The College of the Ozarks Lady Bobcats traveled to Oskaloosa, Iowa over the weekend for a tri-match at William Penn University. The Lady Cats took on Baker University in a 1:30 PM match and William Penn University at 4:00.
C of O vs Baker University
In the opening match and set, the Lady Cats and the Wildcats traded points in the early going. A 10-10 tie was broken on a Morgan Austin kill and the Lady Cats began to pull away. A 5-1 run put C of O up 16-11 and kills by Bri Linehan and Brooklyn Crawford carried the lead to 19-15. Baker battled back to a 20-18 deficit before the Lady Cats sealed the win behind kills from Grace Hancock, Crawford, and Austin. The Lady Cats took the opening set, 25-19.
Set two of the match began as a back-and-forth affair. With neither team willing to budge, the score quickly climbed to a 13-13 tie. A series of Lady Cat errors, along with solid play at the net by the Wildcats spelled trouble for C of O. The set quickly got out of hand and Baker put together a 12-3 run to end the set, 25-16.
The Lady Cats needed to regroup and focus on regaining the momentum in the third set. The battle was back from the opening serve and the teams traded points in the early going. With Baker leading 7-5, the Lady Cats began to attack. Kills by Christa Duffel, Kiley Counts, Brooklyn Crawford, and Bri Linehan were combined with a Mica Chadwell service ace that sparked a fierce run for the Lady Cats. Point by point, the Lady Cats took control, and the table was reversed from set two. The Lady Cats continued to apply pressure and outscored the Wildcats 12-4 to close out the set, 25-14.
With the Lady Cats one win away from taking the match, the pressure was mounting on the Wildcats. The Lady Cats clearly held the momentum. Baker scored the opening point of the set, but kills by Counts, Duffel, and Linehan was the swift response by the Lady Cats. Kill after kill found the floor on the Wildcat side of the net and the Lady Cats began to pull away. Up 17-9, the Lady Cats seemed to have the set and match well under control. Baker would attempt to hold on, but the Lady Cat attack was too much, and the set went to C of O, 24-14 and the match, 3-1.
Brooklyn Crawford and Bri Linehan led the offensive attack with 16 and 15 kills respectively. Grace Hancock and Christa Duffel each contributed nine kills, while Morgan Austin set up 48 assists. Mica Chadwell was once a gain a force on defense with her match high 24 digs. Kiley Counts contributed 17 digs and Grace Hancock chipped in 11 in the win.
C of O vs William Penn University
The Lady Cats final match of the weekend pitted them against the host, William Penn, and the opening set began as a tug-of-war. Playing to a 5-5 tie, the teams traded points. A series of Lady Cat errors turned the tide, and the Statesmen began to build a lead. Point by point the Statesmen began to pull away and the Lady Cats were forced to take a timeout, trailing 18-11. A Bri Linehan kill out of the huddle provided a glimmer of hope, but it was short-lived. The Lady Cats could only keep pace the rest of the way and the Statesmen took the opening set, 25-17.
C of O came out attacking in the second set and jumped out to an early 4-0 lead. William Penn responded with a 10-2 run and the Lady Cats took a timeout. The Statesmen continued to attack out of the huddle and the Lady Cats struggled to answer. Four more unanswered points resulted, and the Lady Cats needed to respond. The teams traded pairs of points and the Lady Cats were able to pull within four, 16-12. The Statesmen continued to apply pressure and C of O scrapped and clawed to stay within reach. Cutting the deficit to three, 24-21 was too little, too late and WPU took set two, 25-21.
With their backs to the wall, the Lady Cats needed to come out strong in set three. An early 2-1 lead was all the positive energy the Lady Cats could muster, and William Penn used their claimed momentum to pull away early in the set, and didn’t look back. Point after point, the Lady Cats were unable to answer and the Statesmen quickly wrapped up the set, 25-8, and the match 3-0.
Kiley Counts led the Lady Cats with eight kills and Bri Linehan finished with seven. Mica Chadwell anchored the defense with 22 digs followed by 10 for Kiley Counts.
The Lady Cats will be back in action Thursday, October 27 when they travel to Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri.