Third-seeded Nevada handled sixth-seeded Clinton County 25-14, 25-11 in the district opener Monday.
Nevada will face top-seeded Holden on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Harrisonville. The winner advances to the Sectional on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Marshfield High School.
The Lady Tigers roared back from deficits of 8-2 and 12-5 in Game 3 against second-seeded Pleasant Hill to advance.
“It takes a lot of heart,” Nevada head coach Trudy Fleeman said. “We played well and played together. We never got down on ourselves and that was the biggest thing for us.”
Senior hitter Lindsay Rice came away with the block of the night to ensure victory.
With Nevada leading 24-22 in Game 3, Rice blocked Lady Chick Amanda Schaefer’s attack attempt to the floor. A 5-feet-11 senior, Schaefer had wreaked havoc all night with 22 kills.
“She got her timing down on that one,” Fleeman said of Rice’s monumental block.
Sophomore hitter Mariah Mock led Nevada’s offensive attack with 16 kills, including six in a seesaw Game 2 that saw the score tied on eight occasions with the final time being knotted at 21.
“She’s a good player. She plays her heart out every game,” Fleeman said of Mock.
Senior Emma Dreyer’s kill finished off nail-biting Game 2. Dreyer wanted to make certain that she wasn’t playing her final match for the Lady Tigers.
“That was going through my head the whole time. That this could be the last time. This could be it forever,” Dreyer said.
In Game 3, the Chicks quickly snapped any momentum Nevada had gained. Schaefer pounded five kills early in the game and Pleasant Hill proved to be the beneficiary of several close calls to take a 12-5 advantage.
Mock’s third of eight kills in the decisive game ignited the comeback, aided by key digs from Emily Moore and Badgley. A junior leberio, Moore finished with 20 digs against the Chicks, a team Nevada defeated during the regular season.
Nevada trailed 16-13 but rattled off seven consecutive points, highlighted by three kills from Mock, to take control at 20-16. Pleasant Hill pulled within two at 24-22, on Schaefer’s final kill, but Rice shredded all doubt with her sixth and final block of the match.
“We played with more intensity,” senior hitter Kristen Badgley said of her team’s comeback.
“We worked as a team,” Rice noted.
“We knew we had to dig deep,” Dreyer said.
Junior Brooke Silvola handed out a team-high 13 assists for Nevada, which enjoyed an advantage in fan support thanks in part to a handful of vocal Nevada High football players.
The Lady Tigers made short work of Clinton County, in a match that lasted less than 40 minutes.
Nevada used a host of service aces and solid defense at the net to handily defeat Clinton County.
Dreyer’s seven assists and five kills paced the Tigers while Rice added four blocks and Badgley contributed six digs.