County volleyball: Staunton Bulldogs are champs

County volleyball: Staunton Bulldogs are champs

By Eric Becker

CARLINVILLE (Oct. 12, 2017) – Carlinville volleyball came into Saturday’s action looking to reclaim the county volleyball title it had lost last year to Mt. Olive.

Playing on its home court, the Cavaliers were poised as the top seed to do so, but somebody forgot to tell the Staunton Bulldogs.

Staunton pulled away to defeat Carlinville in the finals, 25-23, 25-19 to win its first county title since 2010, extending a win streak to nine straight dating back to a tournament in mid-September.

The county all-tourney team had four of the six members come from the championship match teams, including Anna Chew and Sydney Bates of Carlinville; Ashleigh Painter and Grace Nichols of Staunton; Audrey Hannah of North Mac and Ashley Dey of Bunker Hill.

“It feels great,” Staunton coach Jeanene Lucykow said. “I’m not sure when the last time Staunton won this tournament. We have six seniors and we’ve been playing very well as of recently. We played very well, but Carlinville had great defense. They played some great defense over there. It was a good game.”

The teams had met earlier in the Edwardsville tournament, with Carlinville winning in three. Lucykow missed that day with an illness, so this was the first time she had seen the Cavaliers this season. The teams will play again Thursday in the Carlinville Senior Night contest, and the teams are the top two seeds in the Carlinville Regional, which means a fourth meeting this season is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Staunton (20-10) came out early and took the lead at 6-3 before the Cavaliers tried to claw back in it.

Leading 10-8, Becca Caldieraro served up five straight points, including two aces for a 15-8 lead.

Carlinville got within 17-16 on back to back kills by Alyssa DeSpain and Bates, but could not get the lead at all in game one.

Carlinville tied it 22-22 on a Lexi Egelhoff kill, but Staunton got two straight points to take a 24-22 lead and held on to win on a net violation.

In game two, the Cavaliers again would never lead, despite tying the match early on a Bates ace serve, 4-4.

Caldieraro again had a strong serving run, scoring six straight points to push the lead to 14-6.

Carlinville got within 16-10 but would not threaten the rest of the way.

Nichols had eight kills for Staunton and Mackenzie Foster had four kills. Caldieraro had 13 points and four aces, while Kinzie Colley had five points, two aces and two kills. Painter had three kills.

Chew and Emma Griffith had five kills each for Carlinville (14-9). Taylor Wills had four points and two aces. Bates and Adriann Welte had three kills each.

Pool play

Carlinville polished off Gillespie in the tournament pool play opener, 25-10, 25-15.

The Cavies trailed early but Bates had a kill and two ace serves to push the lead in Carlinville’s favor. Griffith had the final five points, and two ace serves to close out game one.

In the second game, Carlinville took the lead at 8-7. Wills would serve up 10 straight points late in game two as the Cavaliers prevailed.

Wills had 13 points and two aces. Griffith had eight points, three aces and three kills; and Chew had four kills. Welte had four kills and Bates had four points, two aces and three kills.

Gillespie was led by Abbie Barber with three kills and Mackenzie Kasarda with four points and two kills.

Carlinville defeated North Mac 

The Cavaliers beat the Panthers 25-14, 25-12 to win the pool late Saturday morning.

Carlinville never trailed in either game. Chew finished with eight kills; Bates had five points and six kills; Welte had four kills and Wills had 11 points and three aces. Egelhoff added three kills.

North Mac got five kills from Audrey Hannah.

In other pool play contests from county, Staunton defeated Mt. Olive 25-11, 25-17 behind a balanced attack.

Painter had nine points, three aces and seven kills. Nichols added six points and four kills. Foster had four kills. Gabbie Reising had 10 points, two aces.

Mt. Olive was led by Kaleigh Ziglar with five points and two aces. Lillian Gretak and Rachael Kernich had two kills each.

Staunton outlasted Bunker Hill 25-20, 25-19 to win the pool and advance to the title game.

Seago led with seven kills, while Colley had four kills. Nichols had 12 points, two aces and two kills. Reising had five points.

Bunker Hill was led by Ashley Dey with seven points; Brooke Morell had four kills and Alyssa Austill had three points and five kills.

Third place match

North Mac defeated Bunker Hill for third place in the county, 25-15, 25-13.

Hannah finished with 11 kills and five points for the Panthers. Kelsie Perrine had six points, two aces and six kills. Alli Kallenbach had six points and six kills.

Bunker Hill was led by Mallory Schwegel with five kills. Dey had three points, two aces and two kills.

Auburn def. Carlinville

A special evening for the Carlinville volleyball program was the annual Dig Pink fundraiser against Auburn Thursday.

The team hosted an auction and had court time games, with all proceeds going to cancer research.

Auburn won the match in two, 25-14, 25-16, dropping Carlinville to 12-9 on the season.


 All-tournament team from the 2017 Macoupin County volleyball tournament, from left, are Anna Chew, Carlinville; Audrey Hannah, North Mac; Sydney Bates, Carlinville; Ashleigh Painter, Staunton; Grace Nichols, Staunton and Ashley Dey, Bunker Hill. 

 Alyssa Austill of Bunker Hill saves an errant pass at the net against Staunton Saturday at the Macoupin County volleyball tournament. 


Carlinville Cavaliers were runner-up in the county volleyball tournament for a second straight year.

  Staunton Bulldogs captured the Macoupin County volleyball tournament championship for the first time since the 2010 season. 

Mt. Olive’s Rachael Kernich hits against Staunton in Saturday’s county tourney.

Southwestern’s Bri Roloff with a set against Bunker Hill at county. 

Gillespie front line players await a serve from teammate Lexie Bussmann on Saturday at county, against Carlinville. 

Carlinville coach Fran Struble discusses strategy in a timeout against Gillespie at county. 

Carlinville’s Lexi Egelhoff and Emma Griffith attempt a block of Mackenzie Kasarda of Gillespie at county. 

North Mac’s Clair Harvey bumps the ball with backup from Alli Kallenbach just in case at the county tournament. 

Staunton’s Sarah Isenberg sets up a hitter for a kill attempt against Bunker Hill at county.