Mission accomplished for the Blue Springs South volleyball team in its Class 4 District 14 opener.

Mission accomplished for the Blue Springs South volleyball team in its Class 4 District 14 opener.
But the Jaguars had to overcome a sub-par opening game before brushing aside Hickman Mills 26-16, 25-8 at Blue Springs High School Monday night.
“It was lots of fun,” said senior captain and libero Taylor Harris. “We came out a little tense.
“It will be huge for us,” she said of semifinal opponent St. Teresa’s Academy at 7 tonight. “We will come out really focused and ready to play.”
Carly Sojka had eight kills, Kelsi Martin added six and Natalie Gieseke and Kristina Sevy contributed four each in leading the Jaguars, who improved to 15-17 overall. Haley Danforth chipped in with five ace serves and Martin added three.
“We definitely didn’t play our strongest,” said Gieseke, who also serves as one of the three captains. “But I’m glad we won. We have to come out with more focus and more energy.”
The underdog Cougars startled South by breaking to a 5-3 lead.
But three Gieseke aces sparked a 7-0 South run for a 10-5 advantage the Jaguars wouldn’t relinquish.
Still, the Cougars managed to keep it close and trailed only 19-15 until Kelsey Wagner served five consecutive points for a commanding 24-15 advantage. Seconds later, Hickman Mills’ first missed serve gave South its winning point.
“It was not our best game” said Martin, who is the other senior captain. “But we pulled it together and won.”
South was in control from the start in the second game, breaking to leads of 7-0 and 13-1 and coasting the rest of the way.
“I was glad the girls bounced back in the second game,” said South coach Carmen Johnson, who is scheduled to give birth to her fourth child and the first girl in three weeks. “They came out focused  and did what they had to do.”
Top-seeded Blue Springs (29-4), which earned a bye, faces Raytown South at 5:30 tonight in the other semifinal.
Raytown South defeated rival Raytown for the third time this season, 25-13, 25-12, in Monday night’s other match.
“The girls played well,” Cardinals coach Joe Maloney. “We are beginning to play like a team. “It’s always good to beat Raytown.”
Raytown closed with a 6-24 mark. Raytown South improved to 7-20-2.
The District 14 winner advances to a sectional match against the District 13 champion at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Blue Springs South. The District 15 and 16 winners clash at 3 p.m. The winners of those two sectional matches meet at 6 p.m. in the state quarterfinals for a berth to the state final four Nov. 6-7 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.