Maryville volleyball started its regular season with an at-home win over Midland Empire Conference foe Benton Aug. 29.
The Spoofhounds completed the statement-win to start the 2022 campaign with a 3-1 win over the Cardinals, who were 4-0 heading into the contest Monday night. The Spoofhounds were able to avenge their loss against Benton in the first game of the 2021 season.
Spoofhound coach Bailey Cook was happy for her team and excited to start the season off on the right foot.
“Amazing,” Cook said. “It gave me goosebumps. It’s just a good feeling, coming out strong with high energy in the very first game of the season. It has me excited and looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Maryville started off hot, winning the first two sets by nearly double digits. Benton struck back winning the third set, but the Spoofhounds thwarted the comeback attempt with a win in the fourth set.
The first set started off back-and-forth for both teams. A quick 3-point run behind the service of senior setter Anastyn Pettlon gave the Spoofhounds an 11-6 lead and forced a Benton timeout. The rest of the set was all Maryville, as the Spoofhounds outscored the Cardinals by nearly double and won the first set 25-15 with a kill from freshman hitter Olivia Stanley.
Maryville kept their foot on the gas through the second set and started on a 5-0 run, followed by another Benton timeout. The Spoofhounds couldn’t quite pull away, until another 5-point run made it 13-8. The ’Hounds finished the second set in dominating fashion with a kill from Pettlon, winning 25-16.
Cook gave high praise to her seniors following the game and said they are prepared for the new season.
“In the summer, they are around for everything,” Cook said. “They are great leaders, I never have to worry about them getting down on themselves or needing them to pick up other players. They are solid players all the way around, and I think that is because of what they do in the offseason.”
The third set was a set of runs. Both teams started out even with Maryville in the lead, 7-6. A quick 4-0 run and a timeout from Cook gave Benton the 10-7 lead. The Spoofhounds seemingly came out of the timeout on a mission and went on a 4-1 run to tie the set at 11.
Any momentum the Spoofhounds had gained up to that point was quickly halted by another Cardinals’ run. A 7-1 scoring advantage gave Benton the late 22-16 lead and eventually, the third set win, the closest set of the night, 25-18.
Despite the loss in the third set, Maryville stormed back in the next set. The Spoofhounds got out to a quick 9-2 lead in the fourth set behind a couple of kills from senior hitter Rylee Vierthaler — the Spoofhounds leader in kills from the year prior. The ’Hounds never looked back and won the final set 25-13 with yet another Vierthaler kill to finish off the Cardinals.
Like she did for her team in 2021, Vierthaler led the Spoofhounds in kills.
“I have been preparing for this and putting in extra time for this season,” Vierthaler said. “We have always been focusing on the offseason so we can do well.”
Maryville will travel to play East Buchanan Sept. 1 with hopes of continuing the early season success.
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