Volleyball Dutchgirls reach district title match

Will Johnson

Having home-court advantage proved beneficial last week for Kari Nolting’s Owensville Dutchgirl volleyball team.

Needing three sets to dispatch St. Clair in the second of two semifinal matches, OHS advanced to the championship match of the MSHSAA Class 3, District 9 volleyball tournament against the defending champions in Sullivan’s Lady Eagles.

Expending a lot of energy in the previous match, Owensville simply did not have enough left in the tank before falling to Sullivan in two sets, 25-21 and 25-12.

“We spent a lot of energy to beat St. Clair (in the district semifinals), Nolting said. “We just didn’t have enough left for Sullivan in the championship match.”

In the first set against Sullivan, Breanna Diestelkamp had four blocks while Josie Miller delivered three kills.

During the second set, Amber Nelms and Laurynn Tallent both served a pair of points for the Dutchgirls.

Sullivan went on to fall in Class 3 sectional volleyball action Saturday at Aurora against Logan-Rogersville in two sets, 25-12 and 25-9.

Quarterfinal action saw Helias end Logan-Rogersville’s season in three sets, 18-25, 25-20 and 25-14.

New Haven and Hermann will represent the Four Rivers Conference (FRC) and area in volleyball at the MSHSAA Volleyball Championships this weekend in Cape Girardeau in Classes one and two respectively.

Dutchgirls vs. St. Clair

Sweeping Salem in two sets last Monday night, Owensville earned a rematch with St. Clair looking to avenge a three-set loss to the Lady Bulldogs during the regular season.

Dropping a tight first set 25-23, Nolting’s Dutchgirls quickly had their backs against the wall.

Following a first set that saw 11 ties and 12 lead changes, Nelms paced Owensville with a team-high four kills. Haylee Grannemann and Josie Miller each also added three kills in game one.

Falling behind 4-1 to open the second set, the Dutchgirls scored six of the next eight points for a 7-6 lead on a Miller block.

Benefitting from two St. Clair attack errors breaking a 7-7 ties, OHS never trailed again before forcing a deciding third set winning the second one, 25-20.

Diestelkamp did it all with two service points and two blocks in the second set. Miller added four kills and an ace to her block in game two.

Behind the serving of Renee Elliott and Nelms, Owensville jumped out to a 4-1 lead over the Lady Bulldogs in the decisive third set.

Two aces from Miller stretched the Dutchgirl lead to 9-4.

Behind three service points from Elliot and a pair of blocks from Diestelkamp, OHS suddenly found themselves with a 14-6 lead before St. Clair called their first of two time outs in the third set.

Moments later, a pair of Kelsey Ryerson service points and Miller kills helped Owensville to their biggest lead of the set at that point by a score of 17-9.

Two more Miller service points put Owensville four points from the district title match leading 21-12.

Scoring the next six points, St. Clair was not about to go away quietly cutting the Dutchgirl lead to 21-18 forcing Nolting to use her first of two time outs.

Following the timeout, a Hannah Powers kill moved OHS to within three points of a spot in the district championship match leading 22-18.

Seeing the Lady Bulldogs pull to within a point at 23-22, Owensville called their final timeout of the match looking to stop St. Clair’s momentum.

Another Powers kill following the timeout led to the Dutchgirls claiming the third set and a spot in the district title match defeating the Lady Bulldogs 23-25, 25-20 and 25-22.

Dutchgirls vs. Salem

Capping the first night of the MSHSAA Class 3, District 9 volleyball tournament last Monday night at Owensville High School, the third-seeded host Dutchgirls took on the sixth-seeded Salem Lady Tigers.

Before OHS and Salem faced off, Cuba and St. Clair both won their first-round matches in two sets over Union and St. James respectively.

Owensville made it an upset-free first round sweeping the Lady Tigers in two sets, 25-21 and 25-16.

Serving to open the match, Elliott helped the host Dutchgirls to an early 3-0 lead.

Surviving seven ties and eight lead changes, OHS went on to hold off a scrappy Salem squad in the first set.

Falling behind 2-0 to open the second set, Owensville got three service points from Nelms to take a 5-4 lead.

Tied at 12-12 on a Diestelkamp kill, the Dutchgirls used service points from Powers, Tallent and Miller to end Salem’s volleyball season taking the second set and the match.