Mehlville girls’ volleyball team continues to roll through opponents

By Stephen Glover

Like a fine-tuned machine, the girls’ volleyball team at Mehlville Senior High School has been running on all cylinders this season.

The Panthers (25-1, 5-1 Suburban West) were no less than spectacular this past weekend as they captured the Suburban South/West tournament with a perfect 7-0 mark.

In order to win the tournament, Mehlville literally won those seven games in less than 24 hours, which drew much praise from head coach Sue Hurt.

“The kids did a great job,” Hurt told the Call. “We really got to see what they were made of this weekend.”

Mehlville opened up tournament play with a solid 25-14, 25-12 win over Parkway North and then immediately turned around with a 25-6, 25-6 thumping of University City.

The Panthers rounded out the evening with a 25-22, 25-16 win over Parkway West and a 25-8, 25-19 thumping of Summit.

Though it may seem as if the Panthers had an easy going in their pool play of the tournament, the Suburban West and South conferences have some of the more talented teams in the area.

“Obviously there’s a lot of good competition in both leagues,” Hurt said. “On any given day, any team can be beaten. We had six quality teams in the gold division of the tournament.”

With Friday’s competition behind them, the Panthers’ head coach knew that they still had a long way to go if they wanted to win the tournament.

She was quick to remind her players of what kind of dedication was needed to stay focused on the team’s goals.

“I told them Friday night that if they stayed out late, they’d pay for it on Saturday,” Hurt said. “I think that they took my advice.”

It was apparent that the Panthers took their coach’s advice as they thumped Eureka 25-16, 25-16. Yet it was Oakville, their district rival, who ended up giving them the best run for their money in a 25-1, 23-25, 25-20 barn burner.

“They (Oakville) were ready for us,” Hurt said. “We always have great games against them.”

Mehlville finished out the tournament with a 25-13, 26-24 victory over Marquette.

The win over the Mustangs had some significance to the Panthers due to the fact that their only loss this season was to Marquette.

“We started out really flat against Marquette and I think we were down 8-1 at one point of the first game,” Hurt said. “I think that we were just tired, but got a second wind. The second game was really exciting and the girls came through.”

Should Marquette lose to Lafayette this past Tuesday — after the Call went to press — the Panthers will have grabbed a share of the Suburban West Conference championship.

The Panthers will return to action Thursday — today — as they travel to Webster Groves for a 5 p.m. showdown.

Yet the game of the year will be Monday evening as Mehlville plays host to Cor Jesu in a possible preview to the district championship game.

“We could actually see them twice in a week’s time,” Hurt said. “Our kids are going to be chomping at the bit and raring to go.”

The Cor Jesu contest is slated for a 5 p.m. start.