Lady Cavaliers get redemption over Auburn, return to regional final

Lady Cavaliers get redemption over Auburn, return to

Kelsey McKee tips the ball over the net during Carlinville’s regular season finale at Litchfield Oct. 24. The Cavies won 25-22, 26-28, 25-21 and ended the year with a 6-3 conference record. Enquirer Democrat photo by Jackson Wilson.

By JACKSON WILSON

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

The Carlinville High School varsity volleyball team is headed back to the regional championship game with a chance to avenge a defeat from last season.

The Cavies braved a back-and-forth dual down the stretch and sent the host Trojans home 25-23, 9-25, 25-23 (2-1).

Behind double-doubles from Sarah DeNeve and Jill Stayton, the Cavaliers outlasted an Auburn team that had previously handed them a straight set defeat to open up the regular season back on Aug. 29.

“I saw a lot of great things we could do after we lost to this team,” said Carlinville head coach Kaitie Hammann. “For us to come back and perform the way we did really shows the amount of fight that my girls have.”

DeNeve collected 24 assists, 15 digs, seven service points, five kills and three blocks.

Stayton continued a recent hot pursuit with 22 digs, 11 kills, two service points, an ace and an assist.

Gracie Reels also had a clutch performance of contributed eight kills and five service points.

The regional semifinal triumph raised the Carlinville’s record to 28-8 heading into Thursday’s title match against sub-sectional top seed Quincy Notre Dame.

CHS began with a hard-fought 25-23 win in the first set, but were reduced to square one after getting punished 25-9.

Trailing 14-9 with their backs against the wall in set three, Hammann’s troops rallied to take a 19-18 lead and were able to make it stick.

Following the win, Hammann mentioned that the momentum levels were to the point where the team was immediately ready to get to back to work in preparation for its toughest test of the season.

“We’re going to take everything we can get from this,” Hammann said. “The girls were pumped when I told them that we had practice tomorrow and that’s what you want to hear. When that happens, you know you’ve got somebody who wants to win and all those girls have that same goal. Quincy Notre Dame is a great team and sometimes you match up against powerhouses like that. But, you know what? I’m always up for a little upset.”

The Illinois High School Association Class 2A regional championship will be played Thursday, Oct. 31 at Auburn High School. Game time is 6 p.m.

The winner will move on and meet the Decatur (St. Teresa) regional champion in sectional semifinal action at Pleasant Plains High School Monday, Nov. 4. Game time is 5:30 p.m.

The sectional championship is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 6 p.m.

Cavies close out regular

season with conference win

at Litchfield

Carlinville let a 24-20 lead slip away en route to an equalizing defeat in the second set, but still managed to get out of Litchfield with a sixth win in nine conference games, 25-22, 26-28, 25-21.

Stayton stuffed the stat sheet with a triple double of 22 digs, 12 kills and 11 service points to help lead the Cavies to victory.

DeNeve closed the book on her regular season career by adding in a double-double of 31 assists and 14 digs.

Reels and Olivia Turley had double-doubles as well – contributing with 10 service points and 17 digs each.

North Mac and Gillespie

eliminated

The North Mac Lady Panthers straight set the Gillespie Lady Miners 25-14, 25-23 in the quarterfinals of the Auburn regional before succombing to Quincy Notre Dame 25-4, 25-16 Tuesday night.

Gillespie taps out with a final record of 8-17 after going all of last season without a win.

North Mac concludes its campaign 16-16-1.

Staunton advances

The Staunton Lady Bulldogs made easy work of Hillsboro 25-17, 25-16 in their IHSA Class 2A regional semifinal match Tuesday and extended their winning streak to 17 games.

Staunton, now 31-4 on the year, will battle Breese Central for a sectional berth Thursday, Oct. 31. Game time is 6 p.m. at Greenville High School.