Just as it happened in the first set, the Dexter Lady Bearcats controlled most of the third to defeat the visiting Lady Bulldogs 2-1 at the Bearcat Event Center.
"We got into a little bit of a funk like we did the first set," Sikeston head coach Steve Beydler said about the third set. "We weren't able to get the ball to our setter in a position where she could actually put the ball in front of someone very well.
"They got their heads down (after that) and it's hard to get everybody up as a whole."
Thursday's match was highlighted by the second set where Sikeston was able to hold off a Lady Bearcat comeback.
The Lady Bulldogs (5-14-2) worked their way to a 20-13 lead before Dexter rattled off a 6-1 run making it a 21-19 game. A kill by Brittany Harris pulled Dexter to within one (23-22). A serve by Dexter's Lindsey Hindman found is way out of bounds giving Sikeston what would be their first of three match points.
Dexter tied the set at 24 points on a lift infraction. However, Sikeston went on to score the final two points needed to clinch the set when Jalen Peet managed to squeeze a blocked shot through the other side of the net and Dexter's Lauren Ward tried tipping a ball that went out of bounds to end the set.
A new type of offense helped Sikeston to a win.
"In the second set I completely changed our offense," Beydler said. "I went from a 6-2 to a 5-1.
"I knew we'd have an opportunity (to win) here tonight. It almost looks worse than it is because we played better."
The third set looked to be a carry-over from their tightly played second as they both fought to a 10-10 tie. Seven Sikeston errors followed soon after as Ward served for 10 straight points mixed in with two kills from Harris to completely pull away.
"Lauren Ward got some serves there towards the end that got everybody up," said Hutchcraft. "We had some big kills -- a couple from Brittany (Harris) and good placement of the ball.
"They knew they had to get out there and win the third set and they ended up doing it. I'm glad they did that."
Sikeston managed to come as close as seven points behind the Lady Bearcats but another kill by Harris, an Elisha Flanigan block and a ball that sailed out of bounds gave Dexter the win.
"The best thing we were doing for a while was the girls were talking and picking up all the tips," said Beydler. "In that second set (Dexter's) hits weren't dropping or our blocks were keeping them from being able to pound away. They started doing a lot of tipping and that was able to help us.
"It gave us a chance to run our offense."
Sikeston was led by Vonteria Applewhite's five kills. Peet, Asia Liggins, Mary Eifert and Quesha Howard all combined for three kills apiece. Peet added four blocks while Liggins went 16-for-17 with three aces during her serves.
"We could have rolled over like we did in the first set but, they didn't do that and I'm proud of them," said Beydler. "It's baby steps. We have time to work on this in the gym with one game next week."
The Lady Bulldogs' one game next week will be a home game against Portageville on Tuesday.