Austin

Courtney Austin goes up high for a spike against Sherwood.

Buffalo’s volleyball team split a couple of Ozark Mountain Conference games last week, losing at Butler on Sept. 18 and defeating Sherwood at home on Sept. 20. The Lady Bison are now 8-4-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play.

At Butler the Lady Bison won the first set 25-21, but lost 20-25, 19-25 for their only league defeat thus far. No stats were available for this game, but Coach Carmen Smith said, “We played a good first set, but just didn’t get things going in the next two. We have moments of greatness, but too many errors at other moments.”

The Sherwood Lady Marksmen came to town Thursday, and Buffalo was able to hold off the visitors 25-12, 25-22. The Lady Bison jumped out to a 6-1 lead and never trailed in the opening set. Sherwood fought back to trail 6-3, but then Delaney Miller whacked a hard spike to make it 7-3. She then served two more points with the help of a good hit by Bethany Lancaster.

The visitors clawed their way back to within two points at 9-7, but never got that close again. After Buffalo broke the serve to lead 10-7, sophomore Brooke Jacobs sparked the Lady Bison with four straight service points for a 14-7 advantage. The Lady Marksmen were unable to handle a couple of the serves, and Madison Andrews won one of the points with a nice block/tip shot.

With Buffalo leading 18-10, senior Lexi Jacks served five straight points to extend the advantage to 23-10. For the most part, Sherwood was simply unable to return her serve.

“We played like we wanted to win against Sherwood,” Smith said. “The first time we played them we won 25-23 both sets, so we knew it should be another good game, but we had to play to win every point. We came out and dominated the first set, with very few errors on our side.”

Momentum can change quickly in almost any sport, but it seems like volleyball is the most volatile. At least this was the case Thursday night when Sherwood raced to a 7-0 lead in the second set, with six straight service points by Reagan Moody.

A timeout enabled the Lady Bison to get things together somewhat, but Sherwood still led 10-2 a few minutes later. Buffalo began to gradually chip away at the deficit, however, and a spike by Allison Mankey and a great diving save by Maddie Jacobs enabled the Lady Bison to pick up two points.

Things began to look even better when Andrews served two points, helped by a dink shot by Brooke Jacobs to make it 11-7. A couple of minutes later, Maddie Jacobs served four straight points to tie the contest at 12-12. Her third serve hit the floor just inside the back line.

Sherwood went back in front 15-13, and even increased its lead to 22-18 before Lancaster blocked a shot for a point. Andrews then closed out the game with six straight service points. Lancaster got one of the points with a hard spike, served up by Brooke Jacobs, then Lancaster hit a bump shot back over her head that landed just inside the sideline. Sherwood hit Andrews’ final serve wide, so Buffalo won 25-22.

Stats for the game against Sherwood were: Jack 4 aces, 10 assists, 3 digs; Brooke Jacobs 2 aces 1 kill, 9 assists, 1 dig; Maddie Jacobs 2 aces, 5 digs; Miller 7 kills, 3 digs; Andrews 2 aces, 1 kill, 14 digs; Lancaster 5 kills; Mankey 3 kills, 1 dig; Courtney Austin 2 kills, 2 digs; Andrea Brown 2 kills, 1 dig; Alyea Portis 1 kill, 7 digs.

The Lady Bison were scheduled to play at Springfield Parkview yesterday (Tuesday) and will host Clinton Thursday. They will play in the Stockton Tournament on Saturday.

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