Class 3 Final Four volleyball team capsules

Blair Oaks outside hitter Aubrey Hardwick spikes the ball against a pair of California blockers during last Monday’s district championship game in the Class 3 District 8 Tournament at California. (Greg Jackson/News Tribune)

Here are capsule looks at the Class 3 Final Four volleyball teams:


Record: 31-3-1

Head coach: Megan Distler (89-16-1 overall, all at Blair Oaks).

MaxPreps ranking: 1.

Notes: Blair Oaks has not lost a set this postseason, defeating Boonville and third-ranked California in the District 8 Tournament. The Lady Falcons then beat Hallsville, their third straight Tri-County Conference opponent, in the sectionals and won Saturday against Lutheran: St. Charles in the quarterfinals. … Blair Oaks won its 12th consecutive conference title earlier this season. Prior to facing Eldon today, the Lady Falcons are 10-0 against Tri-County teams this season, losing only one set. … Junior middle hitter Autumn Bax is Blair Oaks’ lone returning all-state player from last year’s state championship team. She ranks fourth in Class 3 with 493 kills this season and surpassed 1,000 career kills last Thursday against Hallsville. … Libby Juergensmeyer has 983 assists, the most by any Class 3 player this season, and senior libero Tayla Prenger leads the Lady Falcons with 390 digs. Bax has 68 total blocks to top Blair Oaks and Juergensmeyer has served 56 aces. … This is Blair Oaks’ second Final Four appearance. Last season, the Lady Falcons beat Valle Catholic in four sets in the semifinals and swept Strafford in the championship match.

Related game preview:

Blair Oaks to take on Eldon in Class 3 volleyball semifinals


Record: 24-13-2.

Head coach: Kaley Lyons (80-55-2 overall, 44-29-2 at Eldon).

MaxPreps ranking: 9.

Notes: Eldon is on a six-match winning streak, its longest of the season. … The Lady Mustangs defeated Buffalo (3-0), Springfield Catholic (3-1) and Logan-Rogersville (3-2) to win the District 10 Tournament for their second district title in three seasons. … In the state playoffs, Eldon won in five sets against Sullivan in the sectionals, then defeated Seneca on the road in four sets to reach the Final Four for the first time since 1993. … Lyons was the head coach at West Plains during the 2016-17 seasons. … Junior outside hitter Jaci Mueller leads Eldon with 471 kills this season, ranking sixth in Class 3 in that category. She also has a team-high 72 total blocks. … Senior libero Haley Henderson tops the Lady Mustangs with 607 digs, which ranks fourth in Class 3, while senior setter Emily Davis had 560 assists, followed by Mueller with 395. Junior middle hitter Hannah Opie ranks eighth in Class 3 with 70 aces this season. … This is Eldon’s ninth Final Four appearance, and the previous eight came consecutively from 1986-93. The Lady Mustangs won the Class 3A state title in 1991, finished runner-up in 1988 and 1993, placed third in 1986, 198, 1990 and 1992 and took fourth in 1987.'

Related game preview:

Eldon volleyball makes first Final Four appearance in 29 years


Record: 25-8.

Head coach: Cassie Corson (25-8 overall, all at Pleasant Hill).

MaxPreps ranking: 5.

Notes: Pleasant Hill has won 13 of its past 14 matches. The one loss during that stretch was to fourth-ranked St. Pius X: Kansas City, but the Chicks avenged that loss with a five-set win against the Warriors last Thursday in the state sectionals. … Pleasant Hill defeated Kansas City Center (3-0) and Clinton (3-1) to win the District 13 Tournament. After topping St. Pius X, the Chicks picked up another five-set victory against Odessa last Saturday in the state quarterfinals. … Corson took over for George Creason, who retired at the end of last season after coaching for 28 seasons and was inducted into the Missouri High School Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2020. … Junior outside hitter Aby Widhalm, who made the Class 4 all-state team last season, leads Pleasant Hill with 345 kills, adding 238 digs. … Senior libero Shannon Ruckman has a team-high 328 digs, while sophomore setter Ella Crain and junior setter Gabriela Hanes have 441 and 419 assists, respectively. Sophomore middle hitter Riley Hays has 86 total blocks -- ranking ninth in Class 3 -- and Crain has served 64 aces for the Chicks. … This is the eighth Final Four appearance for the Chicks, their first making four straight trips from 2015-18. Pleasant Hill has been a state runner-up three times (2003, 2012, 2016).


Record: 32-4-2.

Head coach: Carla Basler (70-20-3 overall, all at Ste. Genevieve).

MaxPreps ranking: 2.

Notes: Ste. Genevieve has had a winning streak of 20 matches this season. After losing their regular-season finale to Farmington, the Lady Dragons won 3-1 against Park Hills Central and swept eighth-ranked Potosi to claim the District 2 Tournament championship. … In the state playoffs, Ste. Genevieve won in five sets against sixth-ranked Cape Girardeau: Notre Dame in the sectionals, then beat Ursuline Academy in four sets in the quarterfinals. … Ste. Genevieve senior outside hitter Dru Koetting has 520 kills this season, which ranks second in Class 3 behind Maryville’s Rylee Vierthalter (576). Koetting had 30 kills Sept. 29 in a five-set win against Farmington. … Senior defensive specialist Maya Watts has a team-high 584 digs -- fifth-best in Class 3 -- to go with 56 aces for the Lady Dragons, while senior middle hitter Tessa Grass has 78 total blocks. Sophomore setter Sophia Huck and senior setter Devyn Basler have 482 and 459 assists, respectively. … This is Ste. Genevieve’s sixth trip to the Final Four, but the first since 2008. The Lady Dragons won back-to-back Class 3A state championships in 1979-80.