The Holden volleyball team opened the Class 3, District 13 Volleyball Tournament at Clinton High School with a first-round win over Knob Noster.
In the semifinal round, the Lady Eagles fell to eventual district champion Pleasant Hill.
Versus Knob Noster
In the two teams’ second meeting in five days, and third meeting on the season, Holden knocked off Knob Noster 3-2 in the first round of the Class 3, District Tournament last Monday, October 26.
“Great win against Knob,” said Holden volleyball head coach Julie Carver. “It is really hard to beat a team three times in a season, especially when they are tough and well-coached.
“I thought our kids played well. We definitely need to learn to start faster, and finish game one.”
Knob Noster found a slight edge in point runs throughout the first set as the Lady Eagles took a 25-21 first-set loss.
A kill by senior Lady Eagle outside hitter Lily Stoyko closed out the second set in a 26-24 win for Holden.
Set number-three belonged to the Lady Panthers from the start as Knob Noster took an early 11-3 lead, and worked to a 25-13 win.
In a must-win situation to stay alive, the Lady Eagles took a 25-21 win in the fourth set.
An ace by Lady Eagle Tristyn Powell early in that pivotal fourth set put Holden ahead 5-3.
A four-point run by the Lady Panthers would give the fifth-seeded team a short-lived 8-6 advantage before Stoyko tied the game at 8-8 on a kill.
Lady Eagle Laila Seiz dropped an ace on Knob Noster to knot the fourth-set score at 13-13 during a four-point run by Holden.
Back-to-back kills by Emma Lohe kept it tied at 15-15 before Holden took a 16-15 lead.
With the score at 19-17 in Knob Noster’s advantage, Holden righted the ship with a point off a timeout. Back-and-forth point spurts from each team prompted a timeout call by the Lady Panthers with the score at 22-21 in Holden’s favor.
Outside hitter Brady Hinton closed out a three-point run following the timeout with a kill to give the set to Holden in a 25-21 win.
Powell found another ace early in the fifth set for a 3-2 early Holden lead. Three straight points resulting from outside hitter Emma Lohe put Holden up 6-3 before Knob Noster worked back to within one point at 11-10.
Lohe closed out the set on a kill as Holden took the game, and the match with a 15-12 fifth-set victory.
“I thought our passing and our attacking were really good,” noted coach Carver. “Knob Noster is a very scrappy team which kept them ina lot of rallies.
“Credit to our kids for playing hard, staying focused, and being determined to find a way to win that match.”
Lohe stacked the stat sheets by leading the Lady Eagles in service aces with 3, kills at 22, and serve receive rating at 2.23. The junior also had 22 digs.
Powell finished with 2 aces, and a 94-percent serve percentage. Powell set the ball for 19 assists, had 21 digs, and totaled 10 kills on a .200 hitting efficiency.
Hinton led the team in assists with 29, and had 6 kills, including the kill to end the fourth-set win that tied the match at two sets apiece.
Kalie Slack had a team-high 29 digs. Seiz totaled 24 digs.
Slack, Seiz, and senior Jill Casey each had 1 ace.
Stoyko totaled 9 kills on a team-high .421 hitting efficiency. Seiz had 7 kills, J’Lee Jones totaled 2 kills; Gracie Carver and Alex West each chipped in 1 kill.
“A district win is always a great thing, and a big step for this team,” noted coach Carver. “I thought that Knob Noster did a better job of serve receive against us which made it a closer match.
“Emma and Laila passed really well which allowed us to stay in our offense most of the time.
“Overall, we played good enough to win, and that is what matters in the end,” concluded coach Carver of the first-round win.
Versus Pleasant Hill
On their way to the district title, the Pleasant Hill Chicks took a 3-0 (25-7, 25-7, 25-13) semifinal win over Holden.
“By far, the best team we have played this year,” said coach Carver. “We played scared and timid, and the results of the match showed that.
“We started to gain a little traction in the third game, but we just didn’t have enough firepower to match up with them at the net.”
Seiz and Lohe each finished with 1 ace apiece.
Slack led the team with 11 digs.
Lohe had a team-high 7 kills, followed by Powell and Stoyko with 2 apiece.
Hinton totaled 10 assists. Powell had 2 assists.
“We as a team realize that we all need to improve, and that will be our focus in the offseason,” concluded coach Carver.
The Lady Eagles finish the season with an overall record of 12-4-1, and an MRVC-East record of 9-1 to finish the season as repeat conference champions.