With regional pairings announced Friday, local high school volleyball teams know their postseason paths as they enter the final week of regularly scheduled matches.
Waterloo is peaking at the right time. Gibault, Columbia and Valmeyer are just striving for consistency.
The Bulldogs (15-7-3) posted another Mississippi Valley Conference win and a Dig Pink victory over cross-town rival Gibault prior to a second place showing at the Highland tournament on Saturday.
Waterloo defeated Civic Memorial last Tuesday, 25-14, 25-14. Jessie Seidel finished with 17 points and Hannah Cope added eight kills and nine assists.
Thursday was the annual “Dig Pink” match for breast cancer awareness at Gibault, with the Bulldogs winning 25-17, 25-21. Cope stuffed the stat sheet with seven points, eight assists and four kills. Paige Montgomery added seven kills and Hailey Montgomery contributed three blocks.
Both teams were outfitted in shirts displaying the “Dig Pink” logo to honor victims of breast cancer. Pink roses were delivered to breast cancer survivors in attendance and placed in a holder to remember those who have lost their battles.
Waterloo went 2-1-2 in the Highland tourney, falling to the host squad in three sets, 19-25, 25-15, 15-12, in the title match. It was the second time this season that Waterloo lost in three sets to Highland, which improved to 23-1 this season.
In other tourney matches, Waterloo tied Breese Central and Carbondale and defeated Alton and Centralia.
Seidel and Cope were both named to the all-tourney team.
Waterloo won Tuesday’s MVC match at home against Mascoutah for a 7-1 conference record. The Bulldogs play at Triad on Thursday.
Despite the loss to Waterloo, Gibault head coach Heather Lazarides remains upbeat about her squad.
“Recent play has been decent,” she said, adding that middle hitter Kelly Papenberg just returned to the lineup after missing a few weeks with a broken hand.
Papenberg finished with six kills during last Tuesday’s 25-16, 25-19 loss at Mater Dei.
Sophomore outside hitter Ande Grohmann has been heating up offensively of late, Lazarides added.
“They are battle tested and are ready for playoffs,” Lazarides said of her players.
Gibault (12-11) played at Marquette on Tuesday, will be at Chester on Thursday and plays at Valmeyer this coming Monday.
Columbia (16-14-1) won two Cahokia Conference matches last week prior to Highland tourney play.
The Eagles defeated Salem last Tuesday, 25-14, 25-14, and took down Wesclin on Thursday, 25-20, 25-20. With the wins, Columbia moved to 7-2 in the conference.
Avrie Barthel finished with eight kills and four blocks and Paige Becker added 12 assists in the win over Salem. Emily Huy led the way with seven kills with Becker and Lindsay Wibbenmeyer contributing 11 assists each in the win over Wesclin.
In tourney play, Columbia split two matches with Altamont, tied Centralia and defeated Breese Central.
The Eagles hosted Freeburg on Tuesday and play Wednesday at O’Fallon.
Valmeyer (15-15) split two recent matches ahead of Tuesday’s big “Block Out Cancer” match at home in honor of classmate Jessica Hicks. Read more on that match in next week’s paper.
Last Tuesday, the Pirates defeated Okawville, 25-16, 21-25, 25-17. Sara Andres led the way with 11 kills and seven points. Guin Kohnz finished with 22 assists. Gwen Panzau recorded eight blocks in the contest.
On Thursday, Valmeyer dropped a 26-24, 25-21 match at home to New Athens.
Andres leads Valmeyer in kills this season with 209. Kohnz leads in points (164) and assists (420). Panzau leads in blocks with 62.
Valmeyer plays at Dupo on Thursday.
Dupo (3-15) dropped matches last week to Cahokia and Lebanon.
Regional pairings set
The IHSA regional volleyball schedule was announced Friday afternoon. All regional title games for teams in this area will take place on Oct. 25.
In Class 1A, Gibault plays in the Steeleville Regional on Oct. 23 against the winner of First Baptist Academy and Christ Our Savior Lutheran.
At the Class 1A Christ Our Rock Regional in Centralia, Valmeyer opens against the winner of Patoka and Christ Our Rock Lutheran on Oct. 23.
In Class 2A, Dupo battles Marquette on Oct. 22 in the Carlyle Regional.
In Class 3A, both Waterloo and Columbia play in the Althoff Regional. Waterloo opens against East St. Louis on Oct. 22; Columbia opens against Cahokia on Oct. 22.
With a win, Waterloo would battle Althoff on Oct. 23. With a win, Columbia would take on Freeburg on Oct. 23.