Truman High School’s home-opening volleyball match against Fort Osage Tuesday turned into the Lexi and Bri Show. But they weren't the only highlights for the Patriots.
Juniors Lexi Hart and Bri Savidge led a determined group of underclassmen to an impressive 25-19, 25-2 victory Tuesday night over the Indians.
Savidge served the first 13 points of the second game and Hart finished with 15 kills to draw most of the attention, but they were quick to point the spotlight in the direction of their giddy teammates.
“Not bad for a team that doesn’t have a senior,” quipped Hart, a three-sport standout. “I got some perfect sets and Bri was amazing on the back row. Bri on the back, me on the front, we’re just like two peas in a pod, doing everything we can to help our team win.”
Hart paused for a moment to visit with some young volleyball players from Pioneer Ridge Middle School and added, “Put something nice in ... about our young players. They were AWESOME tonight, really awesome!”
Freshman Kasha Penyock set Hart on many of her floor-shaking kills and appreciated the crowd-pleasing end results.
“When you have a great teammate like Lexi, you want to give her the perfect pass,” said Penyock, who is playing the position for the first time in a young volleyball career that includes many seasons of club ball. “I think we really became a team tonight. Lexi was amazing and Bri served all those points. We were a little bit nervous in the first game, but after we won it we relaxed and had a lot of fun in the second game.”
Savidge, who also finished the night with six kills and three aces, said this could be a special season for the Patriots.
“I know a lot of people don’t think we’re going to be that good because we don’t have any seniors,” said Savidge, who along with Hart has started since her freshman season. “You could see everyone’s confidence grow with each point we got.
“It was a lot of fun. I still don’t believe what Lexi did tonight. She was pretty amazing. It’s a great way to start the season.”
It was easy to see Savidge’s confidence grow with each serve, as she put more zip and near-perfect placement in her second-game run.
“That’s the Bri we saw as a freshman; she is going to be a great server this year,” Truman coach Denise Craig said. “I told her to serve for points, and she did. If it goes long, I can accept that.”
The 13-point run ended when a serve to the far corner was inches out of bounds.
“What can you say after you see two girls dominate like Lexi and Bri did tonight, especially in the second game?” Fort Osage coach Vanessa Jones said. “We played really well the first game. They led (24-16) and we came back and made it respectable.
“And then, well, I don’t know, they just took over the second game. What impressed me so much about Lexi is that we made adjustments to what she was doing, and she made adjustments to our adjustments during the game.
“She is a great, great volleyball player with a great court sense. Denise is a great coach and her team is young, but they are going to have a lot of success this year.”
Despite the lopsided score in Game 2, Craig praised the Indians.
“Who knows, the first game was so close, if they win it, we could have had a different outcome,” Craig said. “I know Vanessa is going to do a great job with that team.”