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Volleyball Senior Night Tonight; District Play Starts Monday

The Ava Lady Bears volleyball team will play their final home games of the season tonight (Thursday), hosting Springfield Central.
The matches are scheduled to begin at 5 o’clock with the freshman contest, followed by the junior varsity, then the varsity.
Prior to the varsity match, senior players will be recognized.
District play begins next week with Ava playing in the Class 2, District 9 tournament at Cabool.
Ava is seeded fourth in the district tournament and will play Willow Springs in first round action at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20.
Liberty is the top seed in the district tournament, with Licking ranked second, and Cabool No. 3. Willow Springs is seeded fifth, followed by Houston and Plato.
With a win Monday night, Ava would face Liberty, which has a first-round bye, on Tuesday at 5 o’clock. Both semifinals matches, as well as the championship contest, will be held on Tuesday night.
Ava traveled to Liberty on Tuesday, Oct. 7, to face a very tough Lady Eagles team, losing in straight sets, 24-14, 25-13.
“We hit a big brick wall with this game,” was the comment from Coach Sarah Roy.
The coach said her team was playing fairly well, and had the opponent not been as consistent as Liberty, she feels her Lady Bears could have turned the game around, but Liberty would not allow that to happen.
“Our go to hitters weren’t able to put the ball away like they have been able to do in recent games and that makes it really hard for the girls to regroup,” Coach Roy said.
“They had a couple of girls that could really crush the ball and if we weren’t getting good touches at the net from our blockers we had an extremely hard time getting the ball back up.”
Coach Roy said the team had worked on a game plan during the previous weeks to try and throw them out of system. “When we executed what we had worked on, it really helped us out.  We definitely had hopes of performing better,” Coach Roy said.
Alena Stokes had three kills for Ava and Bailey Loge had two ace serves. Cera Longino had three assists and Destiny Sparnicht had two assists and a kill. Maddie Guill and Dusty Graham each had one kill.
Ava junior varsity also lost in two sets, 25-14, 25-12.
Marissa Reynolds had one ace serve and one assist, Jasmine Dalton had one kill, and Sierra Boatman had an ace.
The JV girls started out really strong in the first set but started to struggle in the middle of the set and just couldn’t get their momentum back.
In the second set Ava really rallied with Liberty. “But, Coach Roy said, “our defense wasn’t able to keep up with how hard they were hitting at us.”