Kennett outlasts Fredericktown in three sets in C3D1 volleyball quarterfinal

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Kennett's Caroline Patton (left) eyes a set by Fredericktown's Libby Montgomery in a Class 3, District 1 volleyball quarterfinal Monday at Dexter High School.

DEXTER, Mo. - The Kennett Indians volleyball squad spent the weekend preparing to take on the Fredericktown Blackcats in its district tournament.

“We’ve been excited about this game,” Kennett coach Taylor Miller said. “We came in and practiced Sunday. We got some swings in and practiced our plays.”

Fresh off the weekend work, No. 4 seeded Kennett outlasted No. 5 seeded Fredericktown 25-20, 19-25, 25-21 Monday in a Class 3, District 1 quarterfinal at Dexter High School.

"I thought the hard work we put in over the weekend showed tonight in the first and third sets,” Miller said. "We kind of fell asleep in the second set, but it happens.”

Kennett never trailed the decisive set. The Indians jumped out to a 10-5 lead and increased its lead as large as 17-8 after it scored six straight points.

Fredericktown followed with a 13-5 run of its own. The Blackcats cut the Indians’ lead to 22-21 after Kayleigh Slinkard and Kyndal Dodd recorded consecutive kills.

But Kennett spoiled the potential comeback when it scored the next three points on a Fredericktown attack error and a pair of kills by Melena Green.

“We talked with our setters about making smart plays and finding a way to hit our spots and I think we did a good job of getting the ball down on those final plays,” Miller said.

A closely contested opening set was tied seven times before Fredericktown moved ahead 16-15. Kennett responded with the next four points to take a 19-16 lead. The spurt included a pair of kills by Camille Thomas and a kill by Macy New.

Fredericktown cut Kennett’s lead back to two three times at 19-17, 21-19, and 22-20 before the Indians scored the final three points of the opening set.

Kennett recorded the first three points of the second set but Fredericktown followed with the next 10 points to move ahead 10-3. Kennett got as close as 22-18 late in the second set but never caught Fredericktown.

Green and New finished with nine kills each for the Indians. Green also had four ace serves. Eliza Raspberry had a team-high four blocks for Kennett.

Linley Rehkop tallied 11 of the Blackcats’ 21 kills.

"We struggled a little bit blocking their good hitters at times,” Miller said. “Thankfully our good back row was able to get some passes up.”

Kennett improves to 19–9-3 with its eighth victory in its last 10 games. Kennett plays No. 1 seeded Perryville (23-6-2) in a Class 3, District 1 semifinal Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Dexter.

“I tell our girls all the time, “We’ve got the skill. Our struggle is getting everyone to show up at the same time,’” Miller said. “If we can all show up at the same time I think we will have a pretty good chance on Tuesday.”

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