By SHELLEY EBBRECHT, Springfield, MO – Rivals Glendale and Kickapoo clashed on the volleyball court Thursday night with an undefeated conference record on the line for both teams. And it was Glendale who emerged victorious with their conference record intact.
“All season long we struggle with being consistent, being up and down, and tonight we were able to overcome that,” said Glendale coach Stephanie Bates. “We were finally able to finish a game against a good team. It was a great win for us.”
It was also the final night for three senior Lady Falcons to play on their home court and Glendale rode the emotional wave to victory in two sets.
“Sometimes on senior night you never know how your kids are going to play and respond,” said Glendale coach Stephanie Bates. “Either they’re going to be really emotional and melancholy or they’re going to be really up and realize this is my last game to play in this gym and I’m going to go for it. Tonight it was definitely the latter.”
Glendale came out hot in both sets, leaving Kickapoo scrambling to catch up. Jacey Noble kicked things off for the Falcons, serving five straight points before the Lady Chiefs could sideout. Glendale went up 16-5 but Kickapoo rallied, scoring 12 of the next 15 points to make it a two-point game at 17-19. The Lady Falcons hung on to win the first, 25-23.
The second set was much the same story. Glendale jumped to an early 6-1 lead that quickly escalated to 14-4 in favor of the Falcons. Kickapoo inched their way back into the game, but couldn’t gain the momentum needed to knock off the Falcons and Glendale took the second set 25-21.
Glendale’s Elizabeth Quinn was a major part of the Falcon offensive threat, putting down 15 kills in the match.
“I just know that I have to swing away at every ball,” Quinn said. “I try to get a kill on every ball and work hard to find the open shots.”
Bates said when Quinn is on the front line, everybody knows it.
“It’s no surprise that Elizabeth Quinn is a really strong hitter for us when she’s on the front row, and everybody in the gym knows when she’s on the front row,” Bates said. “She’s really hard to stop and if you’re not on her right away, she’ll get around you and you aren’t really sure what happened.”
Quinn wasn’t the only Falcon swinging away—Gabby Birmingham ended with 10 kills and 13 assists. Chloe Satterfield had 14 assists, 11 digs and 2 aces. Quinn led with 2 blocks.
Both schools boasted incredible student cheering sections, but Bates felt her home crowd gave her team the advantage they needed and she couldn’t have been more pleased with The Flock’s energy.
“When we play at home and The Flock is here—our crowd—they cheer loud and it’s like having a couple of extra players on the court and the players respond well to that,” Bates said. “When they get excited, the girls see that and they get even more excited. They’re fun to watch.”
For the Lady Chiefs, Allison Long had 4 kills on the effort of Kaelyn Faria’s 20 assists. Kamryn Artale had 4 aces and 10 digs.
The loss was the first conference game dropped by Kickapoo, now trailing Glendale by one game in the Ozark Conference. The Lady Chiefs are 23-7 overall and head coach Marci Johnson said there is still much volleyball left to be played and the team will take the night’s loss as a lesson learned.
“You have to learn from every win, loss, whatever happens you’ve got to learn from it and do better the next day,” Bates said. “Thankfully this wasn’t the end of the season so we have a lot to learn from this game.”
Glendale improved to 14-8-2 on the season and retained their perfect 7-0 conference record. The Lady Falcons will play in the Ozark Tournament this weekend before facing their final conference foes Rolla and Hillcrest next week.