EDWARDSVILLE — The Edwardsville Tigers’ volleyball team continued to write its own success story in Monday night’s non-conference contest against the Mater Dei Knights at Lucco-Jackson Gymnasium.
The Tigers improve to 24-4 with the 25-15, 25-15 victory.
“We did (control the ball) and we were serving and receiving well,” EHS coach Jami Parker said. “The kids were hitting well and we had a lot of good touches at the net that I was pleased about and I was super happy with the defense. They were flying and they scrapped a lot of balls back up. They kept a lot of things in play and made some tough plays.”
In the first game, Edwardsville established an 8-6 lead with outside hitter Rachel Pranger’s kill. The Knights cut the score to 13-10, but that’s the closest they would get for the rest of the game.
Defensive specialist Megan Woll’s three-point service run gave the Tigers a 16-10 lead they would not relinquish.
“They control the ball better than we do,” said Mater Dei coach Chad Rakers, whose team dropped to 13-13-2. “They have people who put the ball away better than we do. Their opportunities arise and the ball goes to the floor, our opportunities arise and they’re still playing the ball. That’s the match.”
Edwardsville controlled the momentum early in the second game, as it went up 5-0. Pranger’s kills scored the third and fourth points. Pranger paced the Tigers’ game with 11 kills, 11 digs and two aces.
The Knights’ Tenna Ratermann’s kill broke the Tigers’ streak and made the score 5-1 with a kill. However, the Tigers went on to build a 9-2 lead. A four-point run brought Mater Dei within five-points (10-5) and a two-point serving run from Carter Mohesky pulled the Knights within three (15-12).
But Pranger came up big again with a three-point service run to make the score to 19-12 Edwardsville. The Tigers grabbed definitive control of the second game at the end with a three-point service run from Shelby Saye.
“The kids are doing a great job this year in hitting zones and serving well,” Parker said. “They served tough balls into zones we need to hit and so they’ve all been doing a great job. They’ve all been doing a great job of that and Shelby (Saye) finished the match up doing that.”
Saye called service runs “really important.”
“In practice, we work on serving all of the time,” she said. “So that we can hit zones under pressure.”
Also for Edwardsville, Kate Martin recorded eight kills and one solo block, Woll knocked out eight kills and two aces and Rachel Verdun had 11 digs and 20 assists.
The Tigers play Belleville West at 6 p.m. tomorrow at West in a Southwestern Conference road contest that will determine the SWC champion. EHS and the Maroons are both undefeated in league play.
Edwardsville will compete in the Lyons Township Tournament over the weekend in Chicagoland and will start postseason play next week at Class 4A Alton Regional.
“This is a tough week for us. We’ll play seven matches and they all will be big matches,” Parker said. “There’s no easy one this week. So, I think this is a good way to start and we’ll keep rolling.”