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VOLLEYBALL: Joplin, Neosho reach quarterfinals in CJ Classic

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — The Joplin Eagles won their pool and reached the Gold Bracket quarterfinals on Saturday in the Dr. Jeffrey Knutzen CJ Classic.


Joplin’s Bailey Owens earns a kill during the Eagles’ pool play of the CJ Classic on Saturday. Photo by Israel Perez.

Joplin defeated Nevada 2-0 (25-18, 25-21), Hillcrest 2-0 (27-25, 25-12), Hollister 2-0 (25-5, 26-24), and Aurora 2-0 (25-12, 25-17) before taking a two-set loss against Rogers, Arkansas.

“I thought we had a really strong start to the day,” Joplin coach Desiree Felker said. “We did a lot of things really well throughout pool play. We busted our butt all day and unfortunately, our first game in bracket play, things just didn’t go our way. We had a few serving errors, a couple hitting errors, serve receive wasn’t quite where we usually are, and that was the difference between how we started our day and how our day ended.

“We started playing really well at the end (against Rogers). We were making things happen, I just think the way we started the set versus how we ended the set made a difference. The hole we dug ourselves in at the beginning didn’t allow us to get all the way out of it. I’m proud of the girls for the way they dug in and they fought. We just have to clean things up earlier to win those kinds of games.”

Bailey Owens earned all-tournament honors, and she tallied 45 kills, 15 digs, and five blocks on the day.

Paisley Parker added 24 kills and 33 digs, Abby Hembree seven kills, eight aces, 26 digs and 86 assists, Serafina Auberry 10 kills and 11 digs, Adalynn Noirfalise 12 kills and 30 digs, Abigail Edwards 18 digs and nine aces, Jayla Hunter 51 digs, and Raelin Calderon eight kills and seven blocks.

Joplin moved to 12-7-1 overall this season and the Eagles return to action Tuesday at home against Central Ozark Conference foe Republic (20-7, 2-0 COC).

“The rest of our season is going to be tough,” Felker said. “We have conference games the rest of the way, then we have a tournament (Oct. 14-15) in Ozark. I think the CJ Classic does a good job of preparing us for that. We know what we need to get back to doing on Monday, and that’s what we’re here for.”


The Neosho Wildcats finished second in their pool and reached the Gold Bracket quarterfinals in the CJ Classic.

Neosho lost against tournament host Carl Junction 2-0 (13-25, 9-25) to start the day on a rough note, defeated pool opponents Pittsburg, Kan. 2-0 (25-9, 25-18) and Rogers Heritage, Ark. 2-0 (27-26, 25-21), tied Springfield Central (25-22, 16-25), and lost to Harrisonville 2-0 (18-25, 16-25) in the quarters.

“Overall, it was good,” Neosho coach Jessica Walton said. “We started out really rough having our only setter that was able to play in the first set getting hit in the face and she had a concussion, she just got cleared. We came back, once we got our setter cleared, and we beat Pittsburg and Heritage. That’s good.

“I’m proud of them. This year, we made it to the Gold Bracket, and we ended up placing second in our pool. We’ve already beaten our wins record from last year, so overall I think we’re on the right track. We’re improving. We’re getting a lot of bad setbacks right now.”

Neosho senior Meredith Baldwin earned all-tournament honors, but she left the quarterfinal match and did not return against Harrisonville.

“She’s just been an awesome competitor,” Walton said. “She’s been so aggressive. I’ve never seen our two senior middles (Baldwin, Karlee Ellick) hit as hard as they have. They’re just rocking the front row.

“We were tied in the first set, and she went up for the block. The girl was in the net, and she landed on her foot, and there it went. We’re praying that it’s just a sprain and not a fracture, but at the end of the day, we just hope that she’s healthy and we’ll do what’s best for her.”

Neosho, 7-6-1 overall, returns to action Tuesday in Central Ozark Conference play at home against Carl Junction.


Below is the 2022 Dr. Jeffrey Knutzen CJ Classic All-Tournament Team as well as the tournament MVP:

Destiny Buerge, Carl Junction

Logan Jones, Carl Junction

Meghan Grone, Springfield Central

Kennedy Smalley, Harrisonville

Bailey Owens, Joplin

Meredith Baldwin, Neosho

Delaney Hope, Nevada

Jacy Thomasson, Riverton

Malia Fosse, Rogers

Trinity Collette, Siloam Springs

Kate Brownfield, Webb City

Kyah Sanborn, Webb City

MVP—Aubree Lassiter, Webb City

Joplin’s Serafina Auberry raises up for a tip during an Eagles’ pool match at the CJ Classic on Saturday. Photo by Israel Perez.

SOFTBALL: Webb City goes 2-2 at UCM tourney

WARRENSBURG, Mo. — Webb City split four games at the UCM Tournament.

After going 0-2 in pool play on Friday, Webb City ended the tourney on a high note by winning both of its games on Saturday.

In Saturday’s consolation semifinals, Webb City defeated Knob Noster 9-0.

The Cardinals led 2-0 when they scored three runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth.

Lily Hall drove in three runs on two hits, while Liz Rhuems had two hits and scored three runs. Kenzie Wynn had two hits, while Kylee Sargent drove in two runs.

Laney Taylor was the winning pitcher. She tossed five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. Karsyn Cahoon pitched a scoreless inning in relief, striking out two of the three batters she faced.

In the tourney finale, Webb City beat Putnam County 15-7.

The Cardinals led 4-3 when they plated five runs in the fourth and six in the fifth. Putnam County scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth for the final margin.

Webb City recorded 16 hits, with 10 players contributing. 

Rhuems had a big day at the plate, going 4-for-4 with two doubles, five RBI and three runs scored. 

Dawsyn Decker, Maddie Barchak and Sargent contributed two hits apiece, while Jensyn Pickett and Barchak drove in two runs apiece.

Rylynn McFarland, Sydney Strickland and Hall also drove in runs. 

Cahoon was the winning pitcher. She allowed four runs on five hits in three innings. Taylor pitched two innings and gave up one earned run on four hits. 

On Friday, Belton defeated Webb City 6-0 and Holden beat the Cardinals 11-0.

The Cardinals managed just one hit against Belton, a single off the bat off Hall. 

Taylor took the loss, but she allowed only three earned runs in seven innings in the circle while striking out seven. 

Holden used a pair of five-run innings to beat the Cardinals in five innings.

Webb City’s lone hit against Holden was a double by Rhuems. 

Cahoon and Jo Jarmin handled the pitching duties, with Cahoon taking the loss. She allowed six earned runs in 2 2/3 innings while striking out five. 

Webb City (12-11) travels to Lebanon on Monday.



McDonald County split four games at the tourney. 

On Saturday, the Mustangs defeated Belton 9-8 and suffered a 2-1 setback to Blair Oaks. 

On Friday, McDonald County beat Knob Noster 17-1 and suffered a 1-0 loss to Sherwood.

Blair Oaks went on to win the tournament championship with a win over Sherwood.