CHS volleyball runs win streak to five matches
The Carlinville High School volleyball seniors were recognized in the CHS cafeteria following an Oct. 22 conference win over Southwestern. Pictured, from left, are Sarah DeNeve, Sydney Bowman, Head Coach Kaitie Hammann, Olivia Turley, Kelsey McKee and Haley Wills. Enquirer Democrat photo by Jackson Wilson.
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
Kaitie Hammann knew this year’s Carlinville High School volleyball seniors – Sydney Bowman, Sarah DeNeve, Olivia Turley, Haley Wills and Kelsey McKee – better then anyone, and she got to witness one of the strongest regular season finishes in the history of the storied program. With the postseason just days away, Hammann’s Lady Cavaliers are currently on a surging rampage that includes a tournament championship and a senior night victory.
“This was my very first group that I ever coached back in middle school,” Hammann said following a 25-18, 25-14 win over Southwestern in the Cavies home finale Oct. 22. “They were my seventh graders so this has been a really special ride for me personally watching each of them grow from girls who had never played volleyball before into what they are now. They have done so much and I can’t credit them enough for being great role models to the kids. They push hard at every practice and they’ve accepted everyone for who they are whether it’s a player, manager or fan. I couldn’t be more proud.”
Carlinville has won five consecutive games and is 26-8 overall.
Bethalto Civic Memorial Tournament
The Cavies came into the Oct. 19 Eagle Classic with an added sense of motivation after letting a 1-0 set lead slip through their fingers against Hillsboro at home two days prior.
Carlinville started by hitting a couple bumps in the road, but survived Metro East Lutheran of Edwardsville (25-18, 25-27, 25-14) and the Bethalto Civic Memorial junior varsity squad (25-20, 25-8) to get into the driver’s seat for a championship berth.
The Cavies then rolled past Brussels (25-11, 25-14) to advance to Saturday’s title game, in which they straight set the Civic Memorial varsity Eagles 29-27, 28-26 to take the title.
Jill Stayton was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. The Carlinville sophomore collected 50 digs, 34 service points, 26 kills, three aces and a pair of assists that helped CHS to the first place finish.
“She could have been deserving of a lot of all-tournament teams and things like that but she broke out this particular weekend with a solid performace all the way around,” Hammann said of Stayton. “I was so proud of her to get that MVP but the best part was to see how the other coaches thought that as well. You can’t vote for members of your own team. So, when they see what you see, you know you’ve got a special player.”
Junior Gracie Reels was additionally selected to the Eagle Classic’s All-Tournament Team thanks to 31 digs, 20 kills, 11 service points, three blocks, two assists and an ace.
The Cavies will conclude the regular season Thursday, Oct. 24, at Litchfield, beginning at 6 p.m.
Carlinville has earned a regional quarterfinal bye and will take on Auburn or Litchfield in Illinois High School Association Class 2A semifinal action at Auburn High School Tuesday, Oct. 29. Game time is 6:30 p.m.