Camdenton's run ends in district title game, Eldon wraps up 2019 in district semifinals and Osage season ends with loss to Eldon in district quarterfinals
Camdenton’s run ends in district title game
Camdenton played a doubleheader Tuesday night in the Class 4 District 9 Tournament in Rolla, hoping to secure a pair of wins and bring home a district championship.
The Lakers passed the first hurdle in the district semifinals with a win over rival Lebanon in three sets, but came up short to Willard in the title game to bring the season to an end.
“All night long we kept preaching to our kids to compete and to give it everything they have and our girls responded well,” Camdenton coach Austin Walker said. “There were so many times things could’ve gone really bad for us, but they stepped up and kept pushing for one another. As a coach, you cannot ask for more in that situation.”
Camdenton dropped its first set of the night in the matchup with Lebanon 19-25, found a way to win the second 29-27 and decisively won the finale 25-12. Walker said her team may have had some early jitters, but was glad to see her club respond with a gut check in the second set with the season on the line.
“We challenged our seniors during the timeout to not let this be the way they finish their careers and I felt like they really responded and pushed those younger classmen a little bit harder when we needed it the most.”
Sydney Smith led Camdenton with 10 kills, Payton Kincaid finished with eight, Megan Vest had seven and Jackie White earned six. Smith put up 16 assists, Elle Turner had 14 and Smith also added three service aces while Turner and Vest both had two.
On the defensive end, Olivia Whittle provided 17 digs while Kurtz added 13, Turner finished with nine and Smith added seven. Kincaid put up four blocks and Maddi Robinson put up three.
“Olivia, Brooklyn Stidham and Shelby did a phenomenal job on the defensive end for us during the second set. We went in with the mentality to finish the set ourselves and not let them make an error to give us the set and it paid off,” Walker noted. “In the third set our block came alive again and we just dominated across the front line and really kept them out of system the entire time to seal the match.”
Willard was up next in the title game and the Tigers were the team that ended Camdenton’s season a year ago in the district semifinals. The Tigers (30-4) were up to the task again, knocking off the Lakers in two sets (17-25, 21-25).
“Willard is a very well-oiled machine. We knew we were going to be fighting an uphill battle, but from the beginning our girls did not shake, stuck their nose in there and dug a bunch of balls I feel like we normally would not have early on this season,” Walker stated. “Elle played phenomenal defense in the first set and dug a bunch of hard-driven balls at her. Our offense went in swinging and played with no fear.”
Camdenton managed to secure an early lead in the second, but Willard was resilient and managed to put together a run to close things out.
Vest finished with four kills to lead the Laker attack while Turner, Smith and White all finished with two each. Smith also led with seven assists. Whittle provided nine digs defensively, Turner had five and White led with three blocks while Vest and Kincaid each had two.
Camdenton finishes the season 23-11-3 with a 7-2 record in Ozark Conference play and the first 20-win season for the program since 2010.
“We challenge them to win it next year as they know what it feels like to be in the situation like we were in,” Walker said, looking ahead. “Kudos to our senior class as they pushed the bar further this year. They have shown us true leadership and hard work throughout the season and we are grateful they were part of our program.”
The coach also noted that the majority of the team’s hitters and defense will be back in 2020 and she is excited to add a “strong” sophomore class into the fold next season. The junior varsity program lost just three games all year, Walker said the freshman program had success and she is looking forward to seeing new players fill their roles. For now, the program will celebrate the steps that were taken this year.
“We cannot preach enough how proud we are of these kids. What a fun ride it was,” Walker said, concluding 2019.
Eldon wraps up 2019 in district semifinals
If Eldon was going to go down, the Mustangs made sure they were fighting.
After surviving a three-set win over rival School of the Osage in the quarterfinals of the Class 3 District 10 Tournament at California Tuesday night, Eldon was back in action for the district semifinals against Blair Oaks on Wednesday and was in for another crazy finish. Eldon decisively won the first set of the night 25-20, lost the second decisively 25-12 and fought to the bitter end in the finale 29-27. In fact, Eldon served match point three times in the final moments and fought off three match points from Blair Oaks before the Falcons finally found a way to finish the set out.
Caroline Beckmann led Eldon’s attack with 20 kills while Haley Henderson turned in six and Taylor Henderson finished with four. Addie Davis provided 29 of the team’s 31 total assists and Haley also had two service aces. Meanwhile, Jade Hall provided four digs on the defensive end and also had four blocks as well while Davis and Beckmann added two blocks each.
Eldon wraps up the season with a final record of 17-14-1.
Osage season ends with loss to Eldon in district quarterfinals
Osage previously beat Eldon on the road in the annual Tri-County Conference matchup earlier this season.
This time the Mustangs had other plans in the quarterfinals of the Class 3 District 10 Tournament Tuesday night in a battle that went all three sets. Eldon took the first set 25-23, Osage won the second by the same margin and the Mustangs managed to close out the night with a 25-20 win.
Sara Wolf led Osage with 10 kills in the season finale while Carly Hambly added seven and Emily Steen finished with five. Caitlyne Vaughn, Paige Rowland and Emily Dulle contributed two service aces each in the effort and Rowland turned in 22 of the team’s 24 assists. On the defensive side, Vaughn kept the Indians fighting with 25 digs, Wolf had 14, Rowland added eight and Dulle captured seven while Steen put up five blocks and Elizabeth Groos finished with four.
Eldon was led by Caroline Beckmann who had 23 kills while Hayley Henderson added two service aces and Addie Davis provided 32 assists. Henderson also put up 20 digs and Beckmann had 15 to go with two blocks.
Osage finishes the season 14-12-2.