JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. — Shelbyville volleyball tussled with Tuscola on Thursday night and rode the roller coaster to a 3-game win, 25-12, 19-25, 25-18.
The Shelbyville program managed a sweep, but it wasn't easy. Shelby fresh-soph came back from a bad game 1 loss to win in three in nip 'n tuck fashion, 11-25, 16-14, 15-11. Shelby JV, likewise, had to come back from a 3-point game 1 loss, to win game 2 by four points and game 3 by six points.
The roller coaster ride continued in the varsity tilt. Shelby came out smokin' doubling up the Warriors score in game 1, 25-12.
"This was a long hot match," said Ram coach Lisa Peifer. "We played really well the first game, although Tuscola helped us out at the service line with missed serves."
Posperity led to a let down by the Rams and they didn't put Tuscola away, losing game 2 by six points, 19-25.
"We let up the second game and our pace just slowed a lot," Coach Peifer said. "Tuscola started getting good blocks up against us and we didn't adjust well. Finally the 3rd game, we got on a roll and finshed out the match. I think consistency is the key for these girls. We played so hard that sometimes we forget to talk. Overall, it was a good win though."
Brandy Smith was on fire for the Ram attack. Smith swung for 10 kills. She also was a key net defender with a team-high 3 blocks, tallying 13 net points.
Madison Boone was also a double-digit performer, but not at the net, on defense. Boone anchored the mid-court defense with a team-high 11 digs.
Setters Courtney Williams and Lindsey Eigsti split the 16 assists leading to 18 kills (88%).
The Ram net defense held a block party, recording nine blocks. Smith had three, Boone two, Rachel Fox two and Kelcie Darnell and Claudia Watson one each. The mid-court defense registered 26 digs.
Darnell was the service leader, serving a match-high 19 points and a team-high three aces. Five different Rams served double-digit points. Boon and Williams served a dozen each, Eigsti served 11 points and Smith 10.
Tuscola swung for only 14 kills, dug 17 balls and had five blocks. Their kill leader, Karli Allen had just five kills. Their top court defender, Anna Watson had nine digs.
Shelby varsity (5-4), who climbed back one game above .500, plays in the Newton tourney on Saturday. Shelby went 3-2 last week in the Shelby Invite and took 2nd.
Shelbyville def. Tuscola, 25-12, 19-25, 25-18
Ram stats: Brandy Smith 3 points, 10 kills, 3 blocks; Madison Boone 12 points, 5 kills, 1 ace, 2 blocks, 11 digs; Rachel Fox 10 points, 2 kills, 2 blocks, 7 digs; Kelcie Darnell 19 points, 1 kill, 3 aces, 1 block, 4 digs; Courtney Williams 12 points, 1 ace, 8 assists; Lindsey Eigsti 11 points, 1 ace, 8 assists, 4 digs; Claudia Watson 1 block, 2 digs; Jensen Cloe 2 digs; Blair Johnston 1 point; Haley Eisenbarth 1 dig, 1 block.
The JV had their hands full with Tuscola.
"The girls came out and played hard for three games," said JV coach Jamie Watson. "Tuscola was a scrappy team. We kept them on defense most of the night and they didn'y let up. I'm very proud of the girls. They didn't give up and fought hard for each point."
Caylee Wheeler and Hannah Koonce recorded double-doubles. Wheeler served 14 points and dished 11 assists. Koonce served 12 points and registered 13 digs.
Shelbyville def. Tuscola, 22-25, 25-21, 15-9
Ram stats: Caylee Wheeler 14 points, 1 ace, 11 assists, 3 digs; Sydney Miller 9 points, 2 aces, 5 kills, 10 digs; Blair Johnston 1 assist, 9 digs; Jacque Johnston 8 points, 1 ace, 8 kills, 6 assists, 1 dig; Hannah Koonce 12 points, 1 ace, 6 kills, 13 digs, 1 block; Maddie Holland 8 points, 3 kills, 1 dig, 2 blocks; Torre Koontz 10 points, 2 aces, 3 digs; Peighton Donnel 1 kill; Madison Dove 1 dig; Madison Towne 3 digs.
The fresh-soph Rams shot themselves in the foot, but emerged from a tough match with a hard fought win.
"Our serving was awful," said fresh-soph coach Ann Dunaway. "We had trouble picking up tips, as well, but got better as the games went on. We were a lot smarter this with our hitting."
Shelbyville def. Tuscola, 11-25, 16-14, 15-11
Ram stats: Isabel Leach 6 points, 1 ace, 6 assists; Quincy Beyers 8 points, 5 kills; Kary Langan 3 points, 3 kills, 1 dig, 1 block; Karlee Herzog 6 points, 3 digs; Elly Oldham 1 point, 1 dig; Dakota Forsyth 8 points, 1 kill, 2 digs; Caylee Wheeler 8 points, 3 assists, 3 digs; Katie Sladek 2 points, 1 kill.