However, Sonya Petroski, the Greyhounds' third-year head coach was watching the match from the stands. No reason for this was given before the match and no one in the building after the match was authorized to say anything about it. Steve Kramer, Petroski's assistant coach, was acting head coach, assisted by former Greyhound and Fort Scott High School player Ashley Cavin.
The scores of the match were 25-19, 29-27, 25-19. Fort Scott won just its fifth match of the season in 22 outings and improved to 2-6 in the division. Labette dropped to 0-6, 1-24.
Freshman Racheal Wilmes was asked to do more in the absence of Kayla Tarwater, who has had some problems with her back. And Wilmes delivered early, making several kills as the Greyhounds jumped out to a 14-8 lead in the first set.
"We put Racheal in there in Kayla's spot and she really did well," Kramer said. "We've been working with her to hit more, not to roll as much, and I think that really came out tonight."
Labette started playing tougher but couldn't catch up in the first set. But the Cardinals were able to carry that momentum into the second set and take an early, but short-lived, lead at 5-3.
From that point, the set went back and forth. It seemed that Fort Scott had finally gained momentum as it took an 18-13 lead. But Labette scored seven straight points to go up by 2.
The Cardinals held a 24-22 lead but an error gave the Greyhounds a point and the serve. Wilmes tied the score at 24-24.
The set was tied three more times. A bad Cardinal serve put Fort Scott up 28-27 and Tanessa Esry's ace serve gave the 'Hounds the set.
"The second game, it seems like every time we get a game up, they pull back a little bit of their effort," Kramer said. "So one of the things we're going to be working on is to try to play strong every set."
The Cardinals took a 4-1 lead in the third set. But Paige Clinton served three aces in four points as she found holes in Labette's coverage. That run gave Fort Scott a 6-4 lead and the 'Hounds never trailed again.
After Fort Scott got the serve back, Kayla Case had 2 aces to help boost that lead to 10-5.
Labette once again tried to make a match of it. The Cardinals got within one point four times, the last time at 19-18, before Fort Scott used a 6-1 run to end the match.
"I think they really played their game," Kramer said of the Greyhounds' effort. "One of the things we focused on today was just going out there, not really looking at who's on the other side of the court -- good team, bad team -- we needed to play like they're the No. 1 team in the conference. So I think we went out there and played like that."
Katie Van Lue led the Greyhounds with 11 kills while Wilmes finished with 9 and Jessica Cook had 7. Esry finished with 18 assists. Van Lue had 6 blocks while cook and Jessica Garrett each had 3. Clinton finished the night with 4 aces and Case with 3 aces.
The Greyhounds will go to Fort Dodge, Iowa, this weekend to take part in Iowa Central's Triton Invitational.