EA-WR junior Brittany Grayson sends a spike as Marquette junior Anna Daugherty (8) and senior Taylor Rook (13) put up a block at the Class 2A EA-WR Regional volleyball tournament on Monday.
Marquette junior Anna Daugherty hits the volleyball past EA-WR senior Kari Westbrook on Monday.
EA-WR junior Lexie Johnson sends a spike over the hands of Marquette senior Taylor Rook in the 2A EA-WR Regional semifinals on Monday.
WOOD RIVER — Someone's season had to end between the East Alton-Wood River Oilers and Marquette Explorers on Monday at the Class 2A EA-WR Regional.
Fortunately for the Explorers it wasn't their season. Unfortunately for the Oilers their's did end.
EA-WR played host to the regional semifinals Monday as it fell to the Explorers in straight games 25-19, 25-18. Marquette moves on to face the top-seeded Staunton Bulldogs at 5:30 p.m. tonight.
Marquette first-year head coach Sue Heinz said her team was ready for regional action and felt prepared for the Oilers in round one.
"At the beginning of the season we played really good against the Oilers at the Roxana Tournament," Heinz said. "Wood River beat us in our regular season matchup, but we didn't show up to play that day. Today the girls were ready and they wanted it. We didn't have too many mistakes, our serves were good and we did really well at passing."
EA-WR head coach Patti Scott felt her squad was ready for its matchup with its Prairie State Conference rival, but fell short when game time arrived.
"We wanted this win tonight, it wasn't a lack of desire or determination," Scott said. "We couldn't sync as a team, we had no rhythm. I saw the occasional glimpse of the team I know, we just couldn't find ourselves. The girls didn't come in tonight overconfident, they were a bit nervous and anticipating what they knew they could do."
Both Scott and Heinz have been enjoying their season of firsts. Heinz is in her first year as head coach for the Explorers and has compiled a record of 11-14, while Scott who returned to coaching after taking some time off, ends her season at 14-16.
"I really didn't think I'd want to coach again," Scott said. "When I came back this year, I thought it might just be for this one year because they needed a coach, but this season has been amazing and I really love these girls."
The Explorers now switch gears to the mental aspect of the game to prepare to face off against the Staunton Bulldogs in the regional semifinals.
"We've been working really hard on serves," said Marquette senior setter Alyssa Herzing. "Some girls are staying an extra half hour after practice just to work on that and it payed off tonight. Team bonding has really been a big thing for us this season. We've worked a lot on passing and team drills. We've realized it's about the team, not individual numbers."
Marquette faces Staunton at the EA-WR Memorial Gymnasium with the hopes to advance on to the EA-WR Regional finals on Thursday at 6 p.m.
EA-WR senior Jenna Walker led the Oilers with seven digs Monday with junior Natalie Mundel earning two kills. Junior Lexie Johnson added two kills and two blocks.
Marquette junior Anna Daugherty led the Explorers with eight kills, while Herzing topped Marquette with 13 assists. Junior Andria Pace earned three aces on serves, while Brittany Pace came up with two blocks. Junior Katie Gierer was able to pull out four digs for the Explorers.