JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL — Shelbyville volleyball (21-16) had a rematch with the best team in the area in the Pana 2A Regional Championship match. St. Anthony (30-5) would not be upset and handled the Rams, 25-18, 25-10.
Despite being a 20-win team, the Rams just couldn't match-up against St. Anthony.
"This was a rough way to finish the season," said Ram coach Lisa Peifer. "You always want to walk off the floor knowing you battled every point and I'm not sure we can say that. The girls played hard, but it was by far from the best we have played. For some reason, we just got overwhelmed and broke down from the plan of how we needed to execute."
St. Anthony's attack boasted 23 kills, while the Rams had just nine. Both teams had about 17 digs. Shelby needed more to put up a defense, while St. Anthony only needed what they used.
St. Anthony served up 10 aces, helping to frustrate the Ram transition to offense, while Shelby had just one ace.
Madison Boone was the lone Shelby hitter to get any traction against the Bulldogs. She had four kills and two blocks and the only Shelby ace of the match.
JV front line players Ryann Ambrose and Maddie Holland scored, but they weren't enough to tip the uneven scales. Holland had a kill and Ambrose had two blocks.
Brandy Smith had two kills and Kelcie Darnell one and that was 9 kill total in the too-quick, 2-game set. Lindsey Eigsti dished all six Ram assists.
The Rams had just 16 successful digs as a team spred among nine players. Rachel Fox, Boone, and Courtney Williams led the defense with three digs each. Eigsti and Boone served seven and six points to lead at the line.
As for the Dawgs, Haylee Mathis set up the offense dishing 17 assists towards the 23 kills. Mathis had four kills, herself and six digs.
Rachel Schultz was the leader at the line and in court defense. Schultz delivered three of the 10 Bulldog aces.
Lauren Wendt and Megan Nuxoll led the Dawg attack with seven and six kills, respectively.
Shelbyville finished the season 21-16 overall and 8-3 in the Okaw Valley Conference.
"We definitely had an interesting year," Coach Peifer said. "At times, we were able to play great and other times struggled to be a team. I hope the kids remember the positive moments."
Pana 2A Regional Championship
St. Anthony def. Shelbyville, 25-18, 25-10
Ram stats: Lindsey Eigsti 7 points, 6 assists, 1 dig; Rachel Fox 3 points, 3 digs; Madison Boone 6 points, 1 ace, 4 kills, 3 digs, 2 blocks; Courtney Williams 4 points, 3 digs; Kelcie darnell 5 points, 1 kill, 2 digs; Jensen Cloe 1 dig; Brandy Smith 3 points, 2 kills, 1 dig; Ryann Ambrose 1 dig, 2 blocks; Madie Holland 1 kill, 1 dig; Haley Eisenbarth 1 kill, 2 assists.
St. A stats: Haylee Mathis 4 kills, 2 aces, 6 digs, 17 assists; Lauren Wendte 7 kills; Megan Nuxoll 6 kills, 4 digs; Logan Braunecker 3 kills; Maggie Mumm 3 kills, 2 digs; Rachel Schultz 3 aces, 11 digs; Jenna Woltman 3 aces, 3 assists; Emily Woltman 2 aces