By Shari Harris, Managing Editor
LICKING, Mo. – The Licking Lady Wildcats volleyball team played their first contest on the newly finished gym floor at the Sherman Hill Field House on Tuesday, September 12, against the Cabool Lady Bulldogs. The JV Lady ‘Cats took two straight sets to start the evening.
After a brief ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly refurbished floor, by members of the Licking R-VIII School Board, the Varsity Lady ’Cats took the floor. After dropping the first set, 24-26, Licking came roaring back to win three straight sets, 25-16, 25-14, and 25-22, and took the win.
The Salem Lady Tigers hosted Licking on Thursday, Sept. 14. The junior varsity girls kept their fans on the edge of their seats, but pulled out a win in two sets, 25-23 and 30-28.
The Varsity Lady ’Cats allowed the Lady Tigers to stay close in the second set, but won in three straight sets, 25-13, 28-26 and 25-14.
Saturday saw the team on the road for an all day tournament at Cabool. They faced Seymour, Ava, Summersville and Cabool in the Black Pool, and came through unscathed, 8-0, to earn a first round bye in the bracketed play for first place. Willow Springs finished 7-1, dropping a set to Houston, in the White Pool. Winona also finished 7-1, losing a set to Hollister.
In the semifinal round, the Willow Springs Lady Bears fought two close sets against the Winona Lady Wildcats, 25-22 and 25-23, advancing to the final round against the Licking Lady Wildcats.
Licking started strong in the final match, taking the first set 25-20 over a tough and tall Willow Springs team. The Lady Bears took control in the second set, holding the Lady ‘Cats to only 10 points for the contest. With the match resting on the final set, neither team was willing to go down without a fight. Tying the contest at 24-24 and 25-25, it was quite a contest. On match point for the Bears, leading 26-25, it looked like the Lady ’Cats would tie it again. An injury to the Willow Springs libero who was on the floor in the center of play left the officials no choice but to blow their whistle. This forced a replay of the point, just as it seemed Licking would score. Willow took the final point to win first in the Cabool Tournament, 2 sets to 1. The Licking Lady Wildcats brought home the second place plaque.