(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
BLOOMFIELD -- After dropping three-straight matches last week, Sikeston head coach Steve Beydler decided to switch the Lady Bulldogs' lineup around in hopes of improving his team's play.
For at least one night, the Lady Bulldogs saw an improved performance on the floor as they overcame a first set loss to beat the Bloomfield Lady Wildcats on Monday, 22-25, 25-20, 25-18.
"We went to a 5-1 where Trenice (Greer) is setting all the way around," Beydler said. "We need to have her getting some kills, but that wasn't helping us.
"So without her as an attacker there was a more even distribution of the sets and because of that we were able to get a bunch of girls involved."
Despite a strong start to the night, Sikeston's first set ended in disappointment as the Lady Wildcats rallied from a late deficit. On a Monica Carter ace, the Lady Bulldogs were able to take a 22-19 advantage while forcing Bloomfield to call a timeout.
Coming out of the huddle the Lady Wildcats went on to take the final six points of the game to take the upper hand.
Rebounding to start the second set, Sikeston opened up on a 5-1 run and pushed its lead to as many as nine points late, at 21-12, before the Lady Wildcats once again started to rally.
Unlike the first set, however, the Lady Bulldogs responded when Bloomfield closed to within four points. After a Courtney Hewitt kill, set up game-point at 24-19, Sikeston committed a quick serving error before rebounding with a another kill from Esther Chinwuko to force a third and final set.
"In the second game we had a five-point lead and got to where we almost lost the lead," Beydler said. "But we got back again and were able to maintain and finish up fairly strong. It kind of broke the string of having that problem."
Like in both games prior, the Lady Bulldogs came out of the gate strong in the final set, taking an early 7-1 lead. Bloomfield worked their way back to a tie at 11-11 that forced a Sikeston timeout, but the Lady Bulldogs quickly regained control.
Coming out of the break, Sikeston took eight of the next nine points on their way to a 20-13 advantage.
Three-straight points by the Lady Wildcats, including an ace and a kill from Chelsea Delay, closed their deficit to four before one final 4-1 rally by Sikeston that was capped by a Ricci Tidwell ace set up match-point. After dropping a point, the Lady Bulldogs came back to take the next and improve to 4-9 on the season.
"In the third we had such a big lead then we had a let down," Beydler said. "At one point they actually tied it up, but it was still early, not even half way through the game.
"We got a lead again and just kept going from there."
Leading Sikeston's front court attack on the night was Chinwuko with 10 kills while Hewitt and Kalli Williams contributed four each. Hewitt also had two blocks with Williams coming away with a pair of aces.
As the primary setter in the match, Greer came away with a team-high 24 assists while also contributing two blocks and two aces to the Lady Bulldogs cause. Monica Carter led the team in digs with 19.
"Overall, I'm pleased because what we've been preaching in practice was trying to get tougher and not lose that lead," Beydler said. "At first during the first game I was like, here we go again. But they maintained. Trenice did a good job of keeping the girls in the second and third games in the game.
"With her being able to set and calling for every second ball that means she's got a chance to talk to everybody a lot more. Instead of just being out there just waiting for the ball to be put up for her all the time."
Sikeston will look to stay hot when they host the Jackson Lady Indians tonight at 6 p.m.