It was a game of runs when Osage met Lake area neighbor Versailles on the volleyball court Thursday night. Most of them belonged to the Indians and they did not hesitate to take advantage as they beat the visiting Tigers in two sets, 25-15 and 25-8.
It was a game of runs when Osage met Lake area neighbor Versailles on the volleyball court Thursday night.
Most of them belonged to the Indians and they did not hesitate to take advantage as they beat the visiting Tigers in two sets, 25-15 and 25-8.
"We played so well tonight and how everyone handled themselves, we have not played this good so I'm really excited to see how we interact in the future and how good we are going to be," said Osage senior Carson Wood who led the attack with seven kills.
With both teams tied at two in the first set, Osage came up with four unanswered points and maintained the lead the rest of the way, never letting the Tigers claw back within less than two points. Holding on to a 15-13 advantage, the Indians closed out the set on a 10-2 run that culminated with a kill from Osage senior Cecilia Verslues.
In the second set, both sides battled back and forth for the first 11 points before Osage busted the game wide open on a 19-3 run to finish the night.
After back-to-back losses to Blair Oaks and Cole Camp, it was certainly a refreshing sight for Osage coach Travis Squire.
"I feel like they were disappointed in themselves and they just rallied in this game, pulled it together as a team and were firing on all pistons," the coach said of his club. "I think this is a great confidence booster because we are going into a tough week next week... so we needed this win and we needed to win it in the fashion that we won.
"It is a good thing to see early on in the season because there is still a lot of volleyball to be played. They know that and we know that so to see them respond the way they did was fantastic."
While Osage put up the points, Squire noted that the biggest difference Thursday night was the defense.
"I believe in defense first and I think most coaches do. You have to play great defense and it is under-appreciated sometimes because we like to kill," he noted. "Our girls kept their feet moving the entire time and continued to play defense with a lot of great movement, positioning and coverage on the floor.
"That was the difference-maker, no doubt."
Verslues added six kills for the Indians while sophomore Sara Wolf racked up 10 assists to fuel the attack. Squire also noted how pleased he was with the team's serve receive passing that was highlighted by junior Caitlyne Vaughn who finished the night with a 2.4 average out of a perfect three.
Defensively, Kempf led the way with 12 digs while Wolfe and junior Emily Dulle both contributed six respectively.
"Two seniors that have really stood out on the floor as leaders are Karli and Carson. They both had great games and both are great voices on the floor," Squire said. "I'll also give a shoutout to Caitlyne for another great night of serve-receive passing. It was phenomenal."
Wood was certainly thankful for that passing as well. With no designated setter on the team, it allows Osage to keep the opponents on their heels not really knowing where the next attempted kill may come from.
"There are four of us that are setting right now so I really feel like it helps us flow well since nobody really knows who is going to be setting when."
That was certainly one aspect that made Versailles' night a little tougher and Versailles coach Jessica Ollison noted that reacting to a hit instead of anticipating usually never leads to a good outcome.
"Mentally, I just feel like we were never really prepared to play the ball," the coach stated. "In the first set they (Osage) were running a lot of quick stuff, a lot of their power hits were hitting a sharp angle and we were telling our defense to make those adjustments and we were not making those adjustments.
"Communication just fell through the floor for us."
Sophomore Isabella Edgar and senior Hannah Whan led Versailles with two kills each while fellow senior Kellan Boehm put up three assists. Defensively, junior Gracie Hamrick led the Tigers with six digs.
The good news for Versailles is that the season is still young.
"I just told the girls in the locker room that you never want to go anywhere and get beat like we did that second game," Ollison remarked. "Fortunately for us, we have a lot of time to fix what we are doing wrong."
And now, Versailles (1-2, 0-1 Tri-County Conference) will seek to do just that before taking a trip to Sherwood on Monday at 6 p.m.
"We are going to face our bigger and more competitive conference teams and they are all going to run a quick offense so we just have to be focused on getting quicker in the middle and doing our best to anticipate where the ball is going to go instead of reacting when it is hit," Ollison said.
Osage (3-2, 1-1 Tri-County Conference) will have another Lake area battle to get ready for on Monday when the Indians take a short trip down Highway 54 to take on Camdenton. First serve is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
"We have a problem with playing down so finishing like that is really going to make us more confident in that and we have Camdenton next so we are really pumped about that," Wood said.