The College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcat Volleyball season jumped out to a roaring start as they downed the Ambassadors from Ozark Christian College in three sets.
With a packed student section behind them and kills by Ryley Thixton, Morgan Austin, Abi Menzies, and Brooklyn Crawford, the Lady Cats set the tone early. Scoring the first eight points of the set, C of O forced Ozark Christian to call a quick timeout. The effort to break the Lady Cat momentum however, had very little effect. The Lady Cats continued their dominance and finished the set holding the Ambassadors to seven total points and recorded the 25-7 win.
The Ambassadors regrouped for the second set and gave the Lady Cats all they could handle. The score would go back and forth, with OCC leading through the first half of the set. With the score tied at 10-10, OCC put together a run and scored four straight points. It looked as though the Lady Bobcats might be in trouble. An error by the Ambassadors, followed by a Mica Chadwell set for a Ryley Thixton kill, got the Lady Cats back on track. Kills by Thixton and Kiley Counts propelled the Lady Cats ahead of OCC and they soon led 21-15. The teams would trade points the rest of the way and the Lady Cats secured the set two win, 25-19.
The Lady Cats had the Ambassadors on the ropes and would not let up. Bailey Chamberlain got in on the kill action early in the third set and the Lady Cats were in control from the beginning. The Ambassadors tried to rally but the Lady Cat attack was too much. Assists by Morgan Austin helped several Lady cats add to their kill total, producing a 5-0 run. The Lady Cats led 14-6 and would not look back. Every attempt at a comeback by OCC was answered by C of O. A kill by Abi Menzies would give the Lady Cats the final point and the match win, 25-20.
“With limited opportunities for practice, I was pleased with the composure we showed.” Said Coach Muckenthaler. “OCC continued to improve as the night progressed and they pushed us to work together. We are pleased with the win and thankful for the opportunity to get in the gym and work out a lot of things. Our student section in the stands was awesome tonight and was a big help for our team from start to finish.”
Ryley Thixton led the Lady Cats with 27 kills, Brooklyn Crawford added 18, Abi Menzies chipped in 15, and Bailey Chamberlain added 11. Morgan Austin recorded 40 assists on the night.
The Lady Cats opened the season 1-0 and will face Avila University at home Saturday in a 1 PM start.