Seth Whitehead - For the Daily Union
SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Shelbyville Moulton 8th grade volleyball cemented their top dog status in the conference on Tuesday night by putting down the other top team Meridian in straight games, even without one of their key starters, 26-24, 25-22. The bonus was the Ram 7th grade charging back to run off with a 3-game set in the prelim, 10-25, 25-17, 25-14.
This was a great match overall for us," said Ram 8th coach Lisa Peifer. "We had to make some adjustments on the line-up due to injury to Cailin Wilson. Kary Langan stepped in and did a great job. "
Langan swung for four kills, served up five points, and had two digs.
"The kids played hard all night and really earned this victory," Coach Peifer said. "We'll see Meridian again, both in the conference tourney and regional so it was good to get this match. I'm really proud of the girls and their effort tonight. To beat them when they were undefeated was for big for us."
Shelby seemed to be down by two the whole match accept when they would get a temporary tie and then finish strong for the each game win.
Meridian started off with the first two ponts and were very stubborn about allowing the Rams to erase that margin. Shelby caught them at 4-4, but Meridian then had a 3-point run. Shelby was down 10-5 and Coach Peifer called time-out.
Shelby finally caught them again at 16-16 and too ka 17-16 lead. Once again, the Hwks answered with a 2-point lead, 19-17. Sydney Miller swung for her fourth kill and gave Caylee Wheeler the ball at the line. She served and Miller stuffed a free ball to tie, 19-19.
Meridian had a 1-point lead, but served an error, 20-20. Miller went to the line and served an ace for the lead. Langan killed off a block attempt and the Hawks called time, down 22-20.
They tied the game at 22-22, but again gave away a serve. Torre Koontz got the serve and the Hawks were in the net, 24-22. Meridian got the next two points to send the game into OT, 24-24.
After a Ram time-out, Langan swung for another of her key kills and the lead, 25-24. Jacque Johnston went to the line and serve and ace for the game.
Game 2 was also blow-for-blow. Meridian led 4-1, but Maddie Holland served two aces to tie, 4-4. They tied at 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, before the Hawks went up 9-7. Langan killed from the 2nd row, but Shelby then went down 12-9 and 14-10.
Miller had their own 4-point run starting with a Miller kill. Maddie Holland went to the line. Koontz then swung away, but it was returned. She swung right back and scored. A Mad (Maddie Holland) ace tied the game 14-14. The Hawks went up again by two.
Meridian served an error and Miller 2-handed a ball off the net to tie again, 16-16. They tied at 17-17. Miller served and there was no return. Meridian called time-out, it didn't help. Langan killed off the net, then Miller served a net ace. She served another ace and Meridian called another time-out, 22-17.
Out of the pause, Miller served another ace. The Hawks tried to salvage the game with a 3-point run, 23-20. It didn't last. Shelby called time-out. Shelby was up 23-21 when Meridian missed a kill. At 24-22, Meridian served another error for the match.
Sydney Miller and Maddie Holland led the Rams both at the service line and the net. Miller served up 14 points with five aces and swung for a team-high seven kills. Holland also served up 14 points with three kills and two blocks for five net points.
Langan and Torre Koontz were also key at the net, swinging for four and three kills, respectively. Caylee Wheeler played a solid role setting and in court defense. She had a team-high eight assists and a team-high four digs.
The Rams swung for 17 kills from 13 assists, had nine aces with three blocks in the 2-game set.
Ram stats: Sydney Miller 14 points, 5 aces, 7 kills, 2 digs; Maddie Holland 14 points, 4 aces, 3 kills, 2 blocks; Jacque Johnston 7 points, 5 assists, 2 digs, 1 block; Caylee Wheeler 6 points, 8 assists, 4 digs; Kary Langan 5 points, 4 kills, 2 digs; Torre Koontz 5 points, 3 kills.
The 7th grade Rams were dead in the water after game one, but they charged back and left Meridian in the dust, sweeping their way through games two and three, out-scoring the Hawks 50- 29 in the last two games.
"We came out a little sluggish tonight and allowed Meridian to take control of game one early," said We appeared to have given up. We came back strong in game two, though and really turned things around. Emma White gave us a huge spark with a long service run and a couple of geat defensive plays. The girls finally got excited and really played with a lot of hustle and heart to win this match. They showed tonight just what they are capable of. Hopefully, this gives us the confidence we need to head in the right direction."
The Ram 7th grade was never in game one and fell behind 2-0 in game 2 on two straight aces. They fought back to tie at 2-2 with a block by Blair Rodman and at 4-4 on a Rodman ace. They held a 5-4 lead and a 6-5 lead, then Jordan Bruder swung for a kill and an 8-5 lead.
The Rams never looked back. Meridian called time, but the Rams continued on Emma White's 11-point serving run. During the run Bruder had four kills, including a kill at 12-5, 13-5, and 15-5.
At 16-5, Meridian had a 4-point run with two aces. Shayla Darnell hit an overhead to break it. At 18-12, Meridian served an error and Savannah Marty served the Rams to 20-12. At 21-14, Rodman swung for a kill and Meridian called time-out, 22-14.
Bruder had an overhead for a 23-15 lead. At 24-17, Maggie Furr served an ace to knot the match at a game apiece.
In game 3, the Rams took charge, going up 3-0 on an ace and two no returns, again by White. There were ties at 4-4 and 5-5, but that's where the Rams got separation.
Bruder killed for a 7-5 lead and tipped for an 8-6 lead. Bailee Buckles served four points, including an ace, 11-6 Rams. At 12-8, Kendyll Dunaway served 6-point run with four aces, including three in a row.
At 19-9, Meridian called their final time-out. The Hawks were in the net, then White killed down the line, 21-9. Meridian had a final gasp, a 4-point run. Shelby called time and broke it.
Out of the pause, Mallorie Mason killed from the 2nd row. Darnell then served an ace for match point.
Emma Whites run at the service line set the tone for the Ram comeback as she served up 16 points in the match with two aces. Shayla Darnell (1 ace), Mallorie Mason (2 aces), and Kyndall Dunaway (3 aces) followed with eight, seven, and seven points, respectively.
Jordan Bruder and Blair Rodman were huge swinging for kills. Bruder had four kills and Rodman had three kills and two blocks for five net points.
Savannah Marty ran the Ram offense with five of their six assists. A crew of Rams provided the court defense, led by Mallorie Mason with three digs. Darnell, White and Marty had two digs each. Emmalee Storm and Dunaway had one dig each for 11 digs.
Shelbyville def. Meridian, 10-25, 25-17, 25-12
Ram stats: Emma White 16 points, 2 aces, 1 kill, 2 digs; Shayla Darnell 8 points, 1 ace, 2 digs; Kendyll Dunaway 7 points, 3 aces, 1 dig; Mallorie Mason 7 points, 2 aces, 1 kill, 3 digs; Blair Rodman 6 points, 1 ace, 3 kills, 2 blocks; Bailee Buckles 5 points, 1 ace, 1 kill; Maggie Furr 4 points, 1 ace; Jordan Bruder 3 points, 1 ace, 4 kills; Savannah Marty 2 points, 5 assists, 2 digs; Emmalee Storm 1 dig; Jenna Helton 1 point; Courtlan Stephens 1 point
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