Webb City upsets Carl Junction to win district championship
The Cardinals erupt after winning the tie-breaking set.
Coach Rhonda Lawrence
Webb City fans and the bench are on edge as Kyah Sanborn sets for Kenzie Storm (7), Kate Brownfield (20) and Kearston Galardo (18).
The possibility of winning the championship becomes real for Kearston Galardo and Kyah Sanborn after Brenda Lawrence’s kill.
Webb City upset Carl Junction with an exciting tie-breaking set Monday at Carl Junction in the Class 4 District 12 tournament.
The district-champ Cardinals will now play at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, at Logan-Rogersville in the quarterfinals.
Coach Rhonda Lawrence admitted after her overjoyed players received the first-place trophy that nobody would have expected Webb City to win the district championship.
“Hats off to Carl Junction,” said Lawrence. “They have a great program. We make each other better.”
One reason for skeptics to have had doubts was Webb City’s poor showing at Carthage during the last match of the regular season.
Lawrence said she told her players, “Guys, come on! We’ve got to look better.”
Intense practices and pinpointing the ball to help scoring paid off Monday as the Cardinals won the first set.
“Winning the first set gets the monkey off your back and you’ve got momentum,” said Lawrence.
Then the Cardinals won the second match.
Lawrence squelched their over-confidence, though, by telling them the Bulldogs “are sure not going to let down.”
And they didn’t. They came back to narrowly win the next two matches.
Then it was time to reinforce the Cardinals’ confidence. “I told them we have more experience in five-set matches.” But Lawrence admitted to reporters she may have been “blowin’ smoke to them a little bit” about that.
Lawrence also told her players they had to get the first 5 points in the last set. “And it worked.”
Overall, she said, “We played strategically. We found a lot (about the Bulldogs) others have not.”
But most of all, Lawrence said her players “just worked together. “I’m so proud of them.”
Kearston Galardo and Brenda Lawrence were the Cardinals’ kill leaders, with 15 each.
Kate Brownfield had 9 kills and 8 digs. Kenzie Storm and Aubree Lassiter had 4 kills apiece. Kyah Sanborn made 41 assists and 14 digs. Sophia Crane had 16 digs. Jenna Noel had 5 digs.
The Cardinals (19-12-2) and Logan-Rogersville Wildcats (20-11-1) previously met in the Willard tournament, on Oct. 9, when Webb City won 2-1.
The Webb City Cardinals and Carl Junction Bulldogs will play each other at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Bolivar in the Class 3 District 6 sectional.
Neosho is the No. 1 seed, with the host team, Bolivar, ranked second.
The winner of the Webb City-Carl Junction game will play either Bolivar or McDonald County at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The final will be played at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
(CROUCHING) Kirra Long, Jadyn Catterson, Sophia Crane, Kayleigh Joines, Madi Graves, Kyah Sanborn.
(STANDING) Assistant coaches Jason Brown and Olivia Lewis, Makayla Mayes, Cali Butcher, Aubree Lassiter, Brenda Lawrence, Makenzi Storm, Kearston Galardo, Kate Brownfield, Jenna Noel, Khloe Rhuems, Coach Rhonda Lawrence, assistant coach Mollie Keene.