Lady Cavaliers defend home hardwood, win Carlinville Classic
Sarah DeNeve blocks a shot at the net, with Olivia Turley (left) and Adrienne Tracy (right) ready to back up the deflection. Enquirer Democrat Photo by Daniel Winningham.
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
The Carlinville Lady Cavaliers are only one week into the 2019 volleyball season, but they have already taken a huge step forward.
The Cavies came alive on Saturday and powered past Wesclin (25-13, 25-12) and Athens (30-28, 25-21) to win a championship at the Carlinville Classic.
“This was a complete team victory,” praised Carlinville head coach Kaitie Hammann. “It wasn’t just one big play or one person. Someone else stepped up on every rotation, whether it was on offense or defense. The girls played incredibly smart and never lost focus, even when we were down. They fought back for each point and shared each other’s successes. I can’t wait to see what this team does the rest of the year.”
Senior captain Sarah DeNeve led a balanced offensive attack with 14 assists, nine service points, five kills and three aces against Wesclin. Wills added seven kills, five service points, three aces and a block. Gracie Reels had a big game as well, posting a team-leading 11 service points while adding four aces, three kills and an assist.
In the title game against Athens, DeNeve kept her passing game sharp with 17 assists. Wills had 12 service points, seven kills and six aces. Reels added eight kills to her statline. Olivia Turley broke out for six service tallies.
Carlinville was swept by Auburn (17-25, 23-25) in the Aug. 29 opener, but the team walked away with a strong sense of positivity and momentum after nearly overcoming a double digit deficit to force a rubber set.
The Carlinville junior varsity Cavaliers picked up a first round win over Wesclin (24-26, 25-23, 15-5) in their portion of the Classic, but fell short to Lincolnwood (9-25, 26-28) in the finale.
Lexy West took the reigns with eight service points, eight digs, four aces, two rejections and an assist in Carlinville’s quarterfinal rally. Catie Sims racked up nine service points and four aces of her own. Matilda Mitchell contributed with 14 digs. Paris Cousett played the role of ‘defensive juggernaut’ and blocked three scoring attempts at the net. Ella Walker led the team in kills with six.
Both Carlinville teams are 2-1 on the year and will travel to Piasa for a non-conference showdown against Southwestern Thursday. Action gets underway with the junior varsity game at 6 p.m.