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Lady Panthers volleyball team falls in finals

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When Mountain Grove’s volleyball team drew Forsyth in the Class 3, District 10 championship game, it was a battle between two programs who had not won a district crown for many years.

Mountain Grove’s last district title came in 2012 while Forsyth’s drought took them back to 1995.

Both teams played inspired volleyball hoping to end their own streak, and unfortunately, one team would end up losing a five set nail-biter.

The two squads went back and forth as they split the first four sets. Tied at 12-12, Forsyth managed to score the final three points to win the fifth set, 15-12, and ending Mountain Grove’s season with a 20-9 record.

In the first set, the teams exchanged leads throughout. Midway through the set, Mountain Grove scored four straight points to go up 17-15. Claire Nelson later added a hit to go up 19-16.

Up 22-20, Mountain Grove scored the final three points and won game one, 25-20, after Raylee Stenzel’s kill.

In the second set, both squads had a couple of runs scoring four points in a row. Mountain Grove did lead 14-11 when Forsyth had five straight points to go up 16-15.

A bad call by officials two points later seemed to give Forsyth the momentum as they went on to win the second set, 25-17. Forsyth scored the final eight points.

Mountain Grove came ready to attack in game three as Reagan Hoerning had a pair of kills and an ace to help Mountain Grove take an early 8-2 lead.

Forsyth answered with five straight points and eventually tied the set at 11-11.

With the set tied at 20-20, Addy Welch and Campbell Welch combined for a big block. Mountain Grove would go on to win the set, 26-24. Forsyth responded by dominating game four. They would score nine straight points to go up 22-10.

With set point at 24-12, Mountain Grove had five straight points before Forsyth won, 25-17.

Both teams went back and forth in the fifth set before Forsyth scored the final three points to win the championship.

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