a while. I'm glad they gritted it out and won."
While coach Pritchett expected the hitting numbers to be down, Rolla still had some strong performances. Megan Brown led the charge with 11 kills, two aces and seven digs. Shelby Ply had 10 kills to go along with a pair of aces, 1.5 blocks and six digs. Rolla had strong games from their setters with Sophie Parsons dishing out 17 assists, three kills, two aces and nine digs, while Pritchett added another 15 assists, four kills, an ace, 1.5 blocks and a team-high 15 digs. Rebecca Janke had another five kills, three blocks, an assist and three digs. Sophie Moreland had a kill, two aces and 12 digs, Kayla Copeland had a kill and three digs, while Maddie Lucas added another five digs.
At the JV level, Rolla fell 16-25, 25-22, 17-25, bringing their record to 9-12-3. The freshmen fell in two close sets 22-25, 21-25, bringing their record to 10-10-1.
Rolla will wrap up their regular season with Senior Night on Thursday, Oct. 18, when they host Camdenton. They will then open District play on Tuesday when they travel to Washington to face off against Jefferson City.