The SoBoCo volleyball team has been through a roller coaster couple of weeks, but on Tuesday night the Eagles put it all together in one of their biggest wins of the season. The Eagles defeated Osage in a thrilling three-set match.

Eagles volleyball gets big win

Eagles volleyball gets big win against Osage.

Since late September, the Eagles have:
• Lost top senior Hannah Crow for the season with a knee injury;
• Had another senior starter choose to quit the team;
• Had multiple players step in to contribute while others were forced to play out of position;
• Seen their win-loss record become as unpredictable as a certain presidential candidate.
But coach Jaime Nelson and her Eagles have persevered, worked hard to improve their defense and called on freshman Hayley Kellmann and senior Katy Andrews to step it up on offense.
In defeating the Indians on Senior Night at the SoBoCo gym, it all came together.
“We saw everyone make a big contribution tonight,” Nelson said after the Eagles closed out the win on a Janae King serve the Osage defender could not handle for a 25-14 win in the third game. “Whether it was Sydney Jones making great digs or Hayley making a big hit – we just were very persistent.”
After three games and untold number of lead changes in the back-and-forth contest, it was the Eagles who simply made the fewest unforced errors in their most focused effort of the season.
The Eagles, who lost to Osage on Saturday, started strong with a pair of Kellmann kills on their way to a 13-6 lead in game one. Osage, who defeated conference champion California recently, came back to within three at 14-11, but a block by Emma Straub and a pair of kills by Andrews kept the Eagles in the lead at 21-16 on their way to a 25-20 win.
In game two, the Indians came out on fire, jumping out to a quick 3-0 start and leading at one point 12-8. “This team doesn’t worry about being down by four or five points,” Nelson said, “it just doesn’t phase them. They move on to the next play and don’t play tight – they just keep making plays.”
Andrews, behind King’s passing, made a pair of kills to pull the Eagles back even at 13-13 and Kellmann put the Eagles in the lead 14-13.
The two teams battled to a 20-20 tie and traded points to 24-24 when an Eagles served hit the net and Osage served out for the 26-24 win.
Game three was close early, but King’s passing and Straub’s defense enabled SoBoCo to pull ahead at 14-9 and as Osage tired, Andrews’ hits began to land. The Eagles got a pair of serving points from King to stretch their lead to 18-12 and SoBoCo outscored the Indians 7-2 in the final stretch.
“This is a win that should give us a lot of confidence going into (next week’s) district tournament,” Nelson said.
The No. 2 seed Eagles will face Fulton on Monday in the first round of district play (in Mexico). If the Eagles win, they would face either Marshall or Kirksville in the semi-finals next Tuesday.
The championship game – and possibly a re-match with No. 1 seed California – will be Wednesday in Fulton at 8 p.m.