Coach Mallori Perry needed her three-headed monster Thursday night at home.
They helped the Blue Springs South Jaguars edge Raymore-Peculiar 25-19, 19-25, 27-25 in a marathon night of Suburban Big Six volleyball.
The three-headed monster – outside hitters Kylie Gregory and Aubrey LaPour and middle hitter Carsen Murray – turned up the intensity level inside their home gym to keep a gritty and determined Panther team from claiming a win in the third set.
With the score tied 24-all in the deciding set – on a LaPour serve that sailed far beyond the back stripe – Murray contributed a kill to put the Jaguars ahead 25-24.
But Ray-Pec’s Jolie McClellan found a soft spot in the Jaguars defense and knotted the score again.
That’s when LaPour took over, hitting back-to-back, gym-shaking kills that resulted in a wild celebration and a 27-25 victory.
“When I hit that serve out of bounds, I knew we would find a way to come back and win,” said LaPour, who finished with 14 kills. “We just fed off each other all night. I mean, the energy level in this gym was amazing.
“There was no way we were going to let them come back and win the third set.”
As LaPour talked about her team, Murray and Gregory smiled and nodded in agreement.
“Whoever made the kill, we didn’t care, because we were feeding off each other and playing with so much energy. It was pretty amazing,” said Murray, who had a team-high 16 kills, including the 24th and 25th in the first-set win.
“We are like a family out there playing. When Aubrey had the serve out of bounds in the third set, we were all saying, ‘That’s all right, we’re going to win this set,’ and we did. It was just a great night of volleyball.”
While she didn’t produce a game-winning kill, Gregory might have been involved in the two biggest points of the night.
In the first set, South led 20-19 when Gregory recorded back-to-back kills that gave the Jaguars a 22-19 advantage.
“Who knows what happens if they tie the score in the first set,” South coach Mallori Perry said after her team improved to 6-3 overall and 1-0 in league play. “All the girls did a great job tonight. We didn’t play our libero, Ryleigh McBurney, in the first two sets because she wasn’t feeling well. But we brought her into the third set and she made a difference, too. It was just a great night of roller coaster volleyball. We’d get the momentum, then they’d get it – back and forth. I’m exhausted.”
Gregory was too excited to be exhausted.
“Tonight shows us what type of team we can be,” said Gregory, who added eight kills. “This was the ultimate win because we came back and found a way to win the third set after a disappointing loss in the second set.”