Buffalo’s volleyball team finished in second place in the newly formed Ozark Mountain Conference, barely behind champion El Dorado Springs. The Lady Bison’s season ended Monday night, however, with a loss to California in the opening round of the district tournament.
“El Dorado Springs is a tough team, and going into the championship match we were very even,” Bison coach Carmen Smith said. “We split at the Stockton Tournament, we beat them in three sets when they came to Buffalo, and that led to the conference championship match.”
She continued: “It was at our fingertips, and instead of going to get it we backed off too much. They won in three sets and became conference champions.”
In the Class 3 district tournament Monday at California, the sixth-seeded Lady Bison played third-seeded California and lost 15-25, 11-25.
“We did not start off well and couldn’t seem to get going offensively the first set at all,” Smith said. “We battled, but just didn’t finish.”
Smith said the team had some good games and bad games this year, but she feels the girls grew as a team throughout the season. She said the team must become more mentally tough.
“That was our biggest weakness this season,” Smith said. “We have great girls and they have a ton of potential. I have to find a way to get them to their potential and not hold back any intensity while they are on the court. This is something that we will have to work on in the off season.”
In the California game, Delaney Miller led the way with 8 kills and 8 digs, and Lexi Jack had 2 kills, 8 assists and 1 dig. Bethany Lancaster added 4 kills, 1 dig and 1 assist while Madison Andrews had 1 kill and 9 digs.
In the last two regular season games the Lady Bison defeated Butler 25-14, 22-25, 25-16 and lost to El Dorado Springs 16-25, 25-19, 13-25.
Against Butler, Lexi Jack had 24 assists, 4 aces and 3 digs. Miller had 3 aces, 13 kills and 4 digs while Lancaster added 9 kills and 1 dig. Brooke Jacobs racked up 18 assists, 7 digs and 2 aces while Maddie Jacobs registered 11 digs. Andrews had 5 kills and 10 digs and Grace Phillips had 3 digs.
Stats in the El Dorado Springs game were: Brooke Jacobs, 2 digs, 14 assists; Phillips 4 digs; Lancaster 6 kills, 1 block; Miller 13 kills, 2 blocks; Andrews 8 digs.