Staunton volleyball defends Macoupin County throne
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
The Staunton High School volleyball team captured its fourth consecutive Macoupin County Tournament title at Mt. Olive High School Oct. 9.
The Bulldogs’ championship streak is the longest in the 45-year Macoupin County tournament since Carlinville’s perfect decade under Fran Struble from 2000 to 2009.
Staunton, currently the frontrunners of the South Central Conference, straight set Southwestern (25-16, 25-13) and Gillespie (25-7, 25-8) with ease in pool play.
The championship match against North Mac, on the other hand, was a lot tougher in comparison. The Bulldogs struck first, but needed three sets to finish off a resilient pride of Panthers, 25-14, 19-25, 25-14.
“Volleyball is a game of momentum,” SHS head coach Jeanene Lucykow said. “You have to be ready for that to shift and we’ve been working hard to not let that bother us and be able to bounce back. North Mac did a great job. They played amazing defense and made it tough for us.”
Staunton was led by superstar cousins Haris Legendre and Kennedy Legendre, who each earned themselves a spot on the All-Tournament team.
“I can’t say enough about both of these girls,” Lucykow said. “They keep getting better every year.”
This year’s Bulldogs have a ton of depth and the Legendres have established themselves as the backbone of that strong body, defining the meaning of ‘dynamic duo.’ Of the 436 kills that
Staunton has thus far, H. Legendre is responsible for 204 of them. K. Legendre has unleashed 21 of the team’s 93 service aces alone while making 140 digs.
Although she didn’t make the All-County roster, Savannah Billings is having a career year herself. The SHS senior has served up 353 of the Bulldogs’ 407 assists.
“I’m so grateful to have these girls on my team,” Lucykow said. “They are one-of-a-kind players.”
Staunton, which opened up the season losing four of its first five matches, now holds an overall record of 16-5 while remaining untouched in SCC play (4-0). The Bulldogs additionally won another tournament back in mid-September.
North Mac, which swept Mt. Olive, Bunker Hill and Carlinville to win its pool, is 16-10.
Natalie Little and Rebekah Hannah each earned All-Tournament honors for the runner-up Panthers.