The College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats hit the court at Keeter Gymnasium on Thursday evening and defeated the Patriots of Baptist Bible College in three sets.
With Senior Ryley Thixton out for the game, things got off to a slow start for the Lady Cats. Rhythm was not to be found and BBC jumped out to an early lead. Keeping the pressure on, BBC continued to hold a narrow advantage through the midway point of the set, 7-3. Slowly chipping away, an Abi Menzies kill gave the Lady Cats their first tie at 14 apiece. Once the comeback evened the score, the Lady Cats turned on the offensive attack. Kills by Bailey Chamberlain, Abi Menzies, and Morgan Austin, combined with a pair of Brooklyn Crawford aces completed a Lady Cat 11-0 run to close out the set 25-14.
The Lady Cats continued to dominate in set two with kills by Abi Menzies, Kiley Counts, Brooklyn Crawford, and Morgan Wood. The set was well in hand early as the Lady Cats built a 9-2 lead. The Patriots tried to keep pace with the Lady Cats, but the attack and pressure proved to be too much. Every BBC Challenge was met with another small run by the Lady Cats and by the midway point, the Cats led 15-7. Solid defense and play at the net led to another Lady Cat run. Errors by the Patriots and kills by Brooklyn Crawford and Morgan Austin put the Lady Cats up 21-7. BBC Mounted a small comeback and scored four of the next six points. An Abi Menzies kill, followed by a kill by Brooklyn Crawford secured the set two win, 25-11.
Set three was much the same as the Lady Cats used Kills by Morgan Wood, Abi Menzies and Brooklyn Crawford to jump out to an 8-1 lead. BBC called a timeout to regroup and began to chip away at the lead. Point by point the Patriots cut the Lady Cat lead and soon were trailing by one, 13-12. A series of BBC errors along with kills by Crawford, Chamberlain, and Menzies put the Lady Cats back on track. Scoring eight unanswered points, the set three win was getting closer. BBC broke the serve to score a point, but C of O answered and kills by Menzies, Wood, and Chamberlain sealed the set, 25-13, and the match 3-0.
Coach Muckenthaler stated after the win, “With Ryley out, we struggled to find rhythm in the first set. Our team rallied together and took care of the three-set win. Abi and Brooklyn did a great job offensively at the net and Bailey had a few big blocks to give us momentum. It was nice to get a sneak peek into next season as the core of the group will return.”
Abi Menzies led with 14 kills followed by Brooklyn Crawford with 12. Morgan Austin contributed 31 assists while Kiley Counts led the defensive effort with nine digs.
The Lady Cats will be back in action Friday at Keeter Gymnasium as they host Hannibal-LaGrange University in a 5 PM start.