(Photos by Josh Mills,Staff)
ORAN -- Four local volleyball teams were vying for their chance at a conference title on Thursday night, as the SEMO Conference tournament opened up pool play.
Sikeston, Oran, Charleston and New Madrid County Central each played one another once to determine the seeds for the rest of the tournament.
NMCC and Sikeston tied in the win column with five wins but the point differential favored the Lady Eagles which means they will be the No. 1 seed when the tournament continues on Saturday.
The NMCC/Sikeston match split in two sets. The Lady Eagles won the first match 25-16 and the Lady Bulldogs were able to hold off a NMCC comeback late in the second set to win 25-23.
Of the three matches that Sikeston played, Asia Liggins led in kills and aces. Liggins had 14 kills and 10 aces with nine of those aces coming in the match against Charleston.
"She played a lot looser tonight (Thursday) and I think it showed," Beydler said about Liggins. "She's getting smarter and she's getting a little more aggressive on her serve. She's so powerful when she serve's really aggressively. She was keeping it down and really zipping it in which caused them a lot of problems."
"I'm very pleased with the way she's came along," he continued. "With her and a couple sophomores we have, that's where this program is going in the next couple years. And that's good news."
Keyarra Blissett added 12 kills and three aces while Teyanne Townsend had 11 kills and eight aces. Sikeston setter, Mandy Moore, chipped in with four kills and assisted on 35 points for the Lady Bulldogs.
Sikeston opened up pool play against the Oran Lady Eagles winning both sets, 25-23 and 25-13.
Charleston and NMCC played next with the Lady Eagles coming out on top 25-11 and 25-9. After NMCC and Sikeston split the next game, Charleston and Oran split their match as well 25-13, 25-15.
Sikeston then beat Charleston 25-16, 25-15 and then NMCC and Oran ended the night with the green Lady Eagles beating the blue Lady Eagles 25-20 and 25-16.
The varsity bracket will continue at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday following the junior varsity pool play which starts at 9 a.m.