JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
It was another Shelbyville v. Pana rivalry in the Shelbyville 2A Volleyball Regional on Tuesday night. Pana was better on paper, but had not played as well recently. Shelby challenged, but still lost in three games, 25-21, 19-25, 19-25.
“These kids played so hard in this match. I really wished we’d been able to pull it out,” said Ram coach Lisa Peifer. “Just a few lapses hurt us and gave Pana the slight edge they needed. I felt the kids did what I asked them to and we attacked them like I wanted, which led to the match being so hard played. It’s too bad this match had to be played on Tuesday night. I believe it was probably the championship. I’m really proud of my team.”
Pana went out to a 10-6 lead in game 1, but Shelby started to chip away. Brandy Smith's kill was tipped and went out of bounds. Pana then bumped out. Pana killed, but Smith answered, 11-9. Schoonover swung for a Pana kill, but after a great rally with some great digs, Pana was called for under the net, a call that would become a big factor in the 3-game set.
With Pana up 13-10, Brooke Eisenbarth tip blocked for a Ram point. Eisenbarth then delivered a rocket kill. After a service error, Eisenbarth came back again with a tip block.
She was then set on the outside and delivered a kill down the middle of the Pana side to tie the game, 14-14.
Lindsey Eigsti was in the middle of serving a 5-point run. With Shelby up 16-4, Pana had to call time-out. Schoonover swung for a kill, but Eisenbarth responded to the back line. Alex Johnston then blocked a Pana shot and Shelby was up 20-15. At 20-17 Rams, Shelby called time.
At 20-18, Smith tipped for a kill. At 22-18 the Rams had a great dig, but then their block attempt fell out. At 23-19 Pana called time again. Maggie Bosgraaf served an Smith tipped to bring game point, 24-19.
Pana blocked for a score and tipped for a score, 24-21. Then sophomore Madison Boone blasted a shot into a double block and it fell on the Pana side, game over, 25-21 Shelby.
Game 2 was tied at 1-2 and 2-2.. A Ram block fell out, then Pana blocked a kill, and tipped for a point, 5-2. Pana blocked another shot to go up 6-3. They served an ace, then blocked another Ram shot, 8-3 Pana. Shelby called time-out.
Pana tipped out and Taylor Wilcox tipped for Shelby. After a Ram service error, Wilcox killed of the net, then blocked a shot. Pana bumped out and it was a one point game, 10-9 Pana.
Shelby never could get over the hump from that point. Down 11-8, Smith killed deep and then blocked for a point, 11-10. At 12-11 Pana, Shelby missed a kill, then Pana served an ace. A net call made it 15-11.
Boone tipped for a point, but the ref called another under the net violation, 15-12. A Ram service error reared its ugly head again. At 17-12, there was an official time-out.
Eisenbarth then blocked shot into a Pana player, 18-13. Pana tipped and a play was made to dig it by the Rams. A free ball kill gave Pana a 19-13 lead and brought a Ram time-out. Pana served an ace and went up 21-13.
Eigsti went to the line after a Pana service error and delivered an ace. Despite a pancake save by Hendrix, Pana got a kill, then another kill to go up 23-15.
Eisenbarth cooked up a BK Special for the kill and Pana missed a shot, 23-17. Pana tipped to bring game point. Smith rocketed a ball that was returned another net call went against Pana. At 24-19, Pana smoked an ace for the game.
In game 3, Boone smashed a free ball for a 3-2 lead. Pana blocked a shot, then Eisenbarth's swing brought a Pana lift. Eisenbarth hit a sensational cross-court kill to go up 5-3.
Then Pana tipped for a point and served an ace, 5-5. Once again, Pana got a slim lead and never relinquished it.
They went up 7-5, before another net call. Wilcox killed to make it 8-7 Pana. Pana went up 11-8 before Smith swung for a kill. At 13-10, Eisenbarth rocketed a shot that came back and Boone tipped it for the point, 13-11.
Eisenbarth hit another BK Whopper to make it 14-12 Pana. Wilcox then made it two kills in a row for the Rams, making it 14-13 Pana and bringing a Panther time-out.
Schoonover killed after the time-out, then Pana served an ace and Shelby missed a shot. Down 17-13, Shelby called time. Pana served another ace, before Eisenbarth tipped for a point and served up an ace, 18-15.
Schoonover killed off the net then swung for another kill, 20-15. Smith tipped for a point, but Pana answered with their own tip. Boone shot a kill, but Pana killed away from a Boone block to lead 22-17 and bring a Ram time-out.
Pana missed a kill, then another kill. It would have been 22-19, but the ref made another late under the net call, 23-19 Pana.
At 24-18, Boone blocked a shot and it came back, so Boone delivered the kill shot, 24-19.
On a Pana tip shot near the net and near the out bounds line, Rachel Fox got the dig, but nobody could take it from there and the ball hit the floor, giving Pana the game and match.
The Rams went out with a blaze of glory. The Rams recorded one triple-double, one double-double and four double-digit performances.
Brooke Eisenbarth recorded a triple-double, helping fuel the Ram effort at the line, at the net, and in mid-court defense. She served 12 points with one ace, swung for 13 kills (1 block), and got down for 12 digs. Setter Maggie Bosgraaf recorded a double-double, serving 10 points and dishing out 19 of the 31 assists that led to 38 kills.
Brandy Smith was on fire at the net, swinging for a team-high 14 kills and being a huge factor in the game 1 Shelby win. Taylor Wilcox not only had a double-digit night at the line (11 points), she led the Ram net defense with two blocks.
Libero Sammy Hendrix got down for a team-high 17 digs, including at least one pancake dig. Lindsey Eigsti also pancaked a dig with her palm flat on the floor and had a double-digit performance at the line, serving 13 points with an ace. The Ram defensive effort was huge against the attack from the #1 seed.
Shelbyville recorded 51 digs, with eight different players contributing to the defense.
Shelbyville finished the season with a record of 20-17.
Shelbyville 2A Regional
Pana def. Shelbyville, 21-25, 25-19, 25-19
Ram stats: Taylor Wilcox 11 points, 4 kills, 1 dig, 2 blocks; Maggie Bosgraaf 10 points, 19 assists, 5 digs; Brandy Smith 6 points, 14 kills, 6 digs; Madison Boone 7 kills; Sammy Hendrix 8 points, 17 digs; Alex Johnston 2 assists, 1 dig, 1 block; Brooke Eisenbarth 12 points, 1 ace, 13 kills, 12 digs, 1 block; Alissa Hudson 2 assists, 3 digs; Lindsey Eigsti 13 points, 1 ace, 8 assists, 6 digs; Rachel Fox 3 points.