College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats played two matches at home on Friday in the Silver Dollar City Tournament. Overall, the Lady Bobcats went 1-1 on the day, dropping their first match in three sets to Southwestern Assemblies of God (SAGU), and winning their second match in five action-packed sets against Evangel University.
After winning two matches in three sets apiece on Thursday evening, the Lady Bobcats returned to court Friday morning for a matchup against SAGU from Waxahachie, Texas. SAGU entered the match with a 2-1 record in the tournament, having defeated Bellevue and falling to Evangel on Thursday, but winning their Friday morning match against Culver-Stockton. The Lady Cats came into the game a bit flat and proceeded to make some attacking errors that put them in trouble. CofO struggled to capture an advantage in each of the first two sets, rallying in both, although they fell short with a score of 23-25 each set. The third set found SAGU eager for another victory, and the Lions captured a 25-18 win to close out the match.
In their second game of the day, CofO faced Evangel University, who was coming off a big 3-2 win over Bellevue University. The Lady Bobcats opened up to take an 11-7 lead, before Evangel nibbled away to tie the game at 13. The Bobcats responded by scoring eight unanswered points to regain the lead at 21-13. Evangel was able to draw within four points, but CofO captured a 25-19 first-set win. The second set saw the Crusaders take an early lead, until the Bobcats tied it up at 4 and increased their advantage to 9-5. But with CofO in the lead at 12-6, the Crusaders went on a 6-0 run to tie the game at 12. CofO was back in the lead at 21-17 when Evangel proceeded to outscore the Lady Bobcats on a 9-1 run to collect a 25-22 second-set win. The third set found Evangel feeling more confident, and they promptly picked up a 25-15 win. The fourth set was filled with phenomenal volleys and numerous ties. As the set continued, the lead changed hands numerous times, resulting in a 29-27 College of the Ozarks’ win and pushing both teams to a deciding set. CofO captured a four-point lead as they approached their 15-point goal, but Evangel wasn’t finished fighting—tying the game at 12 and then taking the lead. The two teams battled back and forth to the bitter end, with CofO winning the final set by a score of 20-18 to pick up the victory.
Leading the Bobcats in the Evangel game was junior setter Rielly Dobbs, who was impressive with a triple double (21 kills, 46 assists, 17 digs). Haley Stallings led the match in digs with 32, and Ryley Thixton posted a double double with 18 kills and 20 digs.
For the tournament, College of the Ozarks, Evangel University, and SAGU finished 3-1, Bellevue University (Neb.) was 2-2, Culver-Stockton College went 1-3, and Hannibal-LaGrange University was 0-4.
Friday’s split moves the Lady Bobcats' early-season record to 3-1. They will host Lyon College on Tuesday, August 28, at 7:00 p.m.in the Keeter Gymnasium.