OTTERVILLE — The first Kaysinger Conference match for Otterville started off fast as it had a late 21-18 lead, but the Sacred Heart Gremlins finished off the first set to win 26-24 and took the second set 25-9 to win the match.
“We’re the newbies,” said Otterville coach Diane Shipley. “We’ve just got to come out and work hard and show them we’re not just going to roll over.”
The Lady Eagles led 13-8 in the first set after Sacred Heart hit it into the net.
The Gremlins tied it up at 13 apiece when Otterville hit the ball out of play and neither team led by more than two until the Gremlins hit it out to make it 19-16 Otterville.
“They were nervous in the beginning but they didn’t really look like it in the first run,” Shipley said. “… They came out and worked hard and didn’t give up.”
Otterville led 23-20 before a serve went out of bounds and Anna Callis got a kill to pull the Gremlins within one.
The ensuing serve hit the net, but Otterville couldn’t return the ball on the next play and Callis finished off the set with three straight aces.
“At times this year we’ve looked good,” said Sacred Heart coach David Fall. “We’ve done all the little things, talked early, other times we kind of take things for granted and we won’t talk to each other.”
Shipley said just being able to make the first set close and almost coming away with a win got morale up for the team.
“That was exciting for them,” she said. “That’s a good thing for them. I told them if we play like that all the way through against some of the other teams and finish it then we’ll do great.”
The Gremlins raced out to a 4-0 lead in the second set and went ahead 7-2 after Addy Wright’s ace.
Otterville’s Natalie Schoen set up Dalanney Stone for a kill to make it 7-3.
After trading a point, the Gremlins went on a 9-0 run to take a 17-4 lead. Laura Wadley capped off the run with a block.
Otterville’s Emily Gorrell was able to get two late kills to make it 19-7 and 21-8 and Otterville then got an ace, but the Lady Eagles hit it into the net twice and the Gremlins got two aces to score the final four points.
“Hats off to Otterville,” Fall said. “They’ve done a great job working hard. They worked our girls up and hopefully our girls will go home and practice harder (Wednesday).”
Otterville (1-1) will host Smithton on Thursday. Sacred Heart (2-1) will play at Sweet Springs on Thursday.
Jason Strickland can be reached at 660-530-0147 or on Twitter @J_Strick_Sports.