JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Shelbyville Moulton 7th grade volleyball followed up their well-played marathon loss with a too-quick, 2-game blitz of Argenta on Thursday, 26-24, 25-10, while the Ram 8th grade was finally tested, but ran away with their match in the end, 25-9, 21-25, 25-8. The Lady Rams then split with Monticello on Saturday. Ram 8th won, 25-13, 25-12, while the Ram 7th lost, 25-19, 20-25, 14-25.
The wins against Argenta were satisfying.
“We started off well, but finished the first game a little shaky, breaking down mentally,” said Ram 7th coach Brittany Pierce. “We recovered well in the second game, though and finally seemed to relax a little and have fun. We did a much better job of controlling the service line in game two, which helped immensely. We also had a few great plays that sparked some momentum for us. I think these girls are getting it. I know they will continue to improve.”
Shelbyville def. Argenta, 26-24, 25-10
Ram stats: Shayla Darnell 17 points, 9 aces, 2 kills; Savannah Marty 10 points, 3 aces, 5 assists, 1 kill, 1 dig; Bailee Buckles 8 points, 3 aces, 1 assist, 1 kill; Mallorie Mason 6 points, 2 aces, 1 digs; Jordan Bruder 4 points, 1 ace, 5 kills, 1 block, 1 dig; Maggie Furr 4 points, 1 ace; Emma White 2 points, 1 ace, 1 assist; Blair Rodman 1 kill.
After a blowout in game one, the Ram 8th experimented a little and it cost them game two. Last year’s state runner-ups returned to form in game three and made quick work of the Bombers.
“This match gave us an opportunity to try a few things, but we were so timid that we weren’t very successful,” said Ram 8th coach Lisa Peifer “When we played under control, we did well, but when we let them control the game with free balls and lack of aggressiveness on our part, we struggled. After we regrouped, we controlled the 3rd game from start to finish. It wasn’t our best match, but it’s a win.”
Shelbyville def. Argenta 25-9, 12-25, 25-8
Ram stats: Cailin Wilson 17 points, 4 aces, 4 kills, 7 digs, 2 blocks; Jacque Johnston 14 points, 2 aces, 1 kill, 5 assists, 2 digs; Caylee Wheeler 13 points, 2 aces, 2 kills, 5 assists, 5 digs; Maddie Holland 6 points, 3 kills, 3 digs, 1 block; Sydney Miller 1 point, 4 kills; Torre Koontz 3 points, 2 aces, 1 kill, 3 digs; Dakota Forsyth 4 points, 1 ace; Sami Hatfield 3 points, 1 ace, 1 assist; Shelby Hendrix 3 points, 1 ace; Kary Langan 3 points; Jerrica Hood 2 points, 1 ace; Savannah Carswell 2 points, 1 dig; Dakota Riley 1 dig
Shelby 8th win over Monticello was a too-quick, 2-game set, doubling up the Sages score, 25-13, 25-12.
“This was a really good match for us,” said Ram 8th coach Lisa Peifer. “We did very well with everything from passing to blocking. The kids took everything from passing to blocking. The kids took everything we did in practice and put it in play on the court, which showed in the score. We got some great swings from Sydney (Miller) and Jacque (Johnston), while Maddie (Holland) and Torre (Koontz) were solid in blocking. Everyone stepped up and did great and it was a solid, well-played win.”
Shelbyville def. Monticello, 25-13, 25-12
Ram stats: Maddie Holland 14 points, 2 aces, 2 digs, 2 blocks; Jacque Johnston 12 points, 3 aces, 5 kills, 6 assists, 2 digs; Sydney Miller 7 points, 3 aces, 4 kills, 2 digs; Cailin Wilson 7 points, 1 kill, 3 digs; Caylee Wheeler 4 points, 2 kills, 1 dig; Savannah Carswell 4 points; Sami Hatfield 2 points, 2 assists; Torre Koontz 1 point, 1 kill, 1 block; Kary Langan 1 kill.
The 7th grade was up and down and finished down.
“Once again, we started out playing great volleyball,” said Ram 7th coach Brittany Pierce. “We controlled the service line well in game one and that carried us early. We finally got excited and had fun. We started out game two very rocky and missed several serves in a row. We started a comeback late in the game, though and things seemed to be looking up. Game three was very rough. We just didn’t communicate very well and broke down mentally, which was very frustrating. On a positive note, Monticello was very athletic and was one of the best teams we’ve seen so far. We came very close to a win, but just need to learn not to panic when we get down.”
Monticello def. Shelbyville, 19-25, 25-20, 25-14
Ram stats: Bailee Buckles 15 points, 4 aces, 4 assists; Shayla Darnell 14 points, 4 aces; Maggie Furr 10 points, 3 aces; Jordan Bruder 9 points, 3 kills, 1 digs; Mallorie Mason 7 points, 1 ace, 1 dig; Savannah Marty 4 points, 3 assists, 2 kills, 1 block, 1 dig; Blair Rodman 3 kills, Emmalee Storm 1 kill.
Shelbyville 7th (3-4, 1-3 Okaw) and 8th (7-0, 4-0 Okaw) play Tuesday at Okaw Valley, starting at 6 p.m.