In an early-season battle of volleyball unbeatens, Stockton volleyball pinned the first loss of the year on the Bolivar Lady Liberators with a 25-14, 25-16 sweep Tuesday, Sept. 10.

The Lady Tigers (3-0) put pressure immediately on their Polk County neighbors, racing out to a 10-2 first set lead. Two freshmen, Kylie Hunter and Summer Kenney, scored a pair of kills each in the opening salvo. Stockton’s top hitter, senior Kaitlyn Creek, did not even touch the ball until unloading a big left-side spike for point no. 10.

Bolivar (2-1) tried to respond with freshman Dailynn Vanderen, who notched a couple of kills in the next few serves. The Lady Liberators started piling up unforced errors, however, as Stockton pulled away.

Hallie Tucker

Hallie Tucker prepares to serve during the Lady Liberators’ loss to Stockton. 

Bolivar coach Tony Phelps was blunt in assessing his team’s play.

“Our passing was just atrocious,” Phelps said. “They (Stockton) weren’t serving rockets at us, but our setter (junior Hallie Tucker) was running behind the 10-foot line all night long. She didn’t get a chance to set out of our offense, so we had very little offense.”

In the second set, Bolivar utilized Vanderen, freshman Cora Roweton and junior Trinity Williamson on offense, but the Lady Liberators only managed to score more than one point at a time on three stretches.

“I wasn’t happy at all,” Phelps said. “We got beat by a very good team. They’re salty. They’re very good.”

Rachel Carr

Rachel Carr gets a foot off the ground during a serve. Bolivar fell to Stockton 2-0 last week. 

Vanderen had five kills for the Lady Liberators. Williamson had three kills and two blocks. Roweton had three kills and a block. Tucker had 11 assists and eight digs. Senior Emma Larimore had 10 digs, and senior Lily Shepard had six digs.

“We hit pretty good, but when we can’t get the ball to our setter in the proper spot, that’s the story right there,” Phelps said.

The Lady Liberators recorded a second straight loss last week, falling 2-1 to Nevada Thursday, Sept. 12. 

Bolivar fell to Parkview 2-0 Monday, Sept. 16.

The Lady Liberators next face Mt. Vernon at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, in Mt. Vernon. 

Reporter David Talley of the Bolivar Herald-Free Press contributed to this report.

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