The Neosho 7th grade girls won the Tri-County Conference Tournament last night in Neosho.
Their path to the title included victories over Joplin East (25-7, 25-8), Nevada (25-14, 25-13), and Joplin South in the championship match 25-18 25-16. Neosho had previously defeated South 25-21, 23-25, 26-24 in the regular season.
In the championship match, Neosho used superior serving and net play to keep South from gaining any momentum. Allison Burr and Cami Roy led the Wildcats in service points with 10 and 9. Mikayla Hays added seven service points, including five in a row late in the second game.
Game one was highlighted by the net play of Neosho. Cami Roy set the tone on the second point of the night with a left-handed kill. Maddie Rea, Caitlin Jordon and Laken Schnackenberg dominated the net the rest of the way.
"Maddie was great in the middle of the net in the first game,” said coach Tony Branscum. “She made several solid plays for us."
Schnackenberg's stuff block and kill on the next two points helped Neosho seize control of the match early. Joplin could not handle the trio at the net. With Neosho leading, 14-12, Allison Burr went on a five-serve run to increase Neosho's lead to 19-12.
"Allison is as steady of a player as you will find," Branscum said.
Jordon finished game one off with a kill from the right side.
Game two saw Joplin overcome an early deficit to claim an 11-9 lead on Neosho.
After a timeout, Neosho went on a 10-2 run fueled by some of the best volleyball the team has played all year.
Schnackenberg and Hays served during the rally with Roy and Schnackenberg setting Neosho's hitters up for several attacks. Emilee Anderson made some timely passes as the libero.
"If our passers on the back row don't make those plays on the Joplin attacks this could have been an entirely different match," Branscum said.
Burr and Roy closed the game out from the service line with Jordon attacking two or three times in one point to finally break Joplin.
Neosho A is now 11-2 and Tri-County Conference champs. They will compete in the COC Tournament this Saturday in Branson.
Neosho B finished their season last week and amassed a season record of 8-2. Neosho B was undefeated in Tri-County Conference play.