Eagles, Pirates win regional titles

Columbia's Shea Bradshaw slams home a winning point against Waterloo in the regional final on Thursday. For more photos from the match, visit www.republictimes.net/photo-store. (Alan Dooley photo)

Columbia’s Shea Bradshaw slams home a winning point against Waterloo in the regional final on Thursday. For more photos from the match, visit www.republictimes.net/photo-store. (Alan Dooley photo)

The volleyball season continues for two local teams, while two others bowed out of regional play in title games.

Columbia continues to make magic on the volleyball court. The Eagles blasted Breese Central last Tuesday, 25-7, 25-18, and toppled Waterloo on Thursday, 25-12, 25-10, to win the Class 3A Columbia Regional championship and remain undefeated at 36-0.

After taking the first set against Waterloo, the Eagles stormed out to a 17-5 lead in the second set to put the match away. Colene Hamilton finished with 10 kills in her final home match. Fellow senior Kelly Metter added six kills. Elizabeth Fleming recorded 19 assists.

The Eagles advanced to the Mascoutah Sectional and defeated Metropolis (Massac County) on Tuesday night for the chance at a sectional title on Thursday night. With a win on Thursday, the Eagles would play in the Effingham Supersectional on Saturday for the right to advance to the state tournament.

“The game against Waterloo, I felt as a whole we did a great job both offensively and defensively,” Columbia head coach Kelly Landgraf said. “Elizabeth Fleming did a nice job moving the ball around to mix up the offense. All of our hitters were very involved in making the offense flow. The defense was solid in both digging and serve receive.”

Fleming leads the team in points (233) and assists (627) this season.

Waterloo ended its season with a record of 23-9. The Bulldogs defeated Freeburg last Tuesday, 25-18, 30-28, to reach the regional final.

Genna Bourgeois had eight kills and Kat Finnerty added six kills and five blocks in the win over Freeburg.

Against Columbia, Finnerty had four kills and Hannah Cope added seven assists.

For the season, Sam Kruse led the Bulldogs with 172 points  and was second in kills with 151. Finnerty led the team in kills with 187 and blocks with 80.

Skylar Geske and Megan Gilliam tied for the team lead in digs with 413. Cope led the team in assists with 488.

Valmeyer joined Columbia as the only other local team to advance out of regional play, posting a two-set victory at home over Thompsonville to win the Class 1A Valmeyer Regional title on Thursday.

The Pirates trailed early in the first set, 11-5, but rallied to tie it at 16-16 before winning the set, 25-22. The Pirates stormed out to a 6-1 advantage in the second set and kept up the pressure, pulling away to 16-7 before winning 25-15.

“We had a well-balanced attack,” Valmeyer head coach Jenny Kohnz said. “(Thompsonville) was blocking our middles and double-blocking, so we had to switch it up.”

Sam Seidel led the way with nine kills. Jessie Seidel and Jordyn Killy added seven kills each. Four-year starter Savannah Williams recorded 10 service points and notched her 1,000th career dig in the win.

“She’s kind of our hidden senior because she plays in the back row,” Kohnz said of Williams after the match. “She did a great job tonight and is taking home one of the game balls for her milestone.”

Valmeyer (21-14) advanced to the Crab Orchard Sectional in Marion and defeated on Cobden Tuesday night for the right to play in Thursday’s sectional final. With a win, the Pirates would play Saturday in the supersectional at Rend Lake Community College.

The Pirates were tested last Tuesday by conference foe Steeleville in the regional semifinal but escaped with a 16-25, 25-13, 25-21 win.

Jordyn Killy finished with 11 kills, 10 assists and four blocks. Jessie Seidel added 11 points and 11 kills. Guin Kohnz had 14 points and 19 assists. Sam Seidel also had 11 kills.
Gibault ended its season at 18-18 with a three-set loss to Red Bud in the Class 2A Chester Regional final on Thursday.

The Hawks won the first set, 25-20, but Red Bud rallied with take the second set, 25-23. Red Bud pulled away in the decisive third set, winning 25-15.

Gibault advanced to the regional final with a 25-27, 25-16, 25-14 win over Sparta last Tuesday. Kelly Dooley had 17 kills. Caralyn Papenberg added 10 kills. Hillary Wessel recorded 40 assists.

Dooley led the Hawks this season in service points (140), kills (300) and digs (298).

Papenberg led the team in blocks with 48. Wessel led in assists with 576.

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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