(FSCC photo/Kathleen Hinrichs)
A 3-2 win in a best-of-5 Jayhawk Conference-Eastern Division victory at Arnold Arena Wednesday night was Fort Scott's first on its home court since Sept. 6, 2006. It was also their first conference victory since Oct. 4, 2006. The Greyhounds had lost 29 consecutive home matches since then and 30 straight conference matches.
Earlier this season, the Greyhounds had broken an overall 37-match losing streak and they had won four more times since then. But this was different because it allowed Greyhound students and fans to see the fruition of the hard work the coaches and players have put in.
"We're very hopeful that this is kind of a turnaround," FSCC head coach Sonya Petroski said. "It's not as if things are bad. But our goal is to go to districts. We have a long road in front of us but we're pushing ourselves."
The Greyhounds (1-5 East, 6-10 overall) got off to a good start, going out to a 7-2 lead in the first match. But Labette rallied to win that one, 25-19.
In the second game, the 'Hounds jumped out to a 12-4 lead and were able to hold on to win, 25-20.
The third game saw Fort Scott go out 7-2 again. This time, they kept pushing the lead and three straight ace serves by Bailey Dodson made it 18-8. The 'Hounds went on to win, 25-12.
The fourth game was a back-and-forth struggle. Labette (0-6, 5-18) took control by going on a 7-1 run to go up 20-16 and held on to win, 25-19, to force the fifth game.
Labette scored the first 3 points. But then Katie Van Lue picked up two kills and Camille Becerra served an ace to help get the 'Hounds up 4-3. Labette tied it once more on a side out but never led again.
The Cardinals did get within 10-8. But Jessica Cook found the very back right corner of Labette's side and then Tayler Hosey tipped a loose ball that had rolled off the top of the net and got it to land on Labette's side to make it 12-8.
Hosey's block made it 14-9 and Cook's block right after delivered the match to the 'Hounds, 15-9.
Van Lue racked up 15 kills for the 'Hounds and Lindsay Smith picked up 12 kills of her own.
"Katie and Lindsay, I'd say for the last three weeks, have been on fire," Petroski said. "They're really standing out. Last week, when we went to Avila, Katie had 20 kills and Lindsay had 17. They've been doing really well lately."
Hosey had 7 kills for the 'Hounds while Cook and Bailey Dodson each had 6.
Kara Baker dished out 35 assists for the Greyhounds, who handled service receive well so that Baker had easy decisions to make.
"We've been working a lot on serving and serve receive," Petroski said, "because that was our weakest spot for a long time. It's finally starting to show through. We're getting the ball to where it needs to get to so we can run our offense the way it needs to be run."
Van Lue had 4 blocks. Dodson served 5 aces and Smith served 4.
The Greyhounds will host the Avila University junior varsity at 6:30 p.m. Monday.