MARYVILLE, Mo. — Maryville has taken pride in being a very diverse offense in the early portion of the season this year, and with sophomore Rylee Vierthaler returning to the lineup, they add yet another weapon.
Sometimes though, when you have the best athlete on the court, you just need to feed her the ball and let her handle the rest. The Spoofhounds will have the best athlete on the court in every match they play this season, and they took full advantage of Serena Sundell against Harrisonville on Saturday afternoon in the Hound Pound.
The Spoofhounds (5-0) dispatched of the Wildcats (2-2) in four sets.
“I thought at first, we were a little shaky, but we definitely pulled it together,” Maryville coach Miranda Mizera said.
After cruising to a 25-8 victory in the first set, Maryville faced its first true adversity of the season as they fell behind 11-4 in the second set. It was then when Spoofhound setter Macy Loe began funneling the ball to Sundell.
“It is nice,” Loe said. “We just have that connection. We've been playing together since we were really young. I know I can always count on her. I can count on all my teammates, but it is just that connection we have that clicks every time.”
A Sundell kill got herself to the service line where she added a pair of aces to help draw the Hounds within 11-10. The Hounds tied the set at 18-18 after Sundell followed up a Vierthaler kill with one of her own.
“It awesome to have such a good player with you, and to know that she always has your back, and she can get a kill at any time,” Vierthaler said of Sundell.
The Spoofhounds could never take the lead though and Harrisonville took a 24-22 advantage. The Hounds kept fighting though with senior Kelsey Scott getting a kill before Sundell knotted the set at 24-24 with one of her own.
Harrisonville answered, but Sundell put another one down to tie it at 25-25. Harrisonville answered again, but Sundell and Scott combined for a block and a 26-26 score. The Wildcats were able to edge out a 28-26 victory, but Maryville had its recipe for success.
“They were a really good team,” Loe said. “They played really fast. They had a big block and we really hadn't seen that yet. We worked on a lot of covering the block yesterday and that really paid off tonight.”
Harrisonville hung close early in the third set, but with the score 7-6, Sundell had four of the next five Maryville points to expand the lead to 12-7. She continued to control the third set and the Spoofhounds took a 2-1 lead with a 25-17 victory.
Sundell remained the focal point of the fourth set, but with the Wildcats turning much of the defensive attention to her, the rest of the Spoofhounds were counted on to meet the moment. They passed the test with flying colors.
With Harrisonville leading 11-7, Sundell got a kill to put herself at the service line. An ace tied things up at 11-11, then Ilse Flores had a kill to put Maryville in front.
Kills by Morgan Stoecklein and Scott as well as an ace by Kennedy Kurz made sure Maryville kept the lead. Despite a questionable call negating a kill, Sundell had three-straight for the Hounds to take a 21-17 lead.
Harrisonville fought back within 21-20, but Vierthaler connected on a big swing to flip momentum back and set the Hounds on course for a 25-22 win.
It was Vierthaler's first match back with the team after having to sit out the first four.
“It was awesome,” Vierthaler said. “I love competing with this group.”
Maryville will hit the road on Tuesday with a trip to Excelsior Springs (1-3).