Serving also plays key role in victory

The Lady Mustang volleyball team began South Central Conference play Sept. 8 in Chariton and has put itself in a position to be a contender in the conference race after just one match. Davis County scored a 3-0 win over Chariton, winning each set easily by scores of 25-14, 25-16 and 25-14.

Just two weeks into the conference season, Knoxville and Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont are both 2-0. Davis County had its bye week in week one, so last week’s Chariton victory was their first chance to play a conference opponent. As for the rest of the conference teams, Albia is 1-1, Clarke is 0-1, and Centerville and Chariton are now both 0-2.

Davis County started out last week’s match playing well at the net and serving well from the line. Chariton struggled to get things going against the Lady Mustangs and the Chargers just seemed a step slow all night long.

Davis County started out the opening set with a kill from Briley Lough. Lough added a pair of ace serves and Davis County was off and rolling.

Kara Greiner followed that with an ace serve of her own. Bryce Dixon scored on a tip on the left side before kills from Lough and Morgan Petefish helped boost Davis County to a 12-5 lead.

Chariton struggled to get its offense set up against the Davis County attack. Kill attempts hit wide and hitting violations helped Davis County build that early lead.

The Chargers did get some momentum and even picked up a few ace serves of their own from Avery Hall. Davis County also struggled to get its kill attempts inbounds during this stretch as the Chargers cut Davis County’s lead to 13-12.

Serving was the key for Davis County in this opening set. Chloe Fetcho added an ace serve after Lough scored on a tip. Lough then put together a run of three ace serves as the Lady Mustangs built that lead back up. Kills from Kayla Joos, Petefish, Dixon and Sophia Young put Davis County back in complete control. Greiner capped off the 25-14 victory with an ace serve.

Early miscues by the lady Mustangs in the second set helped Chariton gain an early lead. The Chargers took advantage of the rally and built a 7-2 lead over Davis County.

The five-point deficit didn’t get Davis County down. Instead, the girls took a minute to gather their focus and stormed back against the Chargers. Dixon and Petefish picked up kills when Chariton struggled with its defensive play. Young and Petefish added ace serves. A kill from Joos tied the score at 10-10.

Davis County continued the barrage of hitting at the net, forcing the Chargers back on their heels defensively. The Lady Mustangs kept pounding the ball at Chariton with kills from Joos and Young firing balls from the middle and left sides. A couple of ace serves from Lough and a block from Dixon on the right side kept things going. Another ace from Greiner capped off a 12-3 run and put Davis County up 22-13.

Davis County scored on three Chariton miscues to end the set with a 25-16 win.

Chariton started the third set with some nice serving from Lexi Smyser. She put down two ace serves and then helped the Chargers to a 6-2 lead over Davis County.

Davis County dialed its offense in again after falling behind early. Petefish picked up a kill and a tip from the middle to get it going. Greiner’s ace serve kept things going before Young and Petefish added kills. Olivia Murry capped off the scoring run with an ace serve as Davis County took a 13-7 lead at the midway point of the set.

Davis County dominated the match from that point on. Young and Petefish mixed things up at the net and scored on tips that caught the Chargers off guard. Greiner, Petefish, and Stephyn Wilfawn all had kills in the later stages of the set.  

Back row play from Greiner, Lough, Fetcho, Young, Petefish, Murry and Thompson helped keep that Lady Mustang offense on top of its game. The girls passed well and kept feeding Fetcho with good passes to set up the front row hitting.

“It was nice to open up conference play with a win. We started out a little rough in each set but were able to turn it around and take control. I’m encouraged by this team’s ability to chip away at a deficit. Don’t count them out too early. They have been able to turn it around in several sets this season already,” said Coach Brooke Mason.

“Our serving was solid, which we have been working on quite a bit. We served 90% in this match, but what was most impressive is that we had 17 aces in three sets. Briley Lough’s serving accounted for eight of those aces, and Kara Greiner picked up four. It was nice to see our girls serving so aggressively,” she said.

“Our hitters were pretty efficient tonight — Sophia and Morgan with eight kills and seven kills respectively. Chloe did a nice job moving the ball around for us and putting our hitters in position to put the ball down,” she said.

“Next Tuesday’s match will be an important one for us. We’re looking forward to the challenge,” she said of playing Knoxville on Sept. 15.

Davis County finishes out this week with the Ottumwa Tournament and will resume South Central Conference play next week at Albia.

Serving—Briley Lough, 19-20, 8 aces; Kara Greiner, 15-17, 4 aces; Morgan Petefish, 10-11, 1 ace; Sophia Young, 8-10, 1 ace; Chloe Fetcho, 5-5, 1 ace; Olivia Murry, 4-4, 2 aces and Avery Thompson, 2-3.

Hitting—Young, 20-21, 8 kills; Petefish, 12-12, 7 kills; Lough, 7-11, 4 kills; Joos, 5-6, 4 kills; Dixon, 4-7, 4 kills; Kallie Greiner, 5-5, 4 kills; Fetcho, 2-2, 1 kill; Stephyn Wilfawn, 2-3, 1 kill and Kara Greiner, 1-1.

Assists—Chloe Fetcho, 29; Bryce Dixon, 1 and Kayla Joos, 1.

Digs—Kara Greiner, 10; Lough, 9; Fetcho, 6; Young, 6; Petefish, 3; Murry, 3; Thompson, 2; Tranquilino, 1 and Schooley, 1.

Blocks—Dixon, 1; Joos, 1; Petefish, 1; Young, 1 and Lough, 1.