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Advance volleyball team rolls to pair of 25-18 victories against Leopold

Friday, September 14, 2012

Advance’s Grayson Miles tries to get a hit past Leopold’s Sydney Eeftink during the first game of their match Thursday in Advance, Mo. More photos can be seen at semoball.com.
(Fred Lynch)
ADVANCE, Mo. -- The Advance volleyball team switched roles with Leopold on Thursday night, and the result switched as well.

"Volleyball's an offensive game," Advance coach Dana Below said. "You really have to be offensive, and whoever's got the offense puts the other team on defense all the time.

"Our girls were clean offensively. They were aggressive, and I think that's what made all the difference. We didn't have that the last time we played Leopold. We were on defense the whole time."

Advance's role as the aggressor led it to a 25-18, 25-18 sweep of Leopold.

It was the third meeting of the teams, which also share a district assignment, this season. Advance beat Leopold in pool play at the Woodland tournament but got swept by the Wildcats in the title match.

"I knew that they were going to be out to get us just because districts are coming up and they knew that we were going to be out to get them," Advance senior Aimie Simmers said. "And it was on our home court, so they definitely wanted to beat us on our home court."

While the Hornets' offense hummed most of the night, Leopold coach Sandy Davis spent much of the night on the sideline imploring her team to be more aggressive on offense after repeated tips and free balls.

"They got outplayed," Davis said about her team. "Advance played. We made mistakes that we don't make. We came off a huge win against Bernie and, you know, I think we've got to learn from it."

Leopold made 22 errors -- 11 in each game -- Thursday night. Four of the first eight points scored by Advance came by way of Leopold errors, including two hitting errors, a missed serve and botched quick-set attempt.

"I think it's just the pressure of these two teams playing," Davis said. "We've already met twice. They beat us. We beat them. And then when we're aggressive, we do very well. And when you're not aggressive against a team like Advance, they're just going to take advantage of it."

Advance forced plenty of Leopold's errors throughout the match. Below said the Hornets learned where their weak spots were in their loss to Leopold, but she was mum about the changes they made to fix them.

"I ain't going to say it," Below said. "I ain't going to say it, but we're learning places that we need improvement on. We're trying to work on them to make them better, so we don't have weak spots. We're trying lots of different things that we noticed from the Woodland tournament that we needed to improve on, and we've been making those changes and it's working for us."

The Hornets also made changes during the match. Leopold jumped out to a 9-1 lead in Game 2 thanks in large part to the serving of sophomore libero Leah Landewee.

Landewee served three aces and another unreturned serve to help the Wildcats build a big cushion.

"We get in a funk sometimes," Below said. "My girls are bad about getting in a four-to-six-point slump, and that's something we need to work on badly."

Below said she made some changes she doesn't usually make to help her team get back in the game.

Advance reeled off four consecutive points to pull to within 9-5, then got more help from Leopold a little later when the Wildcats committed five errors in a span of six points.

Davis called a timeout after Leopold's lead was cut to 13-11, but it was Advance senior Liza Gray who took over the game.

Gray served eight consecutive points, including three aces and an unreturned serve, to help her team take control of the game and force Leopold to take its final timeout.

"Coach told me to serve more aggressive, so that's what I did," Gray said. "At first I was just trying to get it over and in, and then whenever we started getting back up I started hitting it harder and putting more of a down on it, making it curve down."

Gray also tied for a match-high eight kills. She often took advantage of Leopold's block and defense by hitting down the line on her outside approaches.

"Sort of whenever you get up there and you start to look -- if you look real quick before you hit you can see where they're at, and I noticed they were going in more," Gray said. "A lot of times the team members will be like, ‘Go ahead and go line.'"

Haley Kennison also finished with eight kills for Advance (12-2.) Allie Below had 10 assists and three blocks, while libero Jacqueline Maddox had six digs.

Leopold (10-3-1) was led by Caitlin Petty and Denai Arnzen with five kills each. Petty also had seven assists, five digs and four blocks, while Sydney Eeftink added eight assists.

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I as a natural fan of this match actually went & watched it live.What I brought from this game is that Leopold didn't get beat by Advance,but beat themselves.They had way to many errors in serving & return serving as well they looked like a team that was tried & unfocused.I've watched these teams play a lot since I've lived here,at the Woodland. Tourney I saw Advance win a insignificant pool play game & when it counted in the championship game Leopold dominated.Last nights game was Advances first home game & I'm sure they were pumped for a little revenge,but Leopold played one of the worst games I've seen them play in awhile.They had way to many missed serves as well as missed passes or passes set to close to the net for Advance to have easy kills which amounted to a lot of points for Advance.I don't belive Advance found any new weaknesses I just belive Leopold were off their game & let nerves or just plain bad play beat them.Even with this bad play Leopold kept it interesting by keeping themselves in the game by scoreing 18 points in each set & giving away a 9-1 lead in 2nd set.Not to take away from Advance they seized the moment & won,but not with a little help from Leopold. Go Rams! One more thing I've noticed as well as seen that bothers me in H.S. sports,last night as the teams were introduced each player shakes hands with refs & coaches,but last night Leopolds Coach shook hands with every starting Advance player & ref,as for Advances coach she stood at the end of the bench after shaking hands with reds but not with Leopold players.I found this very unsportsman like as well as teaching your team the same.This is not the first I've heard or seen of this unsportsman like behavior,the boys fan club or atleast one was taunting Leopolds fans I won't say what he was doing,but he knows.I've also heard the girls on the team as well as seen them mouth cuss words & derogatory statements to Leopold players & maybe others.Now I know this is sports & this is from what I'm told a rivalry,but as a team,school & just plain self respect the coach,reds,& principal of these teams that act this way should be taught how to play with some respect & act like your parents taught you unless they are just as bad.Well it was a decent game & this area has some great players & teams from what I've watched.This is a great sport & game to watch wherever u come from so let's keep it that way with respect of your opponent & that starts at home & on down the ranks all the way to the coach.Thank you for this site to see scores as well as letting someone like me rant.Thank you Semoball keep it up.

-- Posted by vballcraze on Fri, Sep 14, 2012, at 10:03 PM

Why is it every time Advance wins a game and it's always against Leopold there's a negative comment. They try to do it tastefully but it's always back lash towards Advance. Sandy Davis is an outstandIng coach and she has always shook hands with other players. Coach Below had never shook hands since she's been a coach. It's not an area of being disrespectful it's just her. I have watched these senior girls since the fourth grade and I have never seen disrespect on the court. They work hard and what is so bad about letting them have a little shine. I agree Leopold was not on their game. But I'm sorry, Advance was. When it comes down to it, it's who has the most points at the end. I'm not sure about the student section but I saw the same from Leopolds student section. Leopold and Advance have had a rivalry for a long time. They both are good teams. It's just exhausting that every time they win a big game...there's always negativity. I don't have a child playing but have followed them for a long time. Keep your negative comments to yourself. Let the winners enjoy their shine. I wish both teams nothing but the best and till they meet again.

-- Posted by Remmington on Sat, Sep 15, 2012, at 1:12 PM

I agree with the second post. First of all, I've never seen so many spelling mistakes and in proper grammar in my life,vball craze. Advance is disrespectful? How about one of the Leopold dads who was tagging girls on twitter and mouthing? Now, that is disrespectful in many ways. Last time I checked it's plain out wrong for a parent to tag girls on twitter and be rude. I have watched these girls play since my kid graduated last year. Dana Below has never ever been disrespectful in any way. Please get your facts straight.

-- Posted by SportsFan101 on Sat, Sep 15, 2012, at 5:38 PM

Jealousy rears its ugly head.

-- Posted by Moonchild64 on Tue, Sep 18, 2012, at 5:03 AM

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