(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
NEW MADRID -- Going undefeated in pool play Thursday evening, the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs earned the top seed in Saturday's SEMO Conference Tournament where they will open up against fourth seed Charleston.
"Overall I'm pleased," Sikeston coach Steve Beydler said. "We had some times where we really let up, got a little lazy and let a couple matches get a little too close.
"But all-in-all we got a chance to get our offense running and our defense did a pretty good job overall."
With pool play set up where all four teams faced each other in two set matches, the fight for the top seed came down to the final match of the night.
In that match, the Lady Bulldogs took on host New Madrid County Central with each team holding a 4-0 record.
After taking the first set 25-17, Sikeston made sure seeding wouldn't come down to point-differential, playing a tight second set but prevailing 25-18 to take the first seed.
"Just one of those games where we came out to a deficit and just couldn't overcome it the whole game," NMCC coach Jenny Sexton said of of the second set. "We'd inch (back in), but then they would gain their lead right back."
The losses left NMCC with the second seed at 4-2 with Oran and Charleston holding the third and fourth seeds respectively.
Oran narrowly squeezed by the Lady Bluejays on point differential after both teams finished with 1-5 records.
Having split their head-to-head match-up, the seeding came down to Oran beating Charleston by three more points than when the Bluejays beat them the previous set.
Though her team ended up with the bottom seed, Charleston coach Kathy Browning was happy to see her team play all six matches close.
"They played together as a team," she said "They talked and they communicated. I changed up my rotation a little bit.
"I don't know if that was what did it, but of course when you do something like that you think 'okay don't change anything because something good is coming out of it.'"
Charleston will open up play Saturday against Sikeston with play starting at 10 a.m. at NMCC High School.