CAPE GIRARDEAU - The Sikeston volleyball team took third in the SEMO Conference Tournament held at Cape Central on Wednesday.
Sikeston took second in its pool on Tuesday, beating New Madrid County Central in straight sets but then losing to Cape Central in three sets.
Sikeston played Scott City on Wednesday and lost 23-25, 25-19, 11-15. The Lady Bulldogs rebounded to beat Cape Central in the third place match 25-22, 25-18.
Scott City took first in the tournament while Oran placed second.
"I'm disappointed with third place because we had a very strong chance of winning it this year," said Sikeston coach Steve Beydler. "But I was pleased to see the competition getting better and the fact that we came back and won our last game after losing to Scott City. I saw some very positive things, but I also see some things that we need to continue to work on. The thing that hurt us the most, at key moments we had problems serving the ball. That really hurt us tremendously. But that is something that can be corrected."
The most gratifying way to end the tournament, though, was to avenge an earlier loss to Cape Central, who Sikeston had down 18-13 in the second set, but couldn't hold on.
"That was the one motivating force we had after losing in that semifinal game because we were so close," said Beydler. "At least when we got to that point, we knew we should've beaten Cape the night before, and the girls were fired up to beat them."
Beydler said each team in the conference is getting better each year.
"The conference is making a surge upwards," said Beydler. "It's been down the last few years, but everybody's getting better. I'm pleased that the competition is getting stiffer in the conference because it can only make everybody better."
Oran (3-3) defeated Cape Central in the semifinals 25-13, 25-18 to reach the finals where they got a rematch with Scott City.
The Lady Eagles pushed favored Scott City to three sets but couldn't pull out the victory as they lost 15-25, 25-19, 23-25.
Sikeston and Oran will compete in the B.A. Sports Volleyball Classic at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau this Friday and Saturday.