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Jaguars senior pours it on Broncos

By Bill Althaus

Although she was wearing a mask, it was evident that Blue Springs South coach Mallori Perry was smiling following a Suburban Big Eight road volleyball win over Lee’s Summit North Thursday night.

Her Jaguars had struggled for the past two weeks and needed the 3-2 (25-23, 17-25, 18-25, 25-17, 15-13) victory as they went into the second half of conference play.

While the Jaguars walked away with the victory, North coach Shelby Hoffman was also smiling, as she celebrated “the little victories” with her team.

“The last time we played them, they won in three sets,” Hoffman said after the Broncos fell to 2-12 overall and remained winless in conference play at 0-7. “We looked like a different team, a much better team, and I think we’re going to keep getting better as the season goes on,

“We were hoping to start the second round of conference with a win, but we got a lot of little victories tonight and they are something we can build on.”

When asked about the difference between winning and losing, Hoffman had a two-word answer.

“Aubrey LaPour,” Hoffman said, of the South senior outside hitter who bashed the Broncos with 23 kills. “It was a great team effort by South, but Aubrey is one of the most dominating players in the area. We did some things to take her out of their game plan, but she made adjustments and really finished strong.”

LaPour had four consecutive kills and an ace to lead the Jaguars to the 15-13 win in the final set.

“Aubrey is amazing on and off the court,” Perry said. “We’d lost like four or five matches in a row, and she gave the team the most amazing inspirational speech I’ve ever heard. And I think that speech played a big role in our win tonight.”

That comment resulted in a huge smile from LaPour.

“Oh, that’s so sweet,” LaPour said. “I listen to a lot of inspirational speakers and I took some notes and wrote an inspirational speech for our team. I practiced in like three hours – watching myself in the mirror.

“I think it had a positive effect on our team and I’m really happy Coach Perry thought it had an impact. That’s why I did it. We just needed a boost, and I wanted to give the girls some things to think about.”

South’s Tori Valentine and Tamia McClunie each finished with 12 kills, setter Marti Strickert had 40 assists and four aces and Kylie Gregory finished with nine digs.

Katie Spacil led the Broncos with eight kills.