In a rematch of last year’s Class 1 sectional in which Osceola knocked off Green Ridge at Osceola, the Lady Indians did it again, downing the Lady Tigers 17-25, 25-22, 25-14 in the championship match of the Class 1 District 12 Tournament Oct. 24 at Green Ridge.
“You can’t let this loss overshadow our other 30 wins,” said Green Ridge Lady Tiger coach Lori Larimore, whose team closed out its season with a 30-4-1 record. “We knew coming in that this was going to be a tough game. Osceola is a great team. They are the only Class 1 team we’ve lost to this year. We beat them here earlier, but they got us in the one that counted.”
Looking back, the accomplishments of the five graduating Lady Tigers – Ragin Dillon, Jordyn Smith, Clare Chamberlin, Jourdan Williams and Brittany Maher – the numbers are astounding. In four years, this year’s seniors won 105 matches, two district championships, made two sectional appearances, won three straight Kaysinger Conference Tournament championships, went undefeated at 9-0 in this year’s Kaysinger regular season to win the crown, finished second in the Willard Tournament and third in the Versailles Tournament.
The Lady Tigers lost twice to Class 4 Willard, lost to Class 4 Rosati Kain in the semifinals of the Versailles Tournament and Osceola in the district final.
Osceola jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the opening game, before Green Ridge started their comeback on a kill by Libby Dove.
Another kill by Dove off one of Dillon’s 20 assists, got Green Ridge within 6-3. A kill by Chamberlin and a tip kill by Osceola that sailed wide. A tip kill by Molly Turner, a double block by Dove and Chamberlin put Green Ridge on top for the first time at 7-6.
Down 10-9, Larimore took a time out. Following the break, Chamberlin got a kill to tie it, then went to the serving line and ripped off nine straight points with Dove, Chamberlin, Dillon and Turner all getting in on the net action as Green Ridge went up 19-10.
The good passing and hitting consistent with Green Ridge volleyball took over in the opening game as the Lady Tigers went up by a game 25-17.
“I think we played well the first game and followed our game plan,” said Larimore. “We got good passes to our setters and they got it to our hitters. For some reason, we got back on our heels in the last two games and played right into their hands. We got tentative.”
Juniors Brooke Wilson and Katherine Brockhus and senior Emily Garver spreading kills all over the floor against what appeared to be a flat-footed Lady Tiger defense.
“Maybe that is why our passing went away on us,” said Larimore. “You can’t take anything away from Osceola. They are a great team.”
Osceola made the Class 1 quarterfinals last year after beating Green Ridge in the sectionals.
Wilson had 15 kills and Brockhus 10.
Osceola led by as many as five at 18-13 in the second game before Green Ridge close the gap to 22-21 on a double block by Dove and Chamberlin.
Osceola evened the match at a game apiece when Green Ridge was whistled for a mishit violation with the score 24-22.
Green Ridge led early 2-0 and 4-3 in the third game. Dillon knocked down a kill to get the Lady Tigers within 8-7 but Osceola ran off seven straight points to lead 15-7. Green Ridge got within 16-10 but the game never got any closer as the Green Ridge season came to an end.
Dillon had 21 digs and 20 assists for Green Ridge. Dove had 14 digs, 13 kills and three blocks. BreAnna Peck had 12 digs. Smith had 10 kills and Chamberlin had a 2.71/3.0 serve-receive percentage. Photos by Randy Kirby,Sedalia News Journal.