SIKESTON -- After watching early leads slip away late in both sets on Tuesday the Sikeston Lady Bulldogs saw the visiting Puxico Lady Indians pull off a sweep, 25-22, 25-19.
"Overall I'm pleased with the play because their was a lot of intensity for most of it," Sikeston head coach Steve Beydler said. "But the couple little let downs is what did it. Where we would let them get three or four points in a row to catch up or barely go ahead of us.
"Then we'd just try to trade point from that point on and you can't do that."
Coming out strong in the first set the Lady Bulldogs pulled ahead 9-4 early in the contest as the Lady Indians with errant volleys and kill attempts. Not long after, however, Puxico started to slowly eat away at their deficit until knotting things up at 15-15.
The two teams split the next two points before Sikeston pushed ahead 19-17 on two straight missed kills by the Lady Indians, forcing a Puxico timeout.
Whatever was said during the break appeared to refocus the Lady Indians and two straight kills from Emily Merick tied the game at 19-19. A spike in to the net by Puxico gave the Lady Bulldogs the lead one last time before the Lady Indians went on a 5-2 run to set up game-point.
An ace by Puxico on the next point sealed the set.
After Puxico had caught back up Beydler said, "we just basically traded points. We kept going back and forth on the serves. Once you have a two or three point lead and you get to 20, if you trade points you win."
Shaking off the loss Sikeston once again got off to a strong start in the second game, thanks in part five kills from senior Trenice Greer as the Lady Bulldogs opened up a 9-6 lead.
It wasn't until after Sikeston had taken a five-point advantage, at 13-8, that the Lady Indians once again started to mount a comeback. Starting with a serve into the net by the Lady Bulldogs, Puxico went on a 6-2 run that forces Sikeston to burn a timeout when their lead was cut to one.
Missing back to-back kill attempts following the break Sikeston allowed Puxico tie things up and then take the lead before eventually moving ahead 21-15 after a 10-1 run.
Making their final stand Sikeston came out of a second timeout to take four of six points, but a kill by Sierra Woods sent Puxico to match point. Like the set before the Lady Indians closed things out with an ace, sending a serve to the back corner that went untouched.
"We're still working on rotations, finding something that we're comfortable with and finding that intensity," Puxico head coach April Burchard said. "We don't like to start out strong, we like to play catch up the whole time.
"We're still trying to find that (ability to) dig in deep and push from the very beginning."
Easily leading the Lady Bulldogs attack, Greer finished the match with 12 kills on the night and added six assists to her team's effort. Lauren Beydler had a team-high 12 assists to go along with a pair of serving aces while Courtney Hewitt, Kalli Williams and Esther Chinwuko had two kills each.
For the Lady Indians, Merick and Haley Roll had five and four kills respectively and Sierra Woods finished with three. Abby Dare had nine assists to lead the team with Hannah Foster finishing with five.
With the loss Sikeston stands at 3-6 on the season while Puxico improves to 8-3. The Lady Bulldogs will be back in action tonight when they visit Cape Central with play starting at 6 p.m.
In Tuesday night's junior varsity contest the Lady Indians also pulled out straight set wins, 25-16, 25-15.