Lady Bulldogs three-peat as Macoupin County champions

Lady Bulldogs three-peat as Macoupin County champions

Pictured prior to making a serve against Staunton Oct. 10, Carlinville High School senior Sarah DeNeve helped lead the Cavies to a third place finish at the Oct. 12 Macoupin County Tournament by posting an All-Tournament statline of 12 service points, an ace, 23 kills, six blocks, 79 assists and 41 digs. Enquirer Democrat photo by Cory Walton.

By JACKSON WILSON

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

Despite being without its starting setter, Staunton High School’s varsity volleyball team won a third consecutive Macoupin County volleyball championship at Carlinville High School Oct. 12.

The Lady Bulldogs finished the day undefeated in six sets by knocking off Bunker Hill (25-18, 25-21) and Southwestern (25-19, 25-14) in pool play to qualify for the title match against tournament host North Mac, in which they won 25-14, 25-18 to take the crown.

Staunton is riding high with a record of 24-4 heading down the final stretch of the regular season.

“This was one of our goals from the beginning of the year,” said Staunton head coach Jeanene Lucykow. “It was great to get this championship knowing that we’ve got a tough road ahead of us.”

North Mac, 11-14, was coming in fresh off a straight set upset of Carlinville in a match that consisted of two classics. The Lady Panthers passed the ultimate stamina test in a 32-30 first set, then punched their ticket to the title game, 25-23.

“This whole tournament was a big confidence booster for us,” North Mac head coach Marlee Lindstrom said following the championship defeat. “We’ve struggled in the past but the girls are getting excited and coming together. Everyone is starting to believe that they can do something special.”

Third Place Game

The 12-17 Bunker Hill Minutemaids gained the early edge on the heels of a 26-24 win in the opening set of the third place match, but CHS rallied for a pair of 25-21 triumphs and ended the tournament with three wins in four games.

The Cavies got past Mt. Olive (25-9, 25-17) and Gillespie (25-17, 25-19) before succombing to North Mac later in the day.

Carlinville is now 20-7 overall.

“We served a lot better in this game,” said Carlinville head coach Kaitie Hammann. “Against North Mac, we missed eight serves. We came back much stronger in that regard against this team, which is big. I still would like to see the girls clean up a few communication errors and some little things here and there but every team goes through that. I’m very proud of the way we regrouped, regathered and got the job done.”

All-Tournament Team

Hollie Bekeske (Staunton), Taryn Russell (Staunton), Alli Kallenbach (North Mac), Brianna Roloff (Southwestern), Sarah DeNeve (Carlinville) and Brylie Chrisman (Bunker Hill) were recognized as this year’s Macoupin County All-Tournament team members.

Carlinville vs. Staunton – 10/10

The Cavies put pressure on Staunton with a hard-fought 25-21 win in the opening set, but the visitors came from behind to steal a South Central conference win on the road last Thursday.

DeNeve posted a double-double consisting of 17 assists and 13 digs.

Gracie Reels contributed with a team-leading 23 digs and six kills.

Jill Stayton added 17 digs, six kills, five service points, an ace and an assist.

Final Carlinville Home Games

Carlinville will host Hillsboro Thursday, Oct. 17 and Southwestern for Senior Night Tuesday, Oct. 22. Both matches begin at 6 p.m.

Bethalto Civic Memorial Tournament

The Cavies will travel to Bethalto to participate in another tournament Saturday, Oct. 19. Game times and matchups are listed below.

8:30 a.m. – Carlinville vs. MELHS – Civic Memorial Main Gym

8:30 a.m. – Civic Memorial vs. Litchfield – Civic Memorial Auxilary Gym

9:30 a.m. – Triopia vs. Carrollton – Civic Memorial Main Gym

9:30 a.m. – Brussels vs. Civic Memorial JV – Civic Memorial Auxilary Gym

10:30 a.m. – Civic Memorial vs. Carrollton – Civic Memorial Main Gym

10:30 a.m. – MELHS vs. Brussels – Civic Memorial Auxilary Gym

11:30 a.m. – Triopia vs. Litchfield – Civic Memorial Main Gym

11:30 a.m. – Carlinville vs. Civic Memorial JV – Civic Memorial Auxilary Gym

12:30 p.m. – Civic Memorial JV vs. MELHS – Civic Memorial Main Gym

12:30 p.m. – Litchfield vs. Carrollton – Civic Memorial Auxilary Gym

1:30 p.m. – Carlinville vs. Brussels – Civic Memorial Main Gym

1:30 p.m. – Civic Memorial vs. Triopia – Civic Memorial Auxilary Gym

2:30 p.m. – Fifth and seventh place games – TBD

3:30 p.m. – First and third place games – TBD