The mama bear side of Blue Springs South volleyball coach Mallori Perry was on display Tuesday night against visiting Raymore Peculiar and her Jaguar cubs responded.
Perry, the popular first-year coach of the Jaguars, disputed a controversial call early in the first set against the Panthers, who held a 10-7 lead.
Perry was supporting her team when an official bluntly told the first-year coach to take a seat on the bench “and stay there.”
As one grinning parent told Perry after her team’s 25-21, 25-18 Suburban Big Six victory, “It was the first time I saw our coach put in time-out.”
“That fired us up,” outside hitter Taylor Brungardt said when asked about Perry’s reprimand. “We love Coach Perry, I mean, WE LOVE HER! And after she supported us, we were going to support her.”
The Jaguars (24-5, 7-0 Big Six) went on a 9-2 run, took a 16-12 lead and never looked back as they remained undefeated in the conference.
“I didn’t think we could love Coach Perry anymore than we already do,” said first-year move-in Morgan Gish, who starred on the front and back rows against the Panthers, “but we were all just talking about how much we love her for standing up for us.
“She got after the official and we got after the Panthers. It was really pretty cool how we played with even more intensity after Coach Perry supported us out there.”
Volleyball is a game of huge momentum swings, but once Perry fired up her team, there was no stopping the Jaguars, said middle blocker Meauna Booth.
“I think all our fans saw tonight why we love Coach Perry so much,” said Booth, who led the Jaguars with 10 kills and two blocks. “The first set was really close – they were leading and dominating play on the front row – and then we got all fired up and we weren’t going to let them back in the match.
“This win was for Coach Perry.”
Perry, who always sports a smile and offers a warm handshake, was thrilled with her team’s performance.
“I’m going to support my kids,” Perry said. “They have supported me all season and I’m going to support them and fight for them. And I was so proud of how they turned it up a notch after my discussion with the official.
“I wanted to be there for them, and they were really there for me. That is a good Raymore-Peculiar team, and for us to play like we did after the (official’s) call shows how fired up our girls were.”
When asked about having to sit on the sidelines the remainder of the match, Perry grinned.
“My girls have never seen me sit during a match,” Perry said. “It felt funny sitting there, but I loved the way they played and the intensity they showed tonight.”
Brungardt, who had kills to score the first three points of the second set, finished with seven kills, Ellie Hermanson added 12 digs and Rylie Gregston finished with 26 assists.