Ozark wrapped up an undefeated run through the COC and claimed its first conference championship since 2018 by sweeping Carl Junction on Friday.
The Lady Tigers (24-3 overall and 9-0 in the COC) swept eight of their nine COC opponents, droppiong only one set to Republic.
Ozark finished one win ahead of runner-up and two-time defending COC champion Nixa (25-3 and 8-1).
“This is the best feeling ever,” outside hitter Reagan Baade said. “Hard work, determination and family are the words that come to my mind when I think about this.
“We knew we had everything it took to accomplish this and we've definitely earned it,” she added. “We had to show determination because we hadn't won this since 2018. The family culture we have is unbeatable.”
“The girls have had their eyes on this goal all season,” Ozark coach Adeana Brewer said. “I am so proud of them. They've worked for this for four years and had their eyes on this as something they wanted to achieve. Every year it's one of our top goals.”
With Thursday being ‘Senior Night,’ Brewer inserted all her seniors. She had injured Emery Sutherland announced as part of Ozark’s starting lineup, before subbing for her.
"I didn't feel like it was a safe opportunity to get her any sort of rep,” Brewer said. “She’s not anywhere close to being cleared from her ankle injury.”
Entering the start of Districts next week, Brewer is happy with the progress of middle blocker Skylar Hilton at the net.
"We've challenged her to work hard on her block,” Brewer said. “She has taken that feedback and applied it. She is continuing to put an effort toward blocks to the floor and getting good block-touches or blocks that channel the ball to our floor defense.”