(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
DEXTER -- The Dexter Lady Bearcats may have sured up any sketchiness they may have had in their game plan with a little bit of practice.
"We've been working hard in practice on a couple of things that I knew we needed to work on in order to come out strong in districts," Dexter head coach Lauren Hutchcraft said.
In their first round game of the Class 3, District 1 tournament on Monday, the Lady Bearcats had no trouble dispatching the Fredericktown Lady Blackcats in two sets, 25-18 and 25-11 at the Bearcat Event Center in Dexter.
"When all these girls are on fire, I think we could beat a lot of teams," Hutchcraft said. "Each one of them has to do what they need to do in order to get the job done.
"It's fun to watch them hit the ball when they're on fire."
Brittany Harris and Elisha Flanigan led Dexter contributing 14 total points between them as Dexter kept the pressure on the Lady Blackcats causing self-inflicted errors.
Dexter really hit their stride in the second set where they went up early, 7-1. They continued to impose their will rattling off a 10-0 run to go up 18-5 at one point. Back-to-back aces from Lindsey Hindman ended the second set and put the No. 3 seeded Lady Bearcats in the semifinals against the No. 2 seed Perryville Lady Pirates tonight at 6 p.m.
The New Madrid County Central Lady Eagles ended their season in the first game of the night against the No. 4 seed Kennett Lady Indians in three sets.
A close matchup throughout, the Lady Eagles were down by as much as only six points in the first set. Although they mounted a comeback to tie and eventually take a 22-21 lead, the Lady Indians relied on three NMCC miscues to win the set 25-22.
Kennett held the early advantage in the second set, 11-6. A 9-0 run by the No. 4 seeded Lady Eagles put them in prime position to take the second set, 25-18.
"They didn't give up." NMCC head coach Jenny Sexton said about the second set. "They went from missing six serves to only missing one that game. Serving was a big thing that first game. We couldn't get anything going and couldn't get anything going."
Although carrying the momentum of their second set win, NMCC could not translate that into a third set win.
The Lady Eagles were down by two points, 9-7, in the early stages but that was as close as they would end up as they went on to lose 25-15.
"They played well," said Sexton. "They didn't let down, they didn't hang heads. They just had some rough serving patches and that last game we let one of their players go on a little serving run herself."
NMCC will be saying goodbye to six seniors; Brittany Johnson, Sherron Evans, Cierra Hardin, Courtney Masterson, Sam Hunter and Kelly Robey.
"Kelly Robey has been our vocal leader and action leader," said Sexton. "That's going to be missed. She's been all-conference, all-district the last few years. She's going to be missed.
"Courtney is another vocal leader and you have Sherron Evans and Sam Hunter that have both stepped up. They've just all stepped up. They will all be missed."
The Lady Eagles ended their year with an 11-14-2 record.