The College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats volleyball team traveled to Marshall, Missouri this weekend to partake in the Missouri Valley Invitational. The Lady Cats finished the tournament with a .500 winning percentage, defeating Graceland University and Avila College while losing to Central Methodist University and host Missouri Valley College.
In game one on Friday, the Lady Cats took the first two sets 25-23 and 25-21, before dropping the third set 25-23 and winning the fourth set 25-21. Sophomore transfer Danielle Curnes (Cowley County Community College) made an immediate impact with the Cats, leading the team with 15 kills. Defensively, junior Brandi Stahl led the charge with 32 digs.
In Friday’s second game, the Lady Cats fell 3-0 to host Missouri Valley. Junior Chloe’ Shepherd and senior Lindsay Boone combined for 11 of the Cats’ 24 kills, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the 13 kills posted by Missouri Valley's Lauren Eldridge.
The Lady Cats resumed play early Saturday morning with a three-set sweep of Avila College 26-24, 25-15, and 27-25. Curnes and Shepherd registered 10 and 9 kills, respectively, while senior All-American Jamie Reaves registered 9 kills and 5 blocks. Reaching double digits in digs were Brandi Stahl (22), Sarah Kruel (13), Danielle Curnes (12), and Ashlynn Rogers (11).
The tournament finale went all five sets, with the Lady Cats dropping the fifth set 15-9 to give Central Methodist their first win of the season. The Lady Cats played well, with Danielle Curnes (13 kills, 17 digs) and Chloe’ Shepherd (14 kills, 18 digs) leading the way. However, the back-and-forth affair ended with College of the Ozarks on the short side of the scoreboard, bringing their final tournament and overall record to 2-2.
Newcomer Danielle Curnes tallied 41 kills and 52 digs in the tournament, and was named to the All-Invitational Team.
The Lady Bobcats will head to Nebraska this coming weekend for more tournament play with four matches in the Bellevue Labor Day Classic.