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Ava Volleyball Lady Bears Open Season at Sparta

Last Thursday evening the Ava Lady Bears traveled to Sparta to take on the Lady Trojans for their season opener.
The night started off well with the JV squad earning their first victory in a 3 set match: 16-25, 25-18 and 26-24.  Tough serving and consistent passing led the Lady Bears to their first victory of the season.
Later in the evening the varsity squad took to the floor and didn’t fare as well.
“We had a lot of silly errors, like players in the net and missed serves,” said Coach Sarah Roy. “It’s really hard to gain momentum and play well when we are beating ourselves,” she added.
The Lady Bears dropped the first set 13-15 and the second set 17-15.  The Lady Bears had four aces for the match, one each from Darian Bushong, Alena Stokes, Bailey Loge and Caley Wallace.
Courtney Mings led the team in kills with three, followed by Rachel Swofford and Erica Croney with two apiece.
The Lady Bears traveled to Springfield Catholic Tuesday night and lost in three sets, 9-25, 25-23, 16-25.
The JV started off the night with a two set loss with scores of 26-28 and 23-25.  The JV team battled every point with consistent hitting from Shelby Bushong.  Cera Longino also did a good job setting and Kira Collett stepped up and did a great job passing.
The varsity squad lost to the Fighting Irish in three sets.
“The first set was a real struggle for the girls. I was glad to see them get after it and play tough in the last two sets,” said Coach Roy.
A stronger attacking game in the second set led by Erica Croney, really got the offense started. Croney the led the team in kills with six, and Alena Stokes also contributed four kills. Courtney Mings and Bailey Loge added two each, and Darian Bushong added one.
The Lady Bears also had a more consistent serving game missing only seven serves through the three sets.
Bushong, Loge, and Caley Wallace all added one ace a piece. Rachel Swofford, Bushong, and Croney helped out the defense by getting stops on the ball with their blocking.  Loge, Brandee Cutbirth, and Maddie Guill stepped up and played great defense which kept the team in the game during the last two sets.
“The girls really moved well and hustled after the ball,” Coach Roy commented. “Catholic figured out some spots that we weren’t covering which really hurt us in the long run,” said Roy.
You can see the Lady VolleyBears in action at home tonight (Thursday) when they host the Spokane Owls. That will be a three match encounter, beginning with the freshmen at 5 o’clock.
The girls will play at Fordland on Sept. 9 and will be home on Thursday, Sept. 12, against Marshfield.