ROCK PORT, Mo. — The Nodaway-Holt Trojans came into Thursday night’s matchup winners of their last three matches. The Trojans not only had won their last three matches, but had not lost a set since their first game of the Nodaway-Holt Tournament. That all changed for Nodaway-Holt in its match against Rock Port, as the Blue Jays defeated the Trojans 2-0 (25-20, 25-16).
The first set started with Nodaway-Holt taking a quick 2-0 lead and an ace from senior Amanda Bohannon. Rock Port was quick to tie things up at three, but a kill from Kailey Miller and an ace from Kloe Jenkins quickly put the Trojans out in front, 5-3.
The Trojans held a strong lead throughout the first part of the set, leading by as many as four (9-5). But things quickly changed in favor of the Jays. Rock Port found itself down two, but a ball hit out of bounds by Nodaway-Holt started a 13-2 run for the Jays.
The run included two aces by senior Riley Vogler and four kills. The Trojans did not do themselves any favors as they were responsible for five of those points — coming from balls hit out of bounds. Nodaway-Holt head coach Tobi Bohannon felt that her team lost some of its energy.
“They fizzled out,” Bohannon said. “I think we’re at the part of the season where we have to find something to keep us up.”
Rock Port dominated the rest of the set, never allowing the Trojans to get any closer than 23-20. Jays’ coach Thomas Herron credited his seniors for the team’s performance in the second part of the first set.
“Where we really started to separate was when our seniors stepped up,” Herron said. “The biggest thing we’ve been working on is helping each other and picking each other up.”
Nodaway-Holt finished the first set with two aces and nine kills. On the other side of the court, the Jays had four aces and nine kills.
The second and final set of the night went much like the first set. Rock Port’s first serve went into the net, giving Nodaway-Holt the lead to start. The Trojans jumped out to a quick 5-3 lead and led by as many as five, 11-6.
But that is when Rock Port sophomore Alivia Baucom took over. Baucom scored two of the next three points on kills and then the Jays found themselves with an 11-11 tie with the Spartans. Herron liked to see the aggressiveness that he saw from his team.
“One thing we talk about is: aggression aggression, attack attack,” Herron said. “I don’t like the free ball over the net.”
After the tie, the Blue Jays went on another run, this time scoring eight in a row. Baucom had two more kills during the run and 11 total in the second set. Nodaway-Holt finally ended the run with a kill from Miller, but was outscored after that 5-4 — leading to a 25-16 final in the second set. Coach Bohannon believes that her team is just hitting a mid-season lull.
“It’s that time of the season where we’ve just kind of plateaued,” Bohannon said.
The Blue Jays will travel to Union Star on Tuesday to face a winless Trojan team. Nodaway-Holt will host Plattsburg on Monday. Plattsburg is 9-5-2 on the season and has won two of its last three matches. Coach Bohannon said that she has made quite a few changes to try and find the right style for her team. Bohannon isn’t quite sure what to expect from her team on Monday.
“Like I said, it is that time of the season and anything could go,” Bohannon said. “Hopefully we’ll go out and play hard against Plattsburg though.”