(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
SIKESTON -- They knew what they were getting into, but the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs volleyball team wanted to see what they could do against one of the more dominant teams in the area.
For the most part, they're okay with their performance against the always dangerous, Notre Dame Lady Bulldogs.
"We knew this was going to be one of the best, or the best, team we were going to play all year. We had to go into it knowing that we have to take this night to see what we could do against a high-powered team," Sikeston head coach Steve Beydler said. "I believe, for the most part, we had a lot of good things going on."
Notre Dame (20-1-1) has won 19-straight games after starting the season 1-1-1 and controlled their match against Sikeston, 25-12 and 25-12.
"We're really trying to work on playing clean and minimizing our mistakes that we don't have to make," Notre Dame head coach Tara Stroup said. "I think we're getting a little more fine-tuned now."
Despite having to hit over the tall front line of Notre Dame, senior Trenice Greer led Sikeston with nine kills and was their most effective player.
Greer, who can spike with the best of them, also had five assists
"She's a dominant hitter," Stroup said about Greer. "I told them that we needed to double block her everywhere she hits because she's such a good hitter."
Beydler has been battling the issue of his team simply staying involved in the match even though they seem to be well in hand on some occasions this season.
He was impressed with Greer and her ability to keep the team focused despite the lopsided score.
"We proved to ourselves that we're not going to give up," Beydler said. "Our heads got a little bit down, but Trenice really worked on keeping her head up. A lot of the times, where she goes, so does the rest of the team and she did a great job.
"It's not easy to get beat 25-12 and still come out with a good attitude but they did."
Notre Dame jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the second set, prompting a timeout from Beydler on the sidelines. Notre Dame, however, kept plugging away moving their lead to 20-6 and then eventually the final.
"They have more firepower than they normally have
Notre Dame, who features a slew of powerful hitters, were led by senior Miranda Fowler who had 11 kills. Kelsey Luster added five kills on six attempts and also had 14 service points with two aces.
Taylor Ward was responsible setting up most of Notre Dame's points with 17 assists. Myriah Bernard added five kills as well.
Sikeston will be back in action Tuesday when they begin round-robin play in the SEMO Conference tournament at Oran High School where the will be looking for a fifth-straight conference championship.
"This was as much adversity as they're going to see all year and they hung in there," Beydler said. "If they can keep this attitude and flow into the tournament next week, I think we'll have a good tournament again."