The Smith-Cotton volleyball team honored its seniors, then closed out the regular season with a 25-10, 25-12 win over Center.
S-C finishes the regular season 24-2-1, 11-1 in the West Central Conference, taking the conference title for the first time since 1992.
“I feel like the girls were really pumped up about senior night and they played a great, strong game,” said S-C coach Darcia Koetting. “We had some great serves (Thursday) and our offense was flowing really well. That always takes a good pass from the back row and they were spot on with defense, getting the pass up. We had a nice set going on and we put the ball down (Thursday).”
S-C came out firing in game one with a pair of kills from Montana Hedrick and an ace from Emilee Edgar to make it 4-2. After Center answered, Courtney Koetting knocked down a pair of kills and another kill from Hedrick made it 12-5 Smith-Cotton. Hedrick sent down another couple of kills and added an ace as the Lady Tigers closed out the first game.
In the second game, S-C scored the first three points, one being a kill from Hedrick. Rita Hanch had a kill for the Yellowjackets but Courtney Koetting answered with a kill and then went to work from the service line. She had back-to-back aces, then another ace moments later to put the Lady Tigers up 9-2. Center never got much going after that and Bailey Curry ended it with a kill.
Curry finished with four kills and four digs. Tori Jacobi had four assists, a kill and a block. Hedrick had six kills, a block, two aces and six digs. Darby Simon and Jenna Rapp each had a block. Edgar had three digs. Fernanda Alexander had five digs. Courtney Koetting had nine assists, four kills, a block, five aces and two digs.
In addition to winning the WCC outright, the Lady Tigers also wrap up a regular season that saw them set a school record for wins.
“The girls have been focused on one goal at a time and now we’ve got our eye on districts and we really want that district win this year,” Koetting said.
Smith-Cotton will open the district tournament on Tuesday at Troy Buchanan. The Lady Tigers will play the winner of Monday’s first round game between Troy Buchanan and Hannibal.
“We’re going to go down Monday and scout the other teams and see what’s happening, get a good night’s rest because we have a three-hour trip,” Darcia Koetting said. “We’re going to get up Tuesday and just really focus on team bonding and getting us together. We’re really tight-knit and close. We’re going to work on the mental aspect of it during the day on Tuesday and then go out full-guns on Tuesday night ready for our 5 p.m. game.”
Eric Ingles can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @Eric_Ingles