Bernie's Ellen Snider's spikes a ball at Gideon's Camille Randolph and Breanna Berry. [Order this photo]
LESTERVILLE, Mo. - The Gideon volleyball team suffered a season-ending 25-15, 25-12, loss to the Bernie Mules Saturday afternoon in a Class 1 state sectional match in Lesterville, Mo.
"Basically I think the bus ride got to us," Gideon coach Kristen Ashabranner said of the loss. "It was a long ride.
"We also missed a few serves and never really got going," Ashabranner continued.
Bernie, which defeated Advance 25-21, 25-21, in a Class 1 state quarterfinal contest later Saturday afternoon to advance to the final four, rarely trailed Gideon in its first game Saturday.
Gideon led Bernie once in set 1 when it went on top 10-9. Bernie scored the next four points to move ahead 13-10 and never trailed again in set 1.
"You could tell there were some nerves out on the court early," Bernie first-year coach Erin Hoffman said. "This is the farthest Bernie has been in a long time so they were pretty nervous, but stayed just focussed enough to get the win. Once they started to get comfortable and relax we definitely started to play our game better.
"I think when we relaxed we were able bring our aggressiveness out," Hoffman said. "Our aggressive serving, hitting and passing is hard to execute when you are nervous. I think we relaxed and then were able to do more detailed things better."
Gideon led 3-1, 4-3, 5-3 and 6-5 in set 2. Bernie followed with an 11-1 run to take a 16-7 lead.
"We've worked on moving it around in the middle," Hoffman said. "You cannot get too comfortable."
It was the second time the traditional volleyball juggernauts had squared off in 2012. Bernie defeated Gideon 25-18, 25-14, in a regular-season contest on Oct. 1.
"Obviously you go through who their good hitters are and what those particular hitters do," Hoffman said of preparing for Gideon a second time. "You also look at where they stand on defense and things like that. We just looked at a lot of that stuff."
Gideon won its first district championship in volleyball since 2007 when it defeated Cooter in three sets on Oct. 23.
"It was definitely a job and a good experience to get this far," Ashabranner said. "We hadn't been here in a while. When we got moved into a district with Bernie and Bell City a few years ago we faced tougher competition. The girls played their hearts out in the district this year and came from behind 20-15 in the third set against Cooter to win the district title. We did a really good job."
Gideon concludes its season with a 26-7 record. Gideon graduates two seniors - Morgan Beck and Morgan Marcus.
"We graduate one middle starter and another player that just moved here last season," Ashabranner said. "I've got the rest of them returning and our junior varsity won the conference tournament. We've got some good hopes for next season. We just needed some experience this season and those Bernie girls were definitely tough to handle."
Bernie, which is ranked No. 7 in the latest Class 1 state poll, currently has a 25-7 record. Bernie will look for its sixth state title in volleyball and first since 1999 when it begins play at the state final four Friday at 9 a.m. at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Friday's action is pool-play. The teams finishing first and second in a four-team Class 1 pool that features Bernie, Winona, Osceola and Santa Fe will play for the Class 1 state title Saturday at approximately 3 p.m. The teams finishing third and fourth in pool-play will play in the Class 1 third-place game Saturday at 9 a.m.
View a complete state tournament schedule for Class 1, Class 2, Class 3 and Class 4, below along with all of Saturday's scores in the Missouri state volleyball playoffs.
Friday Round-Robin Schedule at Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Court 1: Bernie (25-7) vs. Winona (28-7-1), 9 a.m.
Court 2: Osceola (26-10) vs. Santa Fe (27-6-1), 9 a.m.
Court 1: Bernie vs. Santa Fe, 11 a.m.
Court 2: Winona vs. Osceola, 11 a.m.
Court 1: Bernie vs. Osceola, 1 p.m.
Court 2: Santa Fe vs. Winona, 1 p.m.
Court 1: St. Pius X (32-3) vs. Fatima(33-4), 10 a.m.
Court 2: Mountain Grove (27-8-2) vs. Bishop LeBlond (35-1-2), 10 a.m.
Court 1: St. Pius X vs. Bishop LeBlond, noon
Court 2: Fatima vs. Mountain Grove, noon
Court 1: St. Pius X vs. Mountain Grove, 2 p.m.
Court 2: Bishop LeBlond vs. Fatima, 2 p.m.
Court 1: Perryville (32-5-1) vs. Westminster Christian Academy (26-6-1), 3 p.m.
Court 2: Pleasant Hill (33-1-2) vs. St. Pius X (KC) (25-6-3), 3 p.m.
Court 1: Perryville vs. St. Pius X (KC), 5 p.m.
Court 2: Westminster Christian Academy vs. Pleasant Hill, 5 p.m.
Court 1: Perryville vs. Pleasant Hill, 7 p.m.
Court 2: St. Pius X (KC) vs. Westminster Christian Academy, 7 p.m.
Court 1: Lafayette (Wildwood) (36-0) vs. Francis Howell (31-5-2), 4 p.m.
Court 2: Ozark (27-7) vs. Lee's Summit West (33-4), 4 p.m.
Court 1: Lafayette (Wildwood) vs. Lee's Summit West, 6 p.m.
Court 2: Francis Howell vs. Ozark, 6 p.m.
Court 1: Lafayette (Wildwood) vs. Ozark, 8 p.m.
Court 2: Lee's Summit West vs. Francis Howell, 8 p.m.
Saturday Championship Schedule
Class 1 third-place match, 9 a.m.
Class 2 third-place match, 10:30 a.m.
Class 3 third-place match, noon
Class 4 third-place match, 1:30 p.m.
Class 1 state championship, 3 p.m.
Class 2 state championship, 4:30 p.m.
Class 3 state championship, 6 p.m.
Class 4 state championship, 7:30 p.m.
See Saturday's state playoff results below:
Class 1 Sectional Scores
Bernie def. Gideon 25-15, 25-12
Advance def. Lesterville 25-23, 22-25, 25-19
Winona def. Valle Catholic 25-20, 25-23
Sacred Heart def. Spokane 25-13, 25-20
Pierce City def. Lockwood 25-9, 25-19
Osceola def. Rich Hill 25-14, 25-14
Santa Fe def. Midway 25-18, 25-27, 25-9
West Platte def. Rock Port 25-14, 26-28, 25-23
Class 1 Quarterfinal Scores
Bernie def. Advance 25-21, 25-21
Winona def. Sacred Heart 25-18, 25-16
Osceola def. Pierce City 25-23, 20-25 25-19
Santa Fe def. West Platte 25-17, 23-25, 25-11
Class 2 Sectional Scores
Puxico def. Twin Rivers 25-18, 25-22
St. Pius X def. St. Elizabeth 25-21, 25-17
Lutheran (St. Peters) def. Whitfield 25-18, 25-14
Fatima def. Hermann 23-25, 25-21, 25-23
Mountain Grove def. Fair Grove 26-28, 25-14, 25-15
El Dorado Springs def. Clever 25-13, 25-19
Holden def. St. Paul Lutheran 25-20, 17-25, 25-23
Bishop LeBlond def. Summit Christian Academy 25-21, 25-23
Class 2 Quarterfinal Scores
St. Pius X def. Puxico 25-11, 25-13
Fatima def. Lutheran (St. Peters) 25-10, 22-25, 25-17
Mountain Grove def. El Dorado Springs 25-13, 25-19
Bishop LeBlond def. Holden 31-29, 21-25, 25-23
Class 3 Sectional Scores
Perryville def. DeSoto 25-18, 25-21
Lutheran South def. University City 25-2, 25-8
Westminster Christian Academy def. Duchesne 28-26, 25-17
St. Francis Borgia def. St. Dominic 25-17, 25-13
Logan-Rogersville def. Fulton 26-24, 25-17
Pleasant Hill def. Reeds Springs 25-16, 25-11
O'Hara def. Grain Valley 25-11, 25-20
St. Pius X (Kansas City) def. Savannah 25-16, 25-12
Class 3 Quarterfinal Scores
Perryville def. Lutheran South 21-25, 25-23, 25-23
Westminster Christian Academy def. St. Francis Borgia 25-23, 25-20
Pleasant Hill def. Logan-Rogersville 28-26, 21-25, 26-24
St. Pius X (Kansas City) def. O'Hara 25-22, 25-22
Class 4 Sectional Scores
Lindbergh def. Farmington 19-25, 25-16, 25-15
Lafayette (Wildwood) def. St. Joseph's Academy 25-20, 27-25
Incarnate Word Academy def. Hazelwood Central 25-8, 25-3
Francis Howell def. Marquette 23-25, 25-14, 25-14
Jefferson City def. Helias Catholic 25-21, 28-30, 25-21
Ozark def. Republic 25-23, 25-22
Lee's Summit West def. Blue Springs 25-13, 25-22
St. Teresa's Academy def. Liberty 27-25, 29-27
Class 4 Quarterfinal Scores
Lafayette (Wildwood) def. Lindbergh 25-12, 25-13
Francis Howell def. Incarnate Word Academy 25-13, 25-21
Ozark def. Jefferson City 25-17, 25-12
Lee's Summit West def. St. Teresa's Academy 25-17, 27-25