Eagles, ‘Dogs to meet on volleyball court

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The Columbia High School volleyball team is all smiles following its first place finish in the Marissa Invitational Tournament on Thursday. The Eagles (6-1) play at Waterloo on Thursday. (submitted photo)

The Columbia volleyball team is back to its winning ways, taking five matches last week to claim the Marissa Invitational Tournament title.

This week, the team will try to take down rival Waterloo, who has put some wins together of late.

The Eagles (6-1) topped Chester and New Athens on Thursday night to win the tournament. Columbia defeated Trico and Lovejoy last Monday and Red Bud last Wednesday in earlier tourney action.

Columbia won the New Athens match in three sets, 14-21, 21-11, 21-12. Ellie Stone finished with eight points. She leads the team in digs this season. Molly Mistler and Paige Becker added seven points, and Becker recorded 13 assists. Whitney Edwards finished with seven kills. Calli Wibbenmeyer had 14 assists.

In the three-set win over Red Bud, Mistler and Mia Valleroy collected nine kills each. Becker had 28 assists.

Valleroy leads the Eagles in kills and blocks this season.

In other Marissa tourney action, Gibault (3-4) won three of five matches, including a loss to East St. Louis and win over Okawville on Thursday. The Hawks played at Althoff on Tuesday.

Ashlyn Wightman led the way with seven kills against Okawville. Sidney Wightman had eight points.

Sidney Wightman leads the Hawks with 54 points this season. Grace Floerke leads in kills with 33. Haley Davitz leads in digs with 68.

Waterloo picked up its first win of the season Thursday night at home over Belleville East, 25-18, 25-22.

Emma Innis led the way with nine points for the Bulldogs; Hannah Cope recorded six kills.

The Bulldogs built off Thursday’s momentum to win three of five matches in the Carbondale tournament on Saturday.

Waterloo topped Salem in three sets and Mt. Vernon in two sets before dropping a hard-fought contest against Marion. The Bulldogs wrapped up tourney play by topping Anna-Jonesboro in two sets and falling to Highland in three sets.

The Bulldogs (4-4) host rival Columbia on Thursday.

“Our back row defense has been improving and has kept us in the game,” Waterloo head coach Angie Crawford said. “Our libero, Skylar Geske, does a super job leading us and is our consistent rock.”

Crawford noted improvement from Innis and Grace Amann this fall, and also praised McKenna Krebel’s defensive play. Cope, Jayda Henson and Amann continue to lead the offense.

“The team as a whole has improved on the will to compete,” Crawford said. “We will continue to build our offensive play and our blocking speed and effectiveness.”

Valmeyer (5-0), which has been idle since its Roxana tourney win to open the season, hosted Lebanon on Tuesday and will host Red Bud on Wednesday.

Dupo (2-5) played at Marissa on Tuesday and will host Lebanon on Thursday. 

Kassidee Keys leads the Tigers in points with 35. Courtney Stanek leads the team in kills with 17.

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