CAPE GIRARDEAU -- The Sikeston girls volleyball team participated in the SEMO Specialties and Sports High School Volleyball Classic over the weekend. The tournament was a pool play tournament, and the Lady Bulldogs were placed in a very competitive bracket. The Bulldogs finished their pool with a record of 3-5.
"We were pooled with very talented teams from Leopold, Poplar Bluff and Advance. Our pool record doesn't look that impressive to someone who doesn't know about the talent from the teams we were pooled with," said head coach Steve Beydler.
The Lady Bulldogs finished third in their pool and were placed in the silver bracket.
After a first round bye, Sikeston defeated New Madrid County Central 15-0 and 15-9 to advance to the semifinals.
The Lady Bulldogs then faced a solid Oran team and lost the first match to them 11-15. They then came back to win the second match 15-10 and that setup a third set that would be determined by rally scoring.
"Our scoring percentage was down for this tournament, so I was nervous about going into a rally scoring match," said Beydler.
The Lady Bulldogs regrouped and got the job done in the third set defeating the Lady Eagles 15-7 in the rally scoring match.
This put the Lady Bulldogs into the silver bracket championship game against Zalma.
"The girls were a bit nervous because we were playing in the Show-Me Center, and they were also physically exhausted. We started playing at 8 o'clock on Saturday morning and played basically all day. We decided that we had played so hard and given so much effort during the day that we weren't going to give in, we wanted to win this thing."
Playing in front of a large crowd at the Show-Me Center, the Lady Bulldogs defeated Zalma in straight sets winning the first 15-7 and the second 15-11.
Joy Daniel had a tremendous tournament for the Bulldogs. She checked in with 55 kills and 22 aces.
Shavonna Dirickson also chipped in 19 kills. Close behind with 14 kills was Maime Medlin.
The Lady Bulldogs also got three kills each from Emily Slaten and Fleming Silverthorn. Summer Ray added two kills and Rachel Vining had one.
"Fleming, and Shavonna did an outstanding job of digging the tough serves for us and giving us a chance to keep the ball in play."
As a team the Lady Bulldogs served 85.3 percent, but had a 20.6 ace percentage.
"After losing 6 seniors last year, many people thought this would be a rough rebuilding year for us. These girls haven't played much together as a unit before these past two weeks and they have done an outstanding job so far. I'm starting to see very good things from them. They are staring to gel together and beginning to prove a lot of people wrong," said Beydler.