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Volleyball team has long week of action

by Tad Brewer
Landmark reporter

The Lady Pirate volleyball team began what would be a long week of game-play, starting with a tough loss to a visiting St. Mary’s team.

Platte County lost both of the matches against St. Mary’s. In game one, the Lady Pirates lost 15-8 despite some long rallies. In game two, Platte County played them much closer and even had the lead for a while near the conclusion of the game, but the Lady Pirates still fell 16-14.

“We were off on our hits and for the match had 19 bad spikes, some of which were blocked by St. Mary’s,” said head coach Kathy Hatfield. “We definitely played less than our best and let this one slip by.”

Senior Julie Cook led Platte County with six points followed by senior Megan Nichols who had five. Cook also had 11 good spikes and six kills with Nichols next with 10 spikes and 5 kills. Sophomore Brandie Scott had nine spikes with three kills. Junior Tara Porter led the team with 12 assists and was followed by senior Jessica McCammon who had 6. Sophomore Brea Schockey had the one and only ace block for Platte County.

The night following the loss to St. Mary’s, Platte County hosted the West Platte Blue Jays. The Lady Pirates won the match with ease by scores of 15-1 and 15-2.

“We were dominant in all phases of the game,” Hatfield said. “West Platte had trouble with our tough serves.”

Senior Erin McPherson and Nichols led Platte County with eight points apiece, and Cook added six of her own. Nichols and Cook combined for 14 good spikes and 7 kills. Porter had eight assists.

Two days after the victory over West Platte, conference rival Cameron came into town. The Lady Pirates snatched the lead of the conference with a win over Cameron.

In game one, Platte County fell behind early and at one time trailed 11-2, but were able to rally back and tie the score up at 11 each. In the end, Cameron was able to hold the Lady Pirates off 15-12.

Cameron and Platte County played equally in the second game and were both tied at seven apiece, but the Lady Pirates pulled away for Cameron and won 15-9.

Both teams tried to take the lead in game three, and remained tied through eight points. The Lady Pirates were able to overcome Cameron by a score of 15-10.

“It proved to be a hard game for both teams and a good conference battle,” said Hatfield.

Porter had 19 points and 5 timely ace serves. Nichols and McPherson both had seven points each. Nichols also had 29 good hits and 16 kills, Cook had 15 god spikes with 3 kills, and McPherson had 14 good spikes and 5 kills. Schockey had eight total blocks, four of which were aces, and Cook and Nichols both had two blocks apiece. Nichols and Porter together combined for seven of the ten ace dinks. Porter led the team with 24 assists; McCammon followed Porter up with 4.

The Lady Pirates will be assured the conference title if they can defeat Savannah Oct. 18 in Savannah. If the Pirates lose they will tie for conference champion with Benton.

Platte County’s next action of the week came at the Truman Tournament.

In the first game of the tournament, the Lady Pirates had a tough draw taking on a 14-2 Blue Springs team. Everyone on the front row for Blue Springs was over six feet tall and they dominated the net against the Lady Pirates. Blue Springs won by the score of 15-4 in both games. Platte County were able to put down 18 good spikes as a team with 4 kills and 3 ace dinks.

“They were the biggest team we’ve played,” Hatfield said. “With their height, they really took away any offense we had.”

The next game of the tournament pitted the Lady Pirates into a duel with the William Chrisman squad. Chrisman did not have the height advantage that Blue Springs did, but they were very aggressive and had just split a match against Blue Springs.

The Lady Pirates lost to Chrisman in consecutive games by scores of 15-6 and 15-8. Platte County had numerous rallies and even had a chance to win game two. Cook served five straight points and had a match high nine points in game two. The Lady Pirates served 100 percent as a team and had 23 good hits but only nine kills. The 6’1” junior Cassie Philipi had 10 blocks against Chrisman, and 23 total on the day.

“Chrisman was just scrappy and wouldn’t let the ball hit the floor,” said Hatfield. “They were definitely a very good team.”

The final match of the tournament put Platte County up against Winnetonka. The Lady Pirates won both games against Winnetonka 15-12, 15-12. Winnetonka was another large team that had a 6’3” middle blocker that Platte County had to hit around. The Lady Pirates served 97 percent as a team. McCammon led the team with nine service points and was followed by Nichols who had eight points. Cook led with 18 good spikes.

“We played well at the net both hitting and blocking and our digging was good,” Hatfield said.

Senior Kecia Willoughby, junior Amanda Cole, and McCammon did the entire back row digging for the Lady Pirates.

Platte County’s match at Savannah Oct. 18, is their final match before districts begin on Oct. 22.