Valmeyer, Columbia volleyball squads win sectional titles - Republic-Times | News

Valmeyer, Columbia volleyball squads win sectional titles

By on November 2, 2012 at 10:55 am

Valmeyer volleyball coach Jenny Kohnz and senior Brittany Killy celebrate after the Pirates’ Sectional Title win on Thursday night. (Teryn Schaefer photo)

The Valmeyer and Columbia High School volleyball teams achieved Thursday night what they have been dreaming of all season long: a sectional title with the chance to play at state right around the corner.

Valmeyer took on Goreville in the Class 1A Sectional Title game in Marissa on Thursday night, defeating the Blackcats, 25-23, 25-18.

“We want it, we want it,” was the team’s mantra in the huddle Thursday night, shouted by senior captain Andi Inman, who suffered from shin splints in Tuesday’s sectional semifinal game.

“I felt great. We took care of it all day at school. I guess just not thinking about it and having my mind set to be at super-sectionals in our gym kind of put it all to the side,” Inman said.

The Pirates (27-9) came out strong, going tit-for-tat with Goreville (25-8) in the first game, meanwhile shutting-down Blackcats star Alison Webb.

Valmeyer’s Paige Whipple goes up for a kill against Goreville’s Alison Webb. (Teryn Schaefer photo)

“We knew if we could get a block up on (Webb) a couple of times, kind of mentally get her down a little bit, that we could overcome her,” Valmeyer coach Jenny Kohnz explained. “They only do single blocks, so we knew even though she is a big blocker that we could then cut it to the sides and get around those blockers.”

Senior middle hitter Paige Whipple led the Pirates with 10 kills and seven blocks, while Inman charted eight kills and lit up the serving game with 14 service points and 22 serve receives. Valmeyer sophomore Miranda Kaufmann had 13 digs and 20 assists.

Valmeyer was on cloud nine after their game, as they will now face St. Elmo in the Class 1A Super Sectionals on Saturday in their home gym at 4 p.m.

“It feels amazing. I got to experience it my eighth grade year I was the scorekeeper for this team, coming this far was a great experience then,” Whipple said. “Now, coming this far and playing the game of volleyball has been even better.”

Meanwhile, the Columbia (35-2-1) volleyball team played a three-game battle against Mater Dei (35-5), a team many touted as the Eagles’ biggest test this post-season. Columbia came out on top Thursday night after losing the first game, 13-25.

Pictured is the Columbia Volleyball team and their fans after their 2012 Regional Title win. (submitted photo)

“It was a huge win and was a battle to the end. We came out flat the first game and knew we needed to go three games to keep the season alive,” Columbia volleyball coach Kelly Landgraf said.

The Eagles did keep themselves alive, winning the next two games in extra points, 27-25, 31-29.

“The girls did a great job staying with them and making plays when we needed. No stars of the game tonight… 100 percent team effort,” Landgraf said with her team’s stats spread pretty even across the board.

Senior middle hitter Savannah Wittenbrink led the Eagles with nine kills; Erika Varel was right behind her with eight kills, while Megan Huffman, Kendall Roessler, and Alexis Royer all posted seven kills on the night. Huffman and Calli Germain combined for 41 assists.

The Eagles will now face Jacksonville (29-8) on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Salem in the Class 3A Super-Sectionals.

With a win on Saturday, both Valmeyer and Columbia will move on to the State Semifinals in Normal next Friday.

To view and purchase volleyball photos from this season and the Valmeyer sectional title game, click here.

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.