(Photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
SCOTT CITY -- Playing a whole game has been something Scott City coach Erin Hoffman has been trying to engrain into her teams mind over the last few weeks.
No lags, no letdowns and no stepping off the pedal.
After defeating visiting Sikeston on Tuesday in two convincing sets, that lesson may be beginning to take hold.
"We had small moments, but it's getting better as we go," Scott City coach Erin Hoffman said. "They're getting much more aggressive. We tipped the ball a lot less. I know tipping is good, but it's not good when you get in the routine of doing it too much. We've taken a lot of that away."
The undefeated Scott City Lady Rams took care of the Lady Bulldogs 25-9 and 25-13 with relative ease as the Lady Rams used a plethora of tactics on offense to continue their unbeaten streak to 14 games.
"We had nothing to lose coming into this game," Sikeston coach Steve Beydler said. "I told them to just go out and play your hearts out and see what you can do. We knew they were good, they pick their spots and they're smart."
Sikeston held their only lead after scoring the games first two points in the opening set. An ace by Trenice Greer and a block by Asia Liggins, who finished with five kills, was quickly erased by back to back Sikeston errors and three consecutive kills by Katie Hogan, Whitney Froman and Sydney Short to give Scott City a 5-2 lead.
The Lady Rams continued to pour it on throughout the set confusing the Sikeston defense with a number of different offensive looks.
Scott City's movement, which included a number of players acting as if they were going to take the hit from Short had Sikeston moving towards two of the Lady Rams' most feared hitters -- Hogan and Mikah Simpson.
The Lady Bulldogs were left picking their poison.
"We didn't just hit here, here or here," Hoffman motioned. "We had it going all over the place. When you have two known hitters like Mikah and Katie, every time Katie went in hard, their blockers went right up to her and left the outsides wide open. That's how it's supposed to work and it did."
Scott City finished the first set off with scoring runs of seven-straight points and five-straight points. Simpson, who ended up with nine kills, served up back to back aces while Hogan, who also finished with nine kills, capped the set with a tip kill.
"Early on, we weren't beating them, but we were playing," said Beydler. "Slowly, one by one, I saw our girls' heads drop and they realized they were as good as we thought they were. That's what stresses me. Some of the girls kind of gave up."
Scott City jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the second set. They bumped it up to a 15-9 lead halfway through and continued to keep the pressure on until they came away with the 25-13 win.
"It was pretty much them running their offense from the start," said Beydler. "A couple times we had some smart plays. We had a couple of tips, a few good swings and even blocked their hitters a few times. But, that's pretty much it."
Froman added six kills to Scott City's total as well.
"I'm not going to make a lot of judgment on what needs to be changed based on this game," Beydler said. "We knew this was going to be a tough one. I would have liked to have seen a little more heart that I did not see."
Sikeston will host Oran while Scott City travels to Leopold. Both games are scheduled for Monday.