After suffering a 25-23 loss in the opening set, the McDonald County High School volleyball team outscored the Gravette Lady Lions, 75-45, in the final three sets to claim a 23-25, 25-10, 25-20, 25-15 win in its season-opening match on Aug. 31 at Gravette High School.
"We started out a little inconsistent and had a lot of unforced errors in the first set," said coach Logan Grab. "We came back and played pretty consistently after that. It is our first match playing three out of five sets and I think it wore on the girls a little bit. This is the first year we are going to do that in Missouri, so keeping up our stamina is important."
McDonald County scored the first point of the opening set, but that would be the only lead of the set for the Lady Mustangs. Gravette scored four straight points for a 4-1 lead and stretched the margin to 20-15 before McDonald County scored four straight points of its own to cut the lead to 20-19. The teams traded points before the Lady Lions took a 24-21 lead on the way to a 25-23 win.
In the second set, McDonald County jumped out to a 12-1 lead and cruised to a 25-10 win to even the match.
The Lady Mustangs took a 2-1 set lead with a 25-20 win in the third set. McDonald County overcame an early 4-0 deficit to take an 8-6 lead. Gravette tied the set at 12-12, but McDonald County scored six of the next seven points to take an 18-13 advantage to key the win.
Gravette led 5-4 in the third set when the Lady Mustangs scored seven straight points for an 11-5 lead. McDonald County stretched the lead to 18-9 before Gravette scored four consecutive points to cut the margin to 18-13, but the Lady Lions could get no closer the rest of the way in a 25-15 loss.
Katelyn Ferdig led McDonald County with 10 kills and three service aces. Erin Cooper added 30 assists and three aces, while Sydnie Sanny had two blocks and Kaycee Factor had 22 digs.
"Katelyn (Ferdig) capitalized on her opportunities when she was on the front row," Grab said. "The rest of our hitters were pretty consistent. We cleaned up our serving after the first set. We got some good blocking from Sydnie (Sanny), Shye (Hardin) and Mollie (Milleson). It was just a good team effort."
McDonald County added a 25-16, 26-24 win in the junior varsity game. Gravette claimed a 22-25, 25-16, 15-12 win the freshman match.
The Lady Mustangs were at Carthage on Sept. 1 and at Diamond on Sept. 3. McDonald County's home opener is set for Sept. 14 when the Lady Mustangs host Republic.