Columbia, Valmeyer take Regional Titles - Republic-Times | News

Columbia, Valmeyer take Regional Titles

By on October 26, 2012 at 9:00 am

The Columbia volleyball team celebrates its regional final win on Tuesday night in Mascoutah. (submitted photo)

Columbia and Valmeyer kept the fire burning in the red hot local volleyball scene, lighting up their opponents on Tuesday night and taking their respected regional title trophies.

Not only was it a “do or die” game for each team, with their season and a regional title on the line, but it was also a heated rival game for each as well.

The Eagles got their revenge on Tuesday night, sending the Freeburg Midgets home in two games, 25-19, 25-13. The Midgets had previously ended Columbia’s undefeated win streak on Oct. 9, 25 wins into the season.

But coach Kelly Landgraf’s Eagles did not let history repeat itself, beating the Midgets by a total of 18 points in the Class 3A Regional Finals at Mascoutah. Columbia’s Megan Huffman, Rachel Stone, and Erika Varel each charted five kills on the night, with Savannah Wittenbrink following suit with four kills and three blocks. Eagle defensive specialist Rachel Ribolzi had 14 digs.

Meanwhile, the Valmeyer Pirates set out to do what Valmeyer volleyball coach Jenny Kohnz cautioned as one of the hardest tasks for a team, beat an opponent three times in one season. The Pirates did just that on Tuesday night in the Class 1A Regional Final game in New Athens, taking down their conference rival New Athens, 23-25, 25-21, 25-15.

The Valmeyer volleyball team celebrates its regional final win on Tuesday night in New Athens. (submitted photo)

The regional title win marked the team’s 25th victory, continuing to set a school record for number of wins in a season, according to Pirate assistant coach Karla Bivins. This also marks Kohnz’s fourth regional title in five years and her fifth straight conference championship.

But this exciting victory did not start off as the Pirates had hoped, kicking off the first game with four straight serving errors and eventually losing the first game to the Yellow Jackets by just two points. A stand-out performance by Valmeyer senior Paige Whipple, who had an impressive 22 kills and 13 blocks, would help lead the Pirates to top New Athens in a thrilling second and third game. Fellow senior Andi Inman also charted an impressive 13 kills, four blocks and 13 points, while Morgan Redohl served three aces, had 21 serve receives and 10 digs. Miranda Kaufmann had 35 assists.

Both Columbia and Valmeyer will play in the Class 3A and 1A sectional semi-finals on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The Eagles will face-off against Marion in Murphysboro, while the Pirates will take on Norris City in Marissa.

To read more on Columbia and Valmeyer’s post-season runs and to hear from players and coaches, pick up a copy of next weeks edition of the Republic-Times– out Wednesday. Or subscribe online today!

Teryn Schaefer

Teryn was born and raised in Waterloo, growing up watching local sports and Mon-Clair baseball. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School and loves cheering on her Tigers any chance she gets.