(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
DEXTER --Every time the Dexter Lady Bearcats narrowed the gap, Scott City put their foot on the gas.
In both sets on Tuesday night, the Lady Rams finished strong after battling Dexter tooth and nail throughout. It eventually led to wins of 25-20 and 25-18 keeping their undefeated streak alive at 12.
"I saw an emotional roller coaster," Scott City coach Erin Hoffman said. "We had aggressive serving and we stopped missing them. We really enforce on them that if we go after a team, they're not going to be able to come back after us.
"At the end of both games we started to go after them. We need to make sure we work on that the entire game."
Their first set was never farther apart than four points, which was Dexter grabbing a 13-9 advantage halfway through.
But, after tying the game at 17, Scott City's Mikah Simpson took over the serving duties and helped pull the Lady Rams ahead for good. Under Simpson, Scott City scored four straight to take a 21-17 lead.
"Mikah really stepped up tonight," Hoffman said. "She was aggressive in her serves and she never stops. She's so intense all the time and when she makes a mistake, you can't ever tell because she bounces right back. She goes hard from start to finish."
The closest Dexter came to Scott City's lead was a 23-20 score. Whitney Froman put an end to the set giving the Lady Rams the win.
"Sometimes we get down when we make a mistake," Dexter coach Lauren Hutchcraft said. "They just have to be stronger mentally and pull themselves from making those mistakes. Sometimes we just get down too easily."
Throughout the night, Dexter had problems with Scott City's experienced lineup, most of all, senior Katie Hogan.
"She can hit from the back row and place the ball," Hutchcraft said. "She's just an all-around good player. You've got Mikah Simpson on the front row too with the supporting cast of girls who can pick up balls and pick up tips."
After another back and forth set took place in the second game, Dexter rallied from a 19-15 score to make it 19-18.
Freshman Jessica Lindsey, who finished with eight kills, three digs and a perfect 10-10 on serves, started the rally with a hard hit kill through the middle of Scott City's defense, which was followed with a block by Brittany Harris and a Scott City turnover.
Although things looked to be tipping the Lady Bearcats' way, Scott City strung together six consecutive points, including two of Hogan's nine kills, to finish off Dexter.
"From them, I was expecting a whole lot more," Hutchcraft said about Scott City. "I did not see the team that won the SEMO tournament this past weekend. Maybe they took us for granted and played down, but I was just expecting a whole lot more from them."
Hutchcraft said her squad, who was coming off of a two-set loss to Bloomfield on Monday night, played with a little more fire Tuesday. Seeing as they could be the first team to knock off the undefeated Lady Rams may have had something to do with it.
"We stepped up compared to (Monday)," Hutchcraft said. "That was not a good night for any of the girls. They can play better in every area of the game."
Sydney Short led Scott City with 10 assists while Hogan added seven blocks.
Erika Mouser and Lindsey Hindman each had 12 digs for Dexter.
"Both teams seemed kind of quiet to me," Hutchcraft said. "There wasn't a lot of long rallies, it was just a lot of short rallies between each point. I was expecting more from both teams really."
Dexter has now hit a skid of five losses in a row after starting out 7-0.
Dexter's junior varsity rolled over the Lady Rams in two sets, 25-9 and 25-13.