NEW MADRID -- Sikeston girls volleyball team wrapped up SEMO Conference play with a straight-set 25-15, 25-22 victory over New Madrid County Central on Thursday.
The Lady Bulldogs (14-13, 4-1 in the conference), playing with a completely revamped lineup, held on to knock off the surging Lady Eagles and earn a second-place finish in the conference.
"With one player dismissed for disciplinary reasons and starting setter Quinn Kaiser out with a broken finger, I feel fortunate and, at the same time, proud of this team for stepping up and playing through all of the adverse circumstances of the past few days," said Sikeston coach Steve Beydler.
With no back-up varsity setter to replace Kaiser who suffered the injury during a joust in the match Monday against Bell City, Beydler had to juggle playing time for his freshmen setters Rachel Beydler and Kelsey Lawrence.
As players are allowed to play a maximum of three games per night, Rachel Beydler and Lawrence split duties between the junior varsity and varsity matches.
On the performance of the freshmen setters, Steve Beydler said, "I saw some good things, I saw some…other things. But we won the match and they each got some important experience. They were placed in a tough situation and we fared well overall."
Khassie Patterson paced the service stats with 13 of 14 accuracy and three aces. Rachel Beydler, with two aces, and Emily Taylor went 8-for-8, while Kiarra Morris was 7-for-7. Berneatress Hunt led in kills with four and shared the blocks lead with Martika Davis, a recent varsity call-up, with four each. Davis and Audra Wooley were runners-up in kills with three apiece.
In JV action, Sikeston lost to NMCC 26-24, 13-25 and 15-25.
On Saturday, October 16, the Lady Bulldog' varsity won the New Madrid Volleyball Tournament championship.
Sikeston went undefeated in the four-team, round-robin event, defeating Twin Rivers 25-13, 25-9; Greenville 25-12, 25-12; and NMCC 25-19, 25-10 in pool play.
In the title match, Sikeston lost the first game, 20-25, then bounced back to defeat NMCC 25-19, 25-16 to claim the tourney crown.
Sikeston, the No. 5-seed, will meet No. 4 Hillsboro in the first round of the Class 4, District 1 tournament at Poplar Bluff on Monday at 6 p.m.