GRANITE CITY — The Civic Memorial Eagles celebrated another three-game victory on Tuesday.
The Eagles improved to 3-0 after coming from behind to beat the Granite City Warriors 23-25, 25-8, 25-14 in a nonconference contest at Memorial Gymnasium. Civic Memorial has won all of its matches in three games and is inching closer to tying its win total of six from last season.
"CM is a good team," Granite City coach Ginger Harrison said. "We play them again in our tournament and I look forward to it because it should be another good match."
The Warriors and Eagles will play each other again on Sept. 19 in the six-team Granite City Fall Classic.
Civic Memorial coach Amanda Biggs was thrilled her team picked up a victory over the Warriors on the road.
"Anytime you get a victory against what's been known as a pretty tough and a pretty big (Southwestern) conference, that's always a big boost for us, but more than that, we did exactly we needed to do," Biggs said. "We knew that we needed to execute on good serves and we knew that we had to control the offensive game. When you have 26 kills in a match, that's pretty awesome."
Civic Memorial began its season on Aug. 27 with a three-game win over East Alton-Wood River. On Sept. 2, the Eagles came from behind to beat Marquette Catholic in three games in their home opener.
On Tuesday, the Eagles got solid performances from their junior class of Kennedy Carnes, Kaity Kappler, Sydney Marshall, Cara Melton and Annika Ochs. Ochs finished with eight digs, Marshall had 26 assists and five kills, Melton had seven kills, Carnes had five kills and Kappler finished with four kills. Kappler also contributed 12 service points.
All five players were on the varsity squad last season.
"We have a lot of varsity experience from a lot of young girls, so I think that's definitely shining through right now and I'm really proud of them," Biggs said.
Granite City led 9-4 in the first game. The Eagles rallied to tie it at 23-23 on a kill by junior Baleigh Gehrs, but the Warriors scored points on a Civic Memorial serving error and a hitting error to win the game.
"Volleyball is such a game of momentum, so when you're down and you're kind of struggling, one of the things that I'm really proud of the girls is they're not going to quit fighting," Biggs said. "It kind of ended up that the momentum swung a little bit too far to Granite's side."
CM never trailed in the second game. The Eagles took a 16-4 lead after going on an 8-0 run.
With the third game tied at 6-6, CM went on a 4-0 run to take a 10-6 lead it didn't relinquish.
"We started off strong and excited," Harrison said. "We had a nice fan base tonight and that helped. They won that first one and it was pretty close. Then, they sat back on their heels thinking we're in a good place and they didn't realize that CM is a good team and they read us well and they came back and picked up on some spots that were wide open."
The Warriors dropped to 1-6 with the loss to the Eagles. They played their first home match on Tuesday after starting their season on Thursday with a road match against Highland and playing five matches in the Alton Tournament on Friday and Saturday.
Granite City's only win was against Gillespie on Saturday in the Alton Tournament.
"I think little by little, from the weekend to today, I've seen a lot of growth and I was telling them that high school sports are about the postseason, so we'll take our losses now and we'll learn from it and we build on it to try to get out of the regional," Harrison said. "We start with that first game in the regional and that's our goal and we'll move forward from there."
Granite City's next three matches will be at home. The Warriors play Metro-East Lutheran on Wednesday, Collinsville on Thursday and Gibault on Monday.
The Eagles will play in the Alton Invitational Tournament this weekend. They play Jersey and Roxana on Friday and Fort Zumwalt North, Carrollton and Alton on Saturday.
Biggs said her team's goal for the rest of the season is simple.
"We're going to keep executing on offense and playing our game," the CM coach said.