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Valiant Effort Falls Short as Archers Close Regular Season

October 30, 2012

Archer sophomores in action  
Archer sophomores Kelly Hart (hitting), Carrie Latimore
(15) and Jada Oliver played a strong match for STLCC
in Monday's three-set loss to Lewis and Clark
Community College.

In a performance that personified the character of the 2012 St. Louis Community College volleyball team, the Archers put together one of their best single-set performances this fall.

Despite ultimately losing a three-set match to Lewis and Clark Community College, the details of the match showed much more. STLCC improved in each set, and after dropping the first two 25-17 and 25-23, respectively, the Archers, led by their sophomore contingent of Meghan Buerk (Lindbergh), Kelly Hart (North County Christian), Jada Oliver (Lutheran North) and Carrie Latimore (McCluer North), rallied multiple times in a thrilling 38-36 final set, won by the Trailblazers. In that deciding set, the Archers fended off the match point seven times to re-tie the game. The Archers also saw their game-point advantage evaporate four times in that final set.

The Archers’ performance against the Trailblazers showed a marked improvement from the previous time STLCC and Lewis and Clark opposed each other, which ended in a decisive three-set win for the Trailblazers.

Meghan Buerk  
Sophomore Meghan Buerk, who also stood
out against Lewis and Clark, has been a
team mainstay all season.

“All the teams we’ve played the second time around, we have really played strong and played well, and they’ve been really close games,” assistant coach Debbi Bronder said. “There have been a lot of close games, and it has been fun to watch this team grow and follow through on some of the things we’ve been working on.”

Monday’s game marked the conclusion of the regular season for the Archers, and the final home game for the team’s four sophomores. It has been through the leadership of that group that the team has shown itself to be a challenge for its Region XVI Tournament opponents next week, despite its underdog status.

“They really led by example, and they’ve just been strong leaders,” Bronder said of the team’s sophomores. “It’s been a joy watching them grow and improve and we’ll really miss them.”

The Archers, who played the second half of their regional schedule much tougher than the first time around, recently concluded a 4-2 stretch entering the final week. With those victories, paired with encouraging performances in near-miss losses against Lewis and Clark and Missouri Baptist University, the Archers could find themselves in prime position to peak at the right time next week in Kansas City.

Bronder is enthusiastic about the Archers’ chances to make it a competitive tournament.

“If the A-game and A-team shows up, it will be,” Bronder said. “We have a whole week to get ready, and I’m really looking forward to it.”