September 26th – CARL JUNCTION, Mon. – The Carl Junction volleyball team had never won its own tournament in the past few years.
To motivate her team, Cheryl Sharples made a very specific promise when her players win this year’s Dr. Jeffrey Knutzen would win the CJ Classic.
“I promised you a t-shirt if you win,” Sharples said with a sharp smile.
It’s time for Sharples to fulfill their end of the bargain after the Bulldogs beat Rogers (Ark.) 2-0 (25-16, 25-21) to the championship Saturday afternoon at Carl Junction High School to win.
The triumph crowned a 6-0 day for CJ. The Bulldogs have now won the CJ Classic for three of the last five years.
“We started a little slow this morning, but I don’t think you want to start hot in the morning,” Sharples said. “You want to build on your day. We did that. We kept getting better. At the end of the day we played our best volleyball. I don’t think it’s our best volleyball (this season), but it’s the best volleyball that we could play today. “
Carl Junction took control of the game from the start and only gave up the lead once in the middle of the second set.
After Rogers led 17-16 on an offensive mistake, the Bulldogs followed with a 3-0 breakout to take a 19-17 lead behind the kills of Maggie Brown, Jessa Hylton and Destiny Buerge.
Both teams exchanged points on 21-19, but Carl Junction finished the set on a 4-2 rally to secure victory.
In the opening set, the Bulldogs jumped 15-9 after an ace from Kylie Scott. Carl Junction ended the set with a 10-6 burst, interrupted by a kill by Brown.
“That’s what we have to do is take control of the games and make sure we don’t get into situations we don’t want to be in,” said Sharples. “I think we have the opportunity to do some really great things this year. If we stay healthy and everyone is playing at their level, we can keep up with everyone.”
In the billiards game, Hylton made her name in Bulldog history and became the new career aces record holder in Carl Junction’s 2-0 win over Neosho. She shared Katelyn Joyner’s record (2008-10) with three aces against Hollister and had an ace against the Wildcats to set the record.
“Jessa has always been a great waitress,” said Sharples. “Very effective. If she goes back and goes after it, it is a tough ball to pass. She started the year a little hesitantly, but has increased her service speed a little. I am very happy that she is getting that record.”
Hylton, the tournament MVP, finished with 12 aces. She led the team that day with 44 kills, while Logan Jones gave 120 team-level assists and Destiny Buerge had 47 digs.
“It feels amazing. I’m super happy,” said Hylton. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates always pushing me to get better. They were a really big part of it too.”
Carl Junction also went 3-0 in the pool game before taking a 2-0 (25-20, 25-12) win over Rogers Heritage and a 2-0 (25-19, 25-12) win over Springfield Central in the quarterfinals picked up in the semifinals.
KARTHAGE COMPLETES THIRD
The Tigers managed to go 3-1-1 and reached the semi-finals of bracket play.
Carthage won a 2-0 (26-24, 25-22) quarterfinal win over Webb City before the tournament ended with a 2-1 setback to Rogers.
“I feel really good,” said Tigers coach Bradyn Webb of her team’s performance. “I think we should definitely have been in the championship, but looking back on last year this was a tournament we didn’t do well. When we came back this year and got the gold bracket, it was really good to see us line up. ” for a place in the championship. “
OTHER LOCAL TEAMS
The Cardinals won the tournament 3-1, taking 2-0 wins over Aurora, Carl Junction Jayvee and Rogers Heritage. Joplin has set a 1-1-2 record. The Eagles outperformed Hillcrest but ended the day with a setback against Central in bracket play.
Neosho finished 1-2-2 with their only win over McDonald County in bracket play.
All tournament team
Carl Junction – Jessa Hylton (MVP), Logan Jones, Destiny Buerge, Kylie Scott
Rogers – Ryley Martin, Madison Rhea, Kaitlyn Brady
Carthage – Sydnee Dudolski, Olivia Bourgault
Central – Coco Buschhorn, Mili Sylvester
Joplin – Angelina Schramm
Hollister – Emily Young
Roger’s legacy – Malia Fosse
West Plains – Ashton Judd
Pittsburg – Faith McGowin