By Brennan Stebbins (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
NEVADA, Mo. – A two-hour bus ride had Tammy Miller a little worried but it didn’t take long for her Logan-Rogersville volleyball team to ease her concerns.
The Wildcats rallied after a 10-all tie in the opener and cruised to a two-set win at Nevada Thursday night in the Big 8 Conference crossover championship.
“After a two-hour bus ride I was a little concerned,” Miller said. “They were sleeping on the bus and I’m like get up and let’s go. I thought they played good all things considered.”
Rogersville, the top team from the east with a 6-0 league record, improved to 29-4 after winning 25-18, 25-9.
“It was a goal of the season,” Miller said. “We wanted to win the east side and then we wanted to win the whole thing. Second year in the conference, second year doing it. I’m proud of my kids, proud of my seniors.”
The Wildcats scored seven-straight points and led 8-3 after a kill by senior Birdie Hendrickson. It was a 10-4 Rogersville lead before Nevada rattled off six-straight points to tie it. Moments later, an ace by Rogersville senior Jaden Robb made it 14-10 and the lead never dipped below three points the rest of the first set. Kills by junior Ashley Warren and senior Claire Taylor down the stretch helped seal it.
“We were kind of rattled the first game,” Miller said. “They did some different things we weren’t really expecting. After we settled down we served more aggressively and took them out of what they like to do. They’re a good team. I just felt like we served aggressively at them and took them out of things they like to do.”
“First set we really came out and did some great things, dug some great balls, made some really great plays but we made too many errors the first set to hang in there,” said Nevada coach Ashley Thoreson. “Second set we could not really get anything going and passing fell apart.”
Rogersville scored the first four points of the second set and led 9-1 thanks in part to points from Taylor, junior Samantha Thompson, Hendrickson and Warren. A tip by Hendrickson gave the Wildcats a 10-point lead at 15-5. Nevada didn’t score consecutive points the rest of the match.
“We put up a fight first set, second set we just couldn’t get going,” Thoreson said. “Rogersville served really aggressive. One of our passers was really struggling back there and they did a good job of making her pass. We just kind of broke down from there.”
Rogersville leaders were Hendrickson with 10 kills and a block and a half, Taylor with two aces, Thompson with 17 assists and McKinzie Thompson with 10 digs.
“I thought every kid played well,” Miller said. “Of course everybody knows Birdie. Claire played well, she attacked the ball. She’s been attacking the ball from anywhere on the court. I thought she served extremely well in that second set. Sam played well, she did a better job of dispersing the ball. Both of my middles, Ashley and Libby (Kish) did a good job taking swings when they had opportunities. We’ve been working on getting them involved in the offense. Thought my libero McKinzie did a good job.”
Nevada senior Julia Cassidy had an ace, senior Lindley Ferry had six kills, senior Lindy Smith had 11 assists, senior Stacy Pennington had eight digs, senior Lani Coonrod had seven digs and freshman Emma Leisure had a block.
Nevada, which was 6-0 in winning the west division, fell to 25-5 overall.