Non-league contests can be a blessing for some and a curse for others depending on what's at stake and whose competing for it.
For the Montgomery County varsity volleyball team the road less traveled led them to Clarence Cannon Conference rival Centralia on Tuesday, and while both sets were incredibly close, it was the Lady Panthers that were able to sneak away with a, 27-25, 26-24, victory.
Pushing her way to the forefront for the Lady Wildcats was Hailey Hill with five kills and three aces and Renee Finke had four kills and two aces.
"We played hard, which also makes the losses even tougher to swallow," said Montgomery County coach Rachel Leu. "I'm proud of the girls for putting themselves in position to win, now we have to be able to come out on top of those intense plays when the score is close. Untimely, unforced errors really hurt us in the end."
On Monday the Lady Wildcats hosted another non-Eastern Missouri Conference matchup against Four Rivers Conference member Owensville and was defeated in three sets, 25-18, 19-25, 14-25.
Taking charge for Montgomery County was Kristin Koch, who had 12 digs and three aces. Kayla Schmidt also came through with nine digs, seven kills and two aces.
Centralia was at North Callaway on Thursday and hosts Wright City on Sept. 18.
Montgomery County will be at the Hermann Tournament from Sept. 18-21 after playing at Wright City on Thursday.