The Lady Eagles volleyball team celebrated a successful Senior Night match by defeating conference opponent Lexington by the final score of 3-0 on Tuesday, Oct. 10.
Lone Lady Eagle senior Alex West was recognized on the court with her parents prior to the varsity match in which West totaled a team-high nine kills, along with three aces, and five digs.
A photo slideshow was played on the newly installed scoreboard in the Holden gym, and West’s career highlights and favorite volleyball memories were announced as West was presented on the court.
“Alex has been an essential player for our team this year,” said second-year Holden volleyball coach Tori Florence of the four-year Lady Eagle player. “Although I have only coached her two years, she has grown in many ways. Alex has become a great leader. It has been so fun to watch her become the confident and exciting player that she is today.
“Being the only senior on the team, Alex has stepped up and taken the reins of making decisions and leading those under her,” continued coach Florence. “I am so proud of Alex, and all her accomplishments. I cannot wait to see what she will do in the future.”
On the court during the Senior Night match, Holden controlled play throughout. The Lady Eagles worked to a 25-13 win in the first set with junior year player Izzy Guinn serving for three aces to open the set before Lexington stopped the rally.
Junior Emalee Haggard recorded five straight aces to help Holden go ahead 9-1 early in the first set before West added a kill.
Junior Jaci Gower highlighted the first set by knocking down the 500th kill of her career. An announcement over the loudspeaker marked the milestone moment as family, fans, and supporters acknowledged the accomplishment.
“It was exciting to see Jaci achieve this accomplishment,” said coach Florence. “I am so proud of her reaching this milestone as a junior! I can’t wait to see what other accomplishments she achieves!”
A block by Gower put Holden ahead 24-12 before the Lady Eagles ended the first set 25-13.
With the score at 22-11 in the second game, West stamped an exclamation point on the set by serving for three straight aces for a win by the score of 25-11.
Haggard dropped in an ace early in the third set as Lexington and Holden matched points up to an 11-11 tie. The Lady Eagles controlled the final stretch of the set which included an ace from Arionna Johnson. Holden ended the set and the match with a 25-13 win.
“We played well against Lexington,” said coach Florence. “We executed small goals and took control of the game. Alex West led the team with nine kills. Emalee Haggard led the team with 10 aces, and Jaci Gower led the team with four digs. The team worked together throughout the sets, and celebrated each other’s small victories.”
Gower finished with 4 kills and 1 block to go with her 4 digs. Lilly Carver totaled 3 kills, 2 digs, and 2 assists. Cami Gibson-Agee led the team with 15 assists, and added 2 digs, 1 kill, and 1 ace. Guinn finished with 2 kills, 4 aces, 2 digs, and 1 assist. Haggard had 2 digs to go with her 10 aces. Arionna Johnson finished with 3 total aces and 2 digs. Brionna Johnson chipped in 1 ace and 3 digs. Kia Harmon totaled 2 kills, 1 block, 2 digs, and 1 assist.
Fall To Higginsville
The night before defeating Lexington in Holden’s Senior Night match, the Lady Eagle volleyball team defeated Richmond by the final score of 3-0 (25-11, 25-12, 25-15) on Monday, Oct. 9.
Playing in their final regular season match, the Lady Eagles fell in a conference match to the visiting Higginsville Lady Huskers by the final score of 3-0 on Thursday, Oct. 12.
The Lady Eagles pushed the first set to extra points before falling in a 27-25 final score. Higginsville took the final two sets by scores of 25-17 and 25-14.
“We always know playing Higginsville is a mental game,” said coach Florence. “In comparison to when we played them earlier in the season, we were more mentally focused and eager to win. We changed some things up on defense, and the team was able to execute those things. Even though we didn’t come out with a win, it was exciting to see them turn things around and work together.”
After last week’s Senior Night match win, and the match against Higginsville, the Holden volleyball team ends the regular season with an overall record of 16-14-1 and an MRVC-East mark of 5-5.
This week, the Holden volleyball team hosts the Class 2, District 13 Volleyball Tournament with first-round matches beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Holden plays as the No. 5 seed versus No. 4 seed Sherwood on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The winner of the match between Holden and Sherwood will face No. 1 seed Adrian on Monday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. The first-place match for the Class 2, District Volleyball Tournament is scheduled to be played Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. at Holden High School.