Posted: Saturday, 03 November 2012 12:07PM

Winona volleyball wins Class 1 title

For volleyball teams in the O-Zone area, everyone was a winner on the final day of the 2012 state championships.

Class 1 State Volleyball Tournament-Title Game:

Winona 2, Bernie 0 (25-21, 25-21) PHOTOS

The Winona Lady Wildcats concluded a successful day for area teams by winning the Class 1 state volleyball title on Saturday.

After Osceola, Mountain Grove and Ozark all won their third-place games, Winona was up first in the championship round. The Lady Wildcats faced a Bernie squad that gave them their closest set (a 25-23 Winona victory) in Friday’s pool play.

Bernie jumped out to an early lead in the first set, but a Lady Wildcats run keyed by the offense of Nola McAfee (14 kills, 12 assists) and Rachel Holthaus (10 kills, 10 assists) gave Winona the 25-21 victory.

Winona would also take the second set 25-21. The Lady Wildcats (31-7-1) got 14 digs from Adrean Reynolds and 10 more from McKenna Bockman.
Winona joined Class 4 title winner Lafayette as the only squad that didn’t lose a set during this weekend’s state championships.

Class 4 State Volleyball Tournament-Third Place Game:

Ozark 2, Francis Howell 1 (23-25) (25-13) (25-14) PHOTOS

It took a bit for the Ozark volleyball team to get going on Saturday, but once they did, the Lady Tigers rolled to a 3rd place finish in Class 4.

Ozark bounced back from a first-set loss (25-23) to win the next two sets (25-13, 25-14) against the Francis Howell Lady Vikings.

Ozark fell behind 5-0 in the first set, prompting a timeout from coach Becky Justis. Ozark would get back in the game, even leading at 23-19, but Francis Howell scored the final six points.

The last two sets were all Ozark. Ozark led 18-8 in the decisive third set.

It was the second year in a row Ozark beat Francis Howell in the Class 4 3rd place game.

Class 2 State Volleyball Tournament-Third Place Game:
Mountain Grove 2, Bishop LeBlond 0 (25-22) (25-19)  PHOTOS

With 6-foot-1 power hitter Maddie Halford in the middle, the Mountain Grove Lady Panthers have a weapon most other teams don't. Mountain Grove utilized Halford's net presence Saturday, beating Bishop LeBlond 25-22, 25-19 for the Class 2 3rd place championship.

"She's been a great power in the middle for us. She'll be tough to replace, but I guess that's my job," said Lady Panthers coach Amy McNew of Halford, a senior. "I think the younger kids that were here on the trip got to see the type of attitude and style's that's needed to make it to state."
As per usual, Halford led Mountain Grove in kills (15) and was a focal point of the team's offensive attack. McNew said Halford has verbally committed to play at Drury next season.

The Lady Panthers led throughout both sets against Bishop LeBlond, not showing any hangover from a heartbreaking loss in their final pool play game on Friday.

With a shot to still play in the finals, Mountain Grove lost to St. Pius X (Festus) 25-23, 25-19.

"It kind of took a little bit out of us," McNew said. "They still had a chance to make it to the title game, but we had a couple of those calls go against us at crucial times. You could tell, they knew after that first set they wouldn't be able to make it to the title game.

"But if you think about it, eight teams get to go home from here winners and we're one of them."

Mountain Grove senor Kali Kuster had 16 assists on Saturday, and teammate Shelby Clifton was one of three Lady Panthers with double-figure digs (13).

Class 1 State Volleyball Tournament-Third Place Game:

Osceola 2, Sante Fe 0 (25-19) (28-26)     PHOTOS

Not much went right for the Osceola volleyball team in Class 1 pool play Friday.

The Lady Indians went 0-6, their closest set coming in a 25-19 loss to Winona. Osceola was twice held under 10 points.

But Osceola came ready to play in Saturday’s third place game. The Lady Indians defeated Santa Fe 25-19, 28-26.

Coach Shannon Schrock and the Lady Indians had lost to Santa Fe 25-18, 25-9 in their first match on Friday.

With a young squad – Osceola has just two seniors – pool play was an eye-opening experience.

“We knew what we needed to do to beat this team as far as who to shut down,” Schrock said. “The girls were scared to death in that first match yesterday. They watched (Santa Fe) play against Bernie and got a little more confident, and they put it all together today.”

Osceola jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first half before Santa Fe went up 10-6. Osceola ended the sent on a 11-5 run after it was tied 14-14.

Santa Fe controlled most of the second set before Osceola staged a late rally. Osceola got kills from Katherine Brockus and Brooke Wilson to tie the game 21-21 and 23-23, respectively.

Santa Fe threatened to take the set, twice having set point, but two final Lady Chiefs errors gave Osceola the victory.

It was Osceola’s eighth trip to state in program history.

“They’ve played hard all season, been a family, and today they played like I thought they could,” Schrock said.


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