Posted: Saturday, 27 October 2012 8:16PM

Lady Panthers headed to state for first time since late 80s




Entering Saturday, it had been 24 years since a Mountain Grove volleyball team had been to the state championships. But after beating Fair Grove and El Dorado Springs, the Lady Panthers are bound for Cape Girardeau.

Mountain Grove survived a three-set clash with Fair Grove in its first game of the day, then handled El Dorado Springs in two sets to punch a ticket for the Show Me Center next weekend.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

A kill from 5-foot-11 senior middle hitter Maddie Halford gave Mountain Grove a 25-22 win in the first set against El Dorado Springs. But the Lady Bulldogs came out strong in the second set, gaining a 6-2 lead that prompted a timeout from Mountain Grove coach Amy McNew.

McNew lit into her players for the shaky start, and Mountain Grove responded quickly. The Lady Panthers would tie the game 8-8 on Ashlynn Rogers’ ace, then take a 13-10 lead and never trail again.

“We were going to keep putting our foot on the pedal and keep working as one unit, taking it to them,” said Halford, who led Mountain Grove in kills.

El Dorado Springs cut the deficit to 19-16, but Mountain Grove scored the final six points.

McNew credited the play of senior Emily Fry for helping Mountain Grove recover in the second set.

“She provided a fire for us,” McNew said. “When she stepped up and got some key kills, we relaxed and just started playing.”

The Lady Panthers got off to a hot start in the first set, leading 8-2. El Dorado Springs closed the gap to 18-16 after a Lady Panthers error, and even got within a point at 22-21 behind an ace from Kinli Simmons.

However, kills from Rogers and Halford gave Mountain Grove the set.
 
The Lady Panthers begin pool play at 10 a.m. Friday in Cape Girardeau.

PHOTOS: MOUNTAIN GROVE VS. FAIR GROVE

PHOTOS: CLEVER VS. EL DORADO SPRINGS

Photo Galleries

Pictures: Billings 12, Galena 2


Billings rolled Galena in five innings on Senior Night.

Pictures: Republic 4, Mount Vernon 3


A 3-run fifth for Republic was just enough to edge the Mount Vernon, 4-3.
 

Pictures: Drury 1, Wisconsin Parkside 0


The Drury Softball Panthers split a GLVC pair with Wisconsin-Parkside taking the opener 1-0 before falling 5-1 in the nightcap at Thompson  Field on Friday.
Videos
O-Zone Opinion
Making sense of the new girls basketball districts
Who do you have going all the way in your bracket? Your 2014-15 high school district basketball bracket, that is. Last weekend, MSHSAA released classification and district assignments for the next two school years. We saw notable changes in most...
Read More
Mohawk Chronicles: Boys Hashtag All-Stars
It is that time again, the 2nd Annual Hashtag All-Stars team is here. Eight teams, 40 players, household names, and some kids you may not know much about. Keep in mind, some players could probably be on every team, but I put them on the team I thought...
Read More
Mohawk Chronicles: Girls Hashtag All-Stars
It is that time again, the 2nd Annual Hashtag All-Stars team is here. Eight teams, 40 players, household names, and some kids you may not know much about. Keep in mind, some players could probably be on every team, but I put them on the team I thought...
Read More
Most Viewed