Despite losing the majority of last year's district champion starting lineup, the Aurora Lady Houns found themselves back in the big match again this year. And for the second season in a row, the Lady Houns took down rival Mt. Vernon to claim the district championship trophy.
Following an opening round 2-1 win over Hollister and a 2-0 semifinal victory over Seneca, the third-seeded Lady Houns faced top seed Mt. Vernon at Cassville last Wednesday for the Class 3 District 12 title.
Aurora took the first game comfortably by a score of 25-18, but the second set was close until the end, with the underdog Lady Houns coming out on top 26-24.
Junior Brooke Bellamy led the way for the Aurora offense with 12 kills and three aces on the match, while senior Julia McVey added seven kills and 17 digs. Junior Kortney Juracek recorded 14 digs, and freshman Gabie McVey added 25 assists.
In the semifinal match against Seneca earlier that evening, Bellamy and J. McVey recorded eight and seven kills, respectively, while the latter racked up four aces. Bellamy added six total blocks against the Lady Indians. The McVeys led the team in digs (15) and assists (20), respectively.
With another district championship in the bag, the Lady Houns traveled to the state capital over the weekend for sectional play, but it was a familiar Southwest Missouri foe that the team would face. Aurora faced state-ranked Logan-Rogersville for the third time this season, having lost 2-0 each of the first two times.
That pattern held, as Aurora was outmatched by the Lady Wildcats, falling 25-13 and 25-17 to end the season. Rogersville would go on to beat hosts Helias Catholic to advance to the Final Four.
Following the sectional loss, three Lady Houns were named to the All-District teams: Bellamy and J. McVey made the first team, while G. McVey was added to the second team.
The elder McVey and Maggie Wagner will be the only two Lady Houns moving on from the team due to graduation, leaving the majority of this championship team to come back to defend the title again next season.