Lady Jays volleyball beats Camdenton

The Lady Jays’ Kylie Runzi jumps up to spike the ball during the second game against the Camdenton Lady Lakers on Tuesday night at Fleming Fieldhouse.

The Lady Jays’ Kylie Runzi jumps up to spike the ball during the second game against the Camdenton Lady Lakers on Tuesday night at Fleming Fieldhouse. Photo by Shaun Zimmerman.

Coming off a rough stretch of matches, Tuesday’s contest against Camdenton turned out to be just what the Jefferson City volleyball team needed.

After dropping three of their last four matches, the Lady Jays raced to a 25-10, 25-17 victory against an overmatched Camdenton squad at Fleming Fieldhouse.

“We always are looking to get better, no matter what match we are playing,” Jefferson City head coach Chris Meyer said. “Camdenton is well coached and we knew that they had nothing to lose coming into this (match). We knew they would continue to fight even through that second (game).”

The Lady Jays (14-11-2) are coming off a regular-season loss to Ozark, and losses to Blue Springs South and Nerinx Hall during the Blue Springs South Invitational, all of which went three games.

A three-game match wasn’t necessary against Camdenton as the Lady Jays jumped out to a 13-3 lead in the first game to put the Lady Lakers behind the 8-ball.

“Jumping out at the beginning, no matter what team you are playing, is definitely a huge thing to get that first game under your belt,” Meyer said. “And then after that first game, we talked about that we needed to keep moving.”

Jefferson City kept moving as Camdenton, which has won just two matches this year, never got closer than 10 the rest of the game.

It was a similar situation in the second game. A 10-all tie eventually turned into a 20-11 Jefferson City lead.

“There’s a lot of times you win that first game pretty handily and you go into the second match and take some things for granted,” Meyer said.

Abbi McKnelly led the Lady Jays with seven kills.

“She is one of the best players for sure in this area and for sure in the state as well,” Meyer said. “We want to continue to have that confidence in herself and our team.”

Becca Sturgess added three kills and four aces, including three straight aces early in the second game.

“I think our communication is getting better,” Meyer said. “We talk about continuing to step on the gas, not pump the brakes too much. I thought we did a pretty good job of that tonight.”

Jefferson City was without middle hitter Makenzy Kliethermes, who has been out with a sprained ankle since the Lee’s Summit North Tournament more than a week ago.

Meyer said she hopes to have Kliethermes back the week before districts, but is not sure.

“It changed our lineup a lot,” Meyer said. “To the girls’ credit, they took it and ran with it and continued to work. It shows the diversity of the team.”

The Lady Jays, who play again Monday at Blue Springs, are down to just six matches before district play begins.

“We’ve got a limited amount of matches left, but we’ve got a lot of work to do for the goals we have,” Meyer said.

Jefferson City won Tuesday’s JV match 25-18, 25-15. Nicole Martin had seven kills. Mary Vandelicht had six digs and six kills while Mary Wehmeyer had six kills and 12 service points. The JV team is now 17-4 and plays this Saturday in the Waynesville Tournament.

The Lady Jays made it a sweep by winning the freshman match 20-25, 25-16, 25-21. Arielle Guitard had nine digs. Katelyn Runzi had 17 assists and Janice Steacy had 17 service points. The freshman team is now 12-5 and plays again Saturday in the Hannibal Invitational.

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