That juggernaut, also known as the Blue Springs South volleyball team, withstood a strong challenge from visiting Raymore-Peculiar Thursday night.
The Jaguars hung on to claim a hard-fought 25-19, 25-23 Suburban Big Seven victory and remain undefeated against teams from Missouri.
The 16-3 Jaguars – whose trio of losses came to Kansas powers in the Mo-Kan Classic – improved to 5-0 in conference action while the Panthers fell to 7-4-2 and 3-2.
Balanced domination on the front line played a huge role for South as middle hitter Meaunna Booth finished with nine kills and outside hitter Hannah LaPour added eight, while middle hitter Carsen Murray finished with seven.
“I love that balance,” said Jaguars coach Dave MacLean, who does not have a senior. “Ray-Pec is a great team, and they really challenged the girls. And I was pleased with the way we handled that challenge.
“There are some things we will be working on in practice tomorrow, but overall, I was really pleased with all phases of our game and that balanced attack on the front line.”
The Jaguars held a 21-12 lead in the first set, but the Panthers scored six points in a row to make it 21-18. An ace by Ellie Hermanson and two Booth kills set the stage for the win.
In the second set, South led 19-14 when the Panthers clawed their way back.
The score was tied at 21, 22 and 23 before Booth knocked down a kill to make it 24-23 and Anna Ryan served a perfect ace – that did not touch a Panther player – to secure the win.
“I’m more excited about the win than I am serving the ace,” Ryan said. “We faced a strong challenge from a great team tonight and we were able to win another match. This was one of our better wins of the season.
“Our front line was outstanding and I thought our back row was great and we had great passing.”
Booth backed those comments.
“I feel good, very good, after a win like we enjoyed tonight,” Booth said. “I think our balance up front was pivotal to the win and our passing and back row play was amazing. They really challenged us, and we were able to find a way to win against a very good team.
“Matches like this are only going to make us a stronger team.”
Joe Maloney, who is in his fourth year at Ray-Pec and a veteran of 42 years on the volleyball sidelines, managed to leave South with a smile on his face.
“I’ll take the way we played tonight against a very good team,” Maloney said. “We were not in sync for a lot of the match, and they took advantage of that. We can take a lot of good things away from the match – our kids will never give up – you saw that tonight.”