SIKESTON -- Sikeston's volleyball team lost to Poplar Bluff in straight sets Thursday night, 5-15, 9-15.
Middle hitter Jamie Medlin went down with a twisted ankle in the first set and was forced to sit out the rest of the match. Her status was unknown as of press time.
"We're not a big team, and (Medlin) is 50 percent of the height I have," said Sikeston coach Steve Beydler. "Playing Poplar Bluff made things especially tough. They've got three girls who can jump to where their elbows are over the net, and they hit the ball hard. After we lost Medlin, we had an entire line with no height. It gave them an opportunity to just pound away on us. I would rate Poplar Bluff as probably the second best team we're going to see all year."
After losing the first match by 10 points, Poplar Bluff jumped out to a commanding 14-6 lead in the second set.
But instead of waiving the white flag, the Lady Bulldogs rallied with three points, siding out five straight Poplar Bluff servers before the Lady Mules could finish the deal.
While Sikeston did lose Medlin, Shavonna Dirickson returned to the lineup and contributed three kills and one block.
"I don't think she is full strength yet, but it was good to have her back in the lineup," said Beydler. "We need her defense and we need the offense she can provide on the outside. With her not 100 percent and with Jamie gone, we were struggling to maintain."
Joy Daniel led the offense with five kills and three blocks. Summer Ray, Medlin and Fleming Silverthorn each contributed one kill.
As a team, Sikeston finished with a below-average serving percentage of 80 percent. But while Sikeston struggled as a team, Emily Slaten, Silverthorn and Beth French all finished 100 percent.
"Those three did a real good job, but we didn't do very well as a team," said Beydler. "We knew this was going to be a tough week for us. Now that it's over, hopefully we can get healthy and have a better time next week."
Sikeston (7-7-1) will host Charleston on Monday night.
Sikeston's junior varsity rallied to defeat Poplar Bluff in three sets, 9-15, 15-13, 15-11.
"It was a really good team effort," said junior varsity coach Nancy Miles. "Paige Kaiser played the net really well, and Maggie Pfefferkorn had a good match also."
Sikeston's junior varsity improved to 2-2 in the regular season with the win.
NMCC vs. Doniphan
NEW MADRID -- New Madrid County Central's volleyball team defeated Doniphan in straight sets Thursday night, 15-5, 15-1.
"The girls played really well tonight," said NMCC coach Sonya Pixley. "We are coming together as a team."
Megan Lange and Ashley Brittain led the team in serving with three aces each.
Elizabeth Myracle had two aces, while Lindsey Campbell and Kendra Gregg each contributed one.
Offensively, Gregg had four hits, followed by Brittain with three, Lange with two, and Christine Jones with one.
"The defense is coming along, and that's the most important part of the game," said Pixley. "Lindsey Campbell played a solid game, as did Elizabeth Myracle."
NMCC will travel to Chaffee on Monday.
NMCC won the junior varsity match 15-3, 15-12. Autumn Walker finished with six kills, and Jenny Glenn contributed four.