STOVER — La Monte’s defense was no match for Stover’s smooth offense Tuesday as the Lady Bulldogs beat the Lady Vikings 25-8, 25-13.
La Monte wasn’t able to run many set plays to help its offense and Stover’s passing was spot on during the first set.
Aliyah Mitchell and Mallory Uptegrove started the first set with a kill each.
Uptegrove later made it 4-1 and Mitchell tapped the ball over for a point to start Tuesday’s action with a 5-1 run.
“Kudos to the back row because their passing was phenomenal (Tuesday),” said Stover coach Carrie Hewett. “Ashley Schroder, she’s been harder on herself all season to get better in back. When she passes it, Lacey (Buck) sets it up and Mallory gets the kill.”
Schroder was the go-to hitter for most of the first set, getting six of her seven kills on the night in that game.
“I was happy that she was able to get more,” Hewett said. “Usually she’s running three or four kills a night, but (Tuesday) she really stepped it up.”
She accounted for five straight Stover points at one point to help build a 16-5 lead.
She finished off a long volley with a kill to make it 12-4 and got another kill for the next point.
After Stover hit the ball out of play to make it 13-5, Stover passed it to Schroder for three straight kills.
The Lady Bulldogs started the second set off slow with La Monte taking a 3-1 lead.
The Lady Vikings’ offense started clicking a bit more as a kill made it 3-1.
Stover ended up taking a 7-3 lead, but a La Monte kill and a Stover serve that went out of bounds two points later made it 8-5.
Stover struggled with its serving in the second set, with six of them either going out of bounds or into the net.
“I think they just kind of let up a little bit, got a little comfortable,” Hewett said.
The score remained close as a Stover serve into the net made it 12-9, but the Lady Bulldogs finished off the match with a 13-4 run.
Uptegrove led the offensive attack in the second set and ended up with a team-high 16 kills. She also had four digs and three blocks.
“Our block game hasn’t been as strong as I want it to be,” Hewett said. “When we see Cole Camp or Green Ridge or Sacred Heart this week in the conference tournament, I think we’re going to have to block because they bring the big hitters. I told her I wanted four blocks, she got three.”
Buck was able to get the ball to Uptegrove and Schroder with good sets and ended up with 21 assists.
The Kaysinger Conference Tournament starts Thursday in Cole Camp. Stover will play Northwest at 5:30 p.m. and Otterville at 7:30 p.m.
La Monte will play Cole Camp at 5:30 p.m. and Windsor at 6:30 p.m.
Jason Strickland can be reached at 660-530-0147 or on Twitter @J_Strick_Sports.