(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SIKESTON -- For the better part of the season, the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs have tried to figure out which lineup fits them the best. They may have found one that fits.
"Basically, I think the lineup that we have now will be what we go with," Sikeston head coach Steve Beydler said. "There's a couple of tweaks that need to be made but, this particular lineup seems to have gelled."
Their lineup has gelled well enough to win their last two matches in convincing fashion with their latest win against the Oran Lady Eagles on Tuesday evening in two sets, 25-11 and 25-17.
Tuesday's match was highlighted by Sikeston's outside hitters, Quesha Howard and Trenice Greer, making plays. Howard had four kills alone in the first set where Sikeston jumped out to a 13-3 lead.
"When the ball was placed in front of (Howard), she was finding holes," Beydler said. "They were good, solid hits. (Howard and Greer) were hitting the ball well."
An ace from Oran's Amanda Young later in the set drew the deficit closer to a seven point game, but a 9-2 run by the Lady Bulldogs quickly put an end to the first set.
Oran, however, could never find any rhythm according to head coach Sara Heisserer. It's something the Lady Eagles have struggled with early in their matches all season long.
"The first set, I don't know if it's nerves or what but we never come out well in the first set," Heisserer said. "We kind of dig out of our hole and the game is over."
The second set was a bit tighter than the first. Although Sikeston was able to grab an 8-point lead towards the middle of the set, Oran battled back to make it a five point, 19-14, game after four self-inflicting errors by Sikeston and an ace from Oran's Molly Cook.
The next point in the set, ended up being somewhat of debated one.
On Sikeston's second hit attempt, Asia Liggins chased a high dig towards the right side of the net, out of bounds and what looked to be on Oran's side. As Liggins tried to make the save, her attempt fell on Oran's side without first going over the net.
The call stood as a point for Sikeston.
"It wasn't a crucial play in the game, but, we weren't down by that much," said Heisserer. "I'm more disappointed in our girls because I tell them to play until they hear the whistle."
From then on, both teams exchanged scoring runs of three until Sikeston earned the victory on two Oran errors.
"We did a really good job of talking and getting the ball to our hitters," said Beydler. "Our outside hitters were just phenomenal in that first set."
Howard ended the match with six kills, while Vonteria Applewhite and Liggins ended with four. Liggins also had six aces and was 15-for-16 in serves.
Cheyanne King and Kali Mills led Oran (2-5-2) with three kills each. Young added two aces while Addie Kielhofner chipped in with five assists.
Sikeston (5-13-2) with try and go for their third win in a row on Thursday night when they travel to Dexter. The Lady Eagles will host Leopold on Thursday as well.