The College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcat Volleyball team took to the court for their second match of the season Friday night and came away with a 3-2 win over Lyon College. Senior, Ryley Thixton (Ozark, MO), tied the single game kills record with 31 kills in the contest.
The first set saw the Lady Cats fall behind early and they couldn’t seem to recover. The Scots held all the momentum from the opening serve to the conclusion of the set and pulled away for the win, 25-16. Ryley Thixton led the way for the Lady Cats with five kills, while Emily Aldridge began her solid night with 10 assists.
The second set was enough to get any volleyball fan excited. The teams battled back and forth the entire set and neither team could pull away. The Scots led 15-9 midway through, but the Lady Cats quickly fought back to even the score. The rest of the way, one team would score, the other would answer. The tug of war for momentum continued throughout the set and the Lady Cats, the first team to score 25 points, could not secure the 2-point advantage. The two teams continued to trade points and the Scots would regain the lead, 28-27. The Lady Cats refused to give in and fought back to take the lead 32-31. Another couple of ties and the Lady Cats were finally able to seal the win 36-34. Thixton continued her dominance and had tallied 14 kills to go with 29 assists for Emily Aldridge through the first two sets.
All tied at one apiece, the Lady Bobcats had picked up the momentum, and some confidence, with their hard-fought victory in set two. They jumped out early in set three to take the lead. Abi Menzies joined the hit parade and by the end of set three had racked up 14 kills of her own. The Lady Cats led through out the set and pulled away to a 25-18 win and a 2-1 lead.
The Scots bounced back in set four and led throughout. Still hanging close, the Lady Cats could not get the momentum in their corner and the Scots were able to pull away to a 25-18 win. Maggie Hobson had lifted the Scots to the win, but the duo of Ryley Thixton and Emily Aldridge continued to add to their stats. Thixton had worked her way up to 26 kills and Aldridge had tallied 50 assists. Mica Chadwell had also racked up 31 digs to lead the defensive effort.
Set five was all Lady Bobcats as they led from the beginning and pulled away to a 15-11 win. The Lady Cat defensive effort was solid as dig after dig kept the rallies alive. The Lady Cats showed determination and grit as they worked through the set to hold off the challenging Scots and secure the set and match win.
The Lady Cats picked up where they left off in the game against Evangel. They developed teamwork, confidence, and competitiveness to show a lot of bright spots moving forward. Following the game, Coach Muckenthaler stated, “I was really happy with the progression of the game. We were a different team from set one to five and it was great to see the improvement. Winning the second set was huge for us and I believe our team gained a lot of confidence coming out with a victory tonight.”
Ryley Thixton finished with 31 kills, tying the single game record for Lady Cat Volleyball. She now shares the record with Rachel St. Claire (97’) and Jennifer Nichols (09’). Emily Aldridge recorded 58 assists, and Mica Chadwell added 37 digs. The defense for the Lady Cats was a true team effort as Ryley Thixton added 22 digs, Emily Aldridge added 21, Abi Menzies added 20, and Kiley Counts chipped in 17. Abi Menzies finished with 18 kills.
The Lady Bobcats were set to face William Woods on Tuesday, but that game has since been canceled. The next Lady Cat action is scheduled for March 12 at the A.I.I. Classic at Lincoln Christian University, in Lincoln, IL.