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Blair Oaks tops Battle on volleyball Senior Night

October 7, 2015 at 4:07 a.m. | Updated October 7, 2015 at 4:07 a.m.

WARDSVILLE, Mo. - The Blair Oaks volleyball team honored its 12th graders Tuesday for the Lady Falcons' Senior Night. Appropriately enough, runs of 12-1 and 12-2 were the difference in the match as Blair Oaks defeated Battle 25-15, 25-15.

"It's really exciting, because it's my last home game that we have in the (regular) season," senior Taylor Stockman said. "We will be at home for districts, and it's just really exciting."

The first run came as the Lady Falcons were trailing 9-7 in the first set. Paige Rackers had four service points in the 12-1 stretch, and Ryan Dudenhoeffer served for six points.

"Our serving got very, very aggressive," Blair Oaks coach Joy Northweather said.

After closing out the first set, the Lady Falcons began a 12-2 run to start the second. Alexa Stegemann had a string of strong serves to close out the run, as well as a pair of kills. Stegemann led the team with four aces on the night.

"When she goes after it, she's got a heck of a serve, that's for sure," Northweather said. "She is normally very consistent. She's my No. 1, No. 2 server all the time, just because it's a different kind of serve. It gives them something different to look at. You notice that she's approaching her jump off the court and coming in. She has a very strong serve, and she very rarely misses."

Down 12-2, Battle went on a run of its own, winning seven of the next eight points.

"I have a lot of respect for Battle, how they've grown and improved over the last couple years," Northweather said. "They're becoming one of the stronger teams in Columbia right now."

With the game at 15-11, Blair Oaks rattled off seven straight points, paced by senior Madison Abbott, who had a kill, two blocks and a dig to start the run.

"We just got the momentum and kept going and pushed harder and got the W," Abbott said.

Abbott finished the match with three kills.

"That's one of the things that we're going to miss a lot about our seniors next year," Northweather said. "You put either Madison or Taylor up there with Allison (Maxwell) and Ryan, and we have a very, very strong block. It's going to be tough to replace."

Abbott, Stockman and Kailey Wieberg make up the Lady Falcons' three-player senior class. Blair Oaks currently has eight juniors on the varsity roster.

"Because there are so many in that class below them, they've always been the quiet leaders," Northweather said. "They've always been leaders in ways that I want them to be. It's not always about what's on the floor. It's off the floor, it's talking to the girls, and they've done a really good job for the program. We'll miss them a lot."

Stockman added: "We kind of feel pressured because we're the only three that are the oldest ones. We're in charge, and we've got to help the younger girls out."

Getting all three seniors playing time was a difficult task, as all play at the right outside hitter position.

"It's not like a basketball game where you can start them all," Northweather said. "Your hands are a little bit tied in volleyball where you can put people, where you can start them out. But I was just happy they all got in the match. Kailey had a nice dig for us that kept us going in the first set."

Abbott's ability to play in the center gave Northweather some flexibility to play her and Wieberg alongside one another.

"We also have to work for our spot in our position," Wieberg said. "So it's kind of exciting that she got all of us in."

Maxwell and Stegemann each had a team-high seven kills. Sadie Turner had 12 assists, and Jayde Peters had six. Maxwell had three blocks and Rackers had seven digs. The Lady Falcons are now 22-2-1.

Blair Oaks won the JV match 25-17, 25-17. Morgan Hoecker had five kills. Emily Yaeger had 11 assists and Ali Juergensmeyer had 10. Yaeger had two aces and Maggie Savage had three blocks for Blair Oaks (19-0).

The Lady Falcons defeated Battle in the C-team match: 25-15, 20-25, 25-12. Sydney Nivens, Halie Rackers and Kayle Hoelscher each had two kills. Madalyn Temmen and Rackers had two assists each. Claire Smith had eight aces for Blair Oaks (10-4-1).


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