The Lady Bulldogs were defeated by Poplar Bluff in straight sets, 25-11, 25-14.
Bluff (19-10-1) got a little payback from last year's upset loss to Sikeston in the first round. The Lady Mules were 2-4 since their last trip to the district final in 1998 heading into Monday.
They wasted little time against the Lady Bulldogs (11-16-2) by jumping out to an 11-2 lead to open the match. In the second game, Poplar Bluff jumped out to another quick 11-2 lead.
Sikeston committed twice as many unforced errors as Poplar Bluff, 21-10, while the Lady Mules served up seven aces, including four by Mac Nelson.
Nelson also led the team with 11 assists filling in for an injured Megan Moe who made a late appearance. Moe, playing with an injured ankle, assisted on one of Megan Riggs' nine kills.
"It's a big difference but Mac does a good job, she works hard and she gets it done," said sophomore Natalie Duncan of the switch in setters. "Now, we're pretty comfortable with both of them but Mac is really good at defense so I hope we get her back."
Duncan led with seven digs, helping to keep a lid on Sikeston's big hitters.
"We served spots well tonight and made them really work to pass the ball," Poplar Bluff coach Kelly Shearrer said. "We wanted to keep the ball away from (Rachael Vining)."
Nelson kept the ball away from everybody after Sikeston started the match with a service error.
Back-to-back aces by Nelson gave the Lady Mules a 3-0 lead before Kim Stonecipher's drive fell just wide.
Two straight hitting errors by Sikeston were followed by an ace from Emily Harper that clipped the net and back-to-back kills from Riggs.
A missed set by Sikeston gave the Lady Mules an early 9-1 lead.
"(Errors) are very important because every time we make a mistake they get a point," sophomore Sandra Pratt said.
A service error by Sikeston and a kill from Pratt increased Poplar Bluff's lead to 11-2. They led 20-7 before the Lady Bulldogs put together a little run, but another service error by Sikeston closed out the first game 25-11.
Sikeston held a short lead to start the second game after the Lady Mules committed a service error and Maggie Pfefferkorn served up an ace for a 2-1 lead.
It didn't last as Kim Stonecipher hammered down a point, followed by a block from Shaneka Smith. Nelson then had two more aces during the 10-0 run.
"I felt like we had some letdowns in (both) games where we weren't playing real smart ball and we let Sikeston gain some points on us," Shearrer said.
Sikeston put together a 5-2 run which included three straight points - their longest of the night. After Kassie Stonecipher's ace fell inside the back line for a 21-11 lead in the second game, the Lady Bulldogs put together three more points before Poplar Bluff's 4-0 run close out the match.