JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBY COUNTY — Lady Ram volleyball challenged Maroa early, but then faded on Tuesday, losing 21-25, 9-25.
"We played, so hard the first game of the match," said Ram coach Lisa Peifer. "The game plan was going well and we were being pretty aggressive. A few miscommunications on out calls hurt us. Overall, it was a pretty well-played match by us."
Shelby lost game 1 by a respectable score, 25-21. But game 2, they were dismantled by the favorite for the conference title.
"The 2nd game was a completely different story," Coach Peifer said. "We were out of sorts early for some reason and unfortunately couldn't stop any of the weapons they came at us with. We have the ability to play with good teams, but we have trouble sustaining our consistency."
Brandy Smith led the Ram attack with half of the kills, six. The kill total was just 12. There was only 10 assists, split evenly by Lindsey Eigsti and Rachel Fox. Eigsti led the defenders with 6 of the 18 kills, by eight different Rams.
Rachel Fox was far and away the leader from the line. She served nine points and five of them were aces.
Shelbyville (17-12, 7-3 Okaw) hosts Warrensburg on Thursday for Senior Night.
Maroa def. Shelbyville, 25-21, 25-9
Ram stats: Lindsey Eigsti 6 points, 1 kill, 5 assists, 6 digs; Claudia Watson 2 kills; Rachel Fox 9 points, 5 aces, 1 dig; Madison Boone 4 points, 1 acts, 2 kills, 4 digs; Courtney Williams 3 points, 5 assists, 1 dig; Kelcie Darnell 5 points, 1 ace, 1 kill, 1 dig; Jensen Cloe 1 dig; Brandy Smith 3 points, 6 kills, 3 digs; Ryann Ambrose 1 block; Haley Eisenbarth 1 assist, 1 dig, 1 block.
While the varsity got knocked out, the JV and fresh-soph squads took care of business.
The JV blitzed in game 1, got into a battle in game 2, then won decisively in game 3, 25-10, 24-26, 15-7.
"The girls came out fired up and ready to play," said JV coach Jamie Watson. "Communication was a key in the first game. In game 2, we again came out strong and went up 11-1. Then, I made a few changes, which changed the chemistry of the team. In the 3rd game, we got our momentum back and were able to grab a great win!"
The JV Ram attack accounted for 25 kills. They ahd a balanced attack with Hannah Koonce leading the way with seven kill, while Sydney Miller, Jacque Johnston, and Maddie Holland swung for five kils, each.
The Rams also had a block party. Holland rose for four blocks, Johnston two and Miller one.
Johnston also led in transition by dishing 10 assists, to go with her seven digs.
Caylee Wheeler was dominant at the line, serving 24 points with three aces. She was also key at setter with eight assists and dug eight balls.
Blair Johnston was the top defender with 13 of the season-high 51 digs. Koonce added eight digs and Miller got down for nine.
Shelby JV (12-2, 9-1 Okaw) plays Warrensburg Thursday.
Shelbyville def. Maroa, 25-10, 24-26, 15-7
Ram stats: Caylee Wheeler 24 points, 3 aces, 2 kills, 8 assists, 8 digs; Sydney Miller 5 points, 5 kills, 9 digs, 1 block; Blair Johnston 6 points, 13 digs; Jacque Johnston 12 points, 3 aces, 5 kills, 10 assists, 7 digs, 2 blocks; Hannah Koonce 12 points, 2 aces, 7 kills, 1 assist, 8 digs; Maddie Holland 5 kills, 2 digs, 4 blocks; Torre Koontz 5 points; Peighton Donnel 1 kill, 1 dig; Madison Towne 3 digs.
The Ram fresh-soph improved their play and swept Maroa in three straight games, 15-13, 15-8, 15-5.
"We passed a lot better on serve-receive, which helped us with getting a good set and hit," said fresh-soph coach Ann Dunaway. "We had less errors than what we usually have, which keeps our flow of the game better. Karlee (Herzog) and Elly (Oldham) had great defense."
Herzog led the defense with eight digs, while Oldham had five. The team had 26 digs, total. Dakota Forsyth was the only doulke-digit performer, serving 11 points, with four aces.
Herzog als led the net attack with four kills, while Kary Langan was the net defender with three of the four blocks. Isabel Leach dished seven of the ten assists towards the 13 kills.
Ram fresh-soph (11-4, 6-2 Okaw) hosts Warrensburg, Thursday.
Shelbyville def. Maroa, 15-13, 15-8, 15-5
Ram stats: Isabel Leach 6 points, 2 kills, 7 assists, 3 digs; QUincy Beyers 1 point, 3 kills, 2 digs; Kary Langan 3 points, 1 kill, 3 blocks; Shelby Hendrix 3 points, 1 ace, 1 kill, 1 dig; Karlee Herzog 5 points, 4 kills, 8 digs; Jerrica Hood 1 dig, 1 block; Elly Oldham 6 points, 1 ace, 5 digs; Dakota Forsyth 11 points, 4 aces, 4 digs; Caylee Wheeler 3 points, 1 ace, 1 kill, 2 assists, 1 dig; Katie Sladek 1 dig; Jacque Johnston 4 points, 1 ace, 1 kill, 1 assist.