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Lady Cats Make Clean Sweep Through Classic

Sep 02, 2023

#11 Abby Chadwell

#14 Bailey Chamberlain

Point Lookout, MO - The College of the Ozarks Lady Cat Volleyball team hosted the Lady Cay Fall Classic over the weekend with seven teams participating, including: College of the Ozarks, Baptist Bible College (Springfield, MO), Haskell Indian Nations (Lawrence, KS), Peru State College (Peru, NE), Mid-America Christian University (Oklahoma City, OK), Sterling College (Sterling, KS), and University of Health, Sciences, and Pharmacy (St. Louis, MO) converged on Keeter Gymnasium for the two-day event. The Lady Cats finished 4-0 on the weekend and built on their early season success.

C of O vs Haskell Indian Nations University – Friday, September 1
The Lady Cats opened the tournament facing the Indians of Haskell Indian Nations University. The Indians took the early lead, but the Lady Cats wasted little time responding. Kills by Brooklyn Crawford and Kamryn Link got the offense started and the battle was on. The teams traded points in the early going and Haskell maintained a slight advantage. Trailing 9-7, the Lady Cats came to life and a pair of kills each by Bailey Chamberlain and Christa Duffel propelled the home team to a 13-10 lead. HINU broke the serve but the relief from the Lady Cat attack was short lived. Kills by Duffel, Jocee Pettyjohn, and Crawford were mixed in with a series of Haskell errors and the lead jumped to 20-10. The Indians finally broke through for a point, but the Lady Cats continued their onslaught and kills by Grace Hancock and Bri Linehan sealed the set one win, 25-11.

The start of set two was similar to that of the first as Haskell jumped out to an early lead. Kills by Bri Linehan, Abby Chadwell, and Brooklyn Crawford pulled the Lady Cats to within one, 7-6, and the tide was about to change. Duffel, Crawford, and Abby Chadwell slammed home a trio of kills and the Lady Cats took their first lead. Haskell stayed close until kills by Linehan, and Bailey Chamberlain, were mixed in with a Jocee Pettyjohn service ace and the lead grew to 16-11. The Indians continued to challenge, but the Lady Cats held them at bay. A Crawford kill started the closing run and errors by the Indians finished off the set for the Lady Cat win, 25-17.

After a late-night road trip Wednesday, a four-set win Thursday and now a full weekend schedule, the Lady Cats had sweep on their minds. As with the first two sets, Haskell built an early advantage. This time, however, they continued to hold off the challenges of the Lady Cats. Trailing 11-8, a Grace Hancock kill cut the lead to 11-9. HINU answered, but a kill by Crawford, a Mica Chadwell service ace, and kills by Linehan and Kamryn Link, fueled a 5-0 Lady Cat run and gave them a 14-13 lead. As the Indians matched the Lady Cats point for point, Abby Chadwell and Grace Hancock found the hardwood on the Indian side of the net and the lead grew to 19-15. The Lady Cats could taste victory and kills by Hancock and Madelyn Sestak wrapped up the set three win, and the match sweep.

In a total team effort, Christa Duffle led the offensive attack with nine kills, Bailey Chamberlain added eight, and Grace Hancock and Brooklyn Crawford each slammed home seven. Kamryn Link picked up 22 assists while Abby Chadwell added 18. Mica Chadwell secured the defensive side of the net with 19 digs and Jocee Pettyjohn chipped in 11.

C of O vs Sterling College – Friday, September 1
Coming off the opening sweep over Haskell, the Lady Cats were set to face Sterling College. Sterling had just completed a sweep of Baptist Bible College, so this match looked to be a competitive battle.

The Lady Cats wanted to carry the momentum from their previous win into this match. After giving up the opening point to the warriors, the Lady Cats sprang into action. Linehan, Crawford, and Emma Godwin jump started the offense with kills, and five unanswered points built a 5-1 lead. Sterling battled but the Lady Cats continued to apply pressure. Point by point the lead began to grow. Abby Chadwell, Chamberlain, Duffel and Hancock sparked another run, and the Lady Cats built a 17-9 lead. Sterling refused to go away, however, and began to chip away. Things got intense as the end of the set approached and the Lady Cats were clinging to a 23-22 advantage. A Sterling error opened the door and an Abby Chadwell kill notched the opening set win, 25-22.

Set two was a tug of war from the opening serve. The two teams traded points, and neither could pull away. Sterling was the first to gain traction and a 3-0 run gave them some breathing room. The Lady Cats needed an answer and a Grace Hancock kill broke the string. Trailing 12-9, the Lady Cats grabbed the momentum. Kills by Crawford, Linehan and Chamberlain spurred the Lady Cats to a 17-13 lead, and they wouldn’t look back. The hit parade began, and Abby Chadwell, Kamryn Link, Christa Duffle, Grace Hancock, and Brooklyn Crawford all joined in to finish out the set for a 25-16 win.

Looking for their second sweep in as many matches, the Lady Cats had the momentum. Sterling was determined to extend the match and stole the momentum early in set three. Taking an early 3-0 lead, Sterling was prepared to battle. The Lady Cats regrouped and came back to life and soon had the score knotted at 7-7. The Warriors continued to hold off the Lady Cats and maintained a slight advantage. Trailing 15-12, the Lady Cats began to make their move. Kills by Crawford, Linehan, and a trio of smashes by Abby Chadwell fueled the rally and tied the score, 17-17. Sterling refused to give in to the Lady Cat determination for a sweep. Points were exchanged back and forth, and the tension mounted. With the score tied 24-24, The Lady Cats took a timeout. The strategy did the trick and back-to-back kills by Grace Hancock and Abby Chadwell secured the win, 26-24, and the 3-0 sweep.

Abby Chadwell recorded a rare triple double with 13 kills, 10 assists, and 10 digs. Bri Linehan pounded down 11 kills and Bailey Chamberlain and Brooklyn Crawford each racked up seven kills. Kamryn Link dished out 31 assists and the defense put together a solid team effort with Mica Chadwell leading the way with 16 digs, Kamryn Link added 12, and Jocee Pettyjohn contributed 7.

C of O vs University of Health, Sciences, and Pharmacy – Saturday, September 2
Competing in their fifth match in four days, the Lady Bobcats were hoping to maintain their momentum from the night before. Facing the University of Health, Sciences, and Pharmacy Eutectics, the Lady Cats were looking for their fifth straight win.

The opening set saw the teams trading points to a 4-4 tie. UHSP had maintained a slim advantage up to this point, but the tide began to change. A Bailey Chamberlain kill was followed by a pair of Jocee Pettyjohn service aces and the Lady Cats built a 9-5 lead. Emma Godwin, Grace Hancock, and Abby Chadwell put kills in their stat column to answer the challenges of the Eutectics and the lead grew to 12-7. Bri Linehan slammed down a pair of kills and the Lady Cats were in control. The Eutectics found some momentum and soon began to chip away at the lead. Point by point, they slowly narrowed the gap to a 22-20 Lady Cat lead. A pair of Brooklyn Crawford kills and a UHSP error sealed the win, and the Lady Cats took set one, 25-20.

Set two was all Lady Cats from the opening serve. Everything was going the C of O way and the ball repeatedly landed on the Eutectics side of the net. Crawford, Godwin, and Emma McIntire fueled the offensive attack and UHSP had no answer. Grace Hancock and Madelyn Sestak got in on the action and Mica Chadwell stepped into on offensive role for a kill of her own. When the dust settled, the Lady Cats had a commending set two win, 25-16.

Set three was more of the same as the Lady Cat confidence was on the rise. Chamberlain, Crawford, and Linehan propelled the Lady Cats out of the gate, and they would not look back. Four consecutive Chamberlain kills put the Lady Cats up 15-4 before the Eutectics could score. Christa Duffel slammed home a kill to break the serve and the Lady Cats were in full control. A series of C of O errors allowed the Eutectics to get some life, but it was short lived. Crawford, Sophie Morris, and Mica Chadwell each delivered kills to finish the set, 25-15, and the Lady Cats took the match 3-0.

Brooklyn Crawford set the offensive tone with 10 kills and Abby Chadwell piled up 34 assists. Mica Chadwell delivered 22 digs, Emma Godwin recorded 12, and Abby Chadwell and Anna Howe chipped in eight and seven digs respectively.

C of O vs Mid-America Christian University – Saturday, September 2
With back-to-back-to-back sweeps under their belt, the Lady Cats were feeling good about their week. The next opponent, however, was not one to be taken lightly. Facing Mid-America Christian University, the Lady Cats knew they would have their hands full. MACU, a common opponent in the NCCAA National Championship Tournament, came in ready to play. The Lady Cats were looking to continue their hot streak, and the two were about to clash.

Set one looked to set the tone early with both teams battling for points. Crawford and Linehan started the Lady Cat offense, but the Evangels matched them point for point. Christa Duffel and Bailey Chamberlain each added a kill but neither team could build a lead. Tied 9-9, Duffel and Linehan each slammed one home to put the Lady Cats on top and a pair of Abby Chadwell kills provided a boost in momentum. The Lady Cats continued to apply pressure and after a 7-1 run, led 20-13. MACU tried to counter but the Lady Cats were able to hold them at bay and took set one 25-19.

Set two started with MACU coming out swinging. A MACU error provided the only C of O point in the early going and a 7-1 deficit was the result. A Brooklyn Crawford kill broke the string and the Lady Cats had work to do. MACU responded to every Lady Cat Challenge and making up ground had become a difficult task. Kills by Chamberlain, Link, and Crawford helped the Lady Cats stay in contention, but a much-needed run would be the only way to close the gap. Trailing 16-9, Coach Muckenthaler called a timeout to regroup. Linahan, Chamberlain, and Kamryn Link recorded kills and Jocee Pettyjohn landed a service ace on the MACU side, and the rally had arrived. By the time the Evangels broke the serve, the Lady Cats had cut the gap to 17-16. Trading points became the norm down the stretch and the Lady Cats needed a boost to get over the hump. An Abby Chadwell kill provided the spark and a Mica Chadwell service ace gave the Lady Cats their first lead. With set point lingering in the balance, MACU took a timeout. The strategy proved ineffective as a Mica Chadwell serve was returned into a block by Abby Chadwell and Bailey Chamberlain to give the Lady Cats the set two win, 25-22.

With the Lady Cats in control, another three-set win was a possibility. Touching the threshold of victory, the Lady Cats came out strong in set three. Kills by Crawford and Abby Chadwell added to the momentum and the Lady Cats built an early 6-2 lead. C of O turned up the intensity and the pressure, continuing to land well-placed shots on the MACU side of the net. Point by point the Lady Cats began to pull away and a 4-0 run extended their lead to 17-9. MACU continued to battle but the Lady Cat attack was too much to overcome. Holding a 22-17 lead, a MACU error and a service ace by Kamryn Link set up match point. Another error by the Evangels sealed the win and the Lady Cats made it a clean sweep through the weekend classic.

Brooklyn Crawford led the offense with 12 kills, Abby Chadwell had nine, and Bailey Chamberlain recorded seven. Kamryn Link added 29 assists and Mica Chadwell led the defensive effort with 23 digs.

The Lady Cats are back in action Thursday when they visit NAIA powerhouse, Oklahoma Wesleyan.