Willard started fast and never looked back on Thursday as the Lady Tigers downed Neosho in two sets, 25-10, 25-18, in Central Ozark Conference varsity volleyball action at NHS.
The Lady Wildcats started slow in the first game and never recovered as the Lady Tigers controlled the match from the onset. After another slow start in the second game, the Lady Wildcats attempted to make a late run, but Willard sniffed it out and put the cap on it quickly.
“The first game we didn’t come ready to play, at all,” Lady Wildcats coach Kerri Roy said. “We had a ton of mental mistakes … errors like that that we talked about (Wednesday) in practice and worked on. It’s frustrating.
“The second game we did better — got on a roll there toward the end of the game and, you know, just (couldn’t) pull it out.”
While she didn’t show up amongst the leaders, Neosho’s Mallory Powell had a good game.
“I thought Mallory did a really good job,” Roy said. “She’s really stepped up. She’s just, we talked about her being a ballhawk. Wherever the ball is going to be that’s where she is. She’s really stepped up into that role.”
Paige Owings led the Lady Tigers with eight kills, while Kate Bushnell turned in five blocks, MaKenzie Bouse had 15 assists and McKenzie Hunt finished with four aces.
Morgan Rogers led the Lady Wildcats with three aces and five kills, while Kennedy Lyerla turned in six assists, Chelsey Henry had five digs and Brooke Stauffer finished with two blocks.
Neosho fell to 4-14-1 overall. Willard improved to 13-7-1.
Willard won the B match, 25-11, 25-11.
Neosho won the 9th grade game, 25-19, 25-17.
The Lady Wildcats are back in action at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Republic.