BELMONT – After going 0-4 at their first tournament to open the season, first-year Belmont coach Lauren Drury was hoping for better results out of her Lady Braves to start Six Rivers West play.
Despite a couple of slow starts, Drury got her wish as the Braves rallied from behind to defeat Cassville, 3-1, and Benton, 3-1, to begin league play last week.
“That 0-4 start was kind of a scare, so it’s a really nice turn around to start conference off 2-0. It felt good,” said Drury. “We came out kind of slow (in each match). I hope we don’t do that all season.”
At Benton, on Thursday, Aug. 30, the Lady Braves rallied from an opening set loss by posting a pair of come-from-behind decisions over the Zephyrs, then rolled over the hosts in set four to pull out a 3-1 victory.
“The girls did a nice job down the stretch (in games). It’s really nice to see the effort by all the girls. The mental focus we have is pulling us through at the end when we need it. When the game is so tight, you have to be mentally focused and I feel like our girls were,” Drury explained.
The Zephyrs (0-1 in SRW) jumped out to an early 17-8 lead in set one and held off a late push by the Braves (2-4 overall, 2-0) to pull out a 25-21 decision.
Belmont got as close as 17-15 after a six-point service run by Cassie McCarthy, but Zephyr hitters Sarah Redfearn and Jenna Droessler came back with two spike kills apiece down the stretch to seal the win for the hosts.
The Zephyrs appeared on their way to another win in set two after Bailey Redfearn buried three straight jump-serve aces to put the hosts ahead 23-18, however the Braves’ rally would not be denied this time around.
A kill by McCarthy gave the Braves the serve, then Jordyn Kamps served the Orange-and-Black into the lead with five straight points. The lead see-sawed between the teams until a pair of hitting errors gave Belmont a 26-25 lead, and Keegan Kamps followed with a spike kill to win it.
After trading the lead 11 times in set two and playing to 13 ties, the teams were back-and-forth with one another in set three with seven more lead changes and 13 more ties.
Benton took leads at 23-22, 24-23 and 25-24 on kills by S. Redfearn, but after a missed serve tied the score at 25 all, J. Kamps hammered down back-to-back kills to give the Braves another 27-25 win and a 2-1 lead.
The Zephyrs jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in set four on aces by Melissa Brant (two) and Alyssa Leeser (one), but the Braves came storming back with a 13-3 scoring run to double up the hosts, 14-7. K. Kamps took care of the rest down the stretch, registering three spike kills and serving up the final four points to seal the match victory with a 25-13 decision.
Ke. Kamps finished with 12 kills and seven blocks to lead the Braves, while S. Redfearn recorded 20 kills for the Zephyrs.
Katelyn Schobert contributed a team-high 30 assists for the Braves, while Brianna Riechers served up six aces and Audrey Wedig led the team with five digs.
At Belmont, on Tuesday, Aug. 28, the Braves didn’t have to wait long to avenge a loss to Cassville from the Six Rivers Tournament as they opened league play by posting three straight wins to rally from a 0-1 deficit to take down the Comets.
Cassville (0-2) began the night with a 25-14 win, but the Braves answered back with wins of 25-10, 25-19 and 25-18 to take the match from the Comets.
Ke. Kamps tallied 15 kills and Jordyn Kamps registered 13 kills for Belmont.
Belmont heads to Highland on Thursday, Sept. 6, and hosts Shullsburg on Tuesday, Sept. 11, in SRW play.
Cassville……. 25 10 19 18
Belmont…..… 14 25 25 25
Belmont…..… 21 27 27 25
Cassville……. 25 25 25 13
RICHLAND CENTER INVITATIONAL
Championship: Richland Center, 5-0.
Pool results: Hillsboro def. Belmont, 25-13, 25-15; Richland Center def. Belmont, 25-13, 25-6; Belmont def. Kickapoo, 25-21, 25-27, 15-11; Richland Center Varsity Reserve def. Belmont, 25-19, 25-21; Belmont def. Benton, 25-22, 25-20.
Belmont stat leaders: Kills- Jordyn Kamps 26, Keegan Kamps 20, Cassie McCarthy 18. Blocks- K. Kamps 10, McCarthy 3, Brianna Riechers 3. Aces- K. Kamps 4, Katelyn Schobert 3, J. Kamps 3. Assists- Schobert 52. Digs- K. Kamps 26, J. Kamps 15, McCarthy 14.
At RCHS, Saturday, Sept. 1