In Fulton head coach Megan Youse's opinion, a difficult day at the Blue Springs South Invitational on Sept. 24 signalled a "turning point" for her Lady Hornets volleyball team.
Fulton had slipped below the .500 mark at 9-10 after dropping all four of its tournament matches in straight sets to state-ranked opponents Nixa, St. Thomas Aquinas, Blue Springs and Ozark.
"That showed the girls that there was better volleyball out there, and that there was so much more for them to aspire to," Youse said Thursday afternoon. "That really changed our team dynamic."
The Lady Hornets realized what they could attain late Wednesday night in their own Roger D. Davis Gymnasium, bouncing top-seeded Boonville 25-17, 23-25 and 25-23 to collect their third straight Class 3, District 9 championship.
No. 2 seed Fulton reached the title match earlier Wednesday night with a 25-14, 25-16 semifinal victory over No. 3 Kirksville, another North Central Missouri Conference opponent.
"Districts were great this year; the teams were very even and it truly was great competition across the board," said Youse, in her second season as Fulton's head coach. "It was very exciting."