Hawks soaring out of the gate

Gibault’s Kayla Huels spikes the ball over the net as Kelly Papenberg looks on during the Marissa-New Athens Tournament. (Pinckneyville Press photo)

The Gibault Catholic High School volleyball team improved to 7-0 on the season after winning the Marissa-New Athens Tournament by defeating East St. Louis and Wesclin on Thursday night.

Ashlyn Wightman, who was named to the all-tourney team, recorded 15 kills against Wesclin and 10 kills against East St. Louis. 

The Hawks edged East St. Louis, 25-23, to win a decisive third set that determined the tourney championship.

Gibault opened tourney play last Tuesday with three-set victories over New Athens and Trico. Last Wednesday, the Hawks topped East St. Louis in two sets.

Wightman leads the team with 75 kills on the season.

Kayla Huels leads the Hawks with 158 assists and 47 points. 

Haley Davitz has also played well, recording 54 digs and 46 points.

“It truly has been a team effort,” Gibault head volleyball coach Heather Lazarides said. “Ashlyn Wightman has been holding down our offense. Junior setter Kayla Huels has done a nice job setting up the team, keeping the other teams’ defense on their toes, and her serving has been critical to our success. I have been very impressed with our senior libero, Haley Davitz, who has made some significant improvements on her serve receive and defense. She has worked to keep many points alive.

“Every kid on the roster contributes to every win.”

Gibault hosted Althoff on Tuesday night and will host Granite City on Monday.

In other local volleyball action, Waterloo picked up its first victory of the season Thursday, winning 31-29 in a decisive third set at Belleville East. 

Jessie Seidel, who transferred from Valmeyer following a successful season with the Pirates last year, finished with 11 points and 10 kills.

The Bulldogs (3-3) won two of three matches in the Carbondale tournament over the weekend. Waterloo topped Mt. Vernon in two sets, lost to Carbondale in two sets and defeated North Clay in two sets.

Seidel was named to the all-tournament team after finishing with 21 total kills. She currently leads the Bulldogs in points (29), kills (36) and digs (70).

Kati Casey leads Waterloo with 83 assists.

Waterloo plays at rival Columbia on Thursday before hosting Jerseyville this coming Tuesday.

Columbia is 2-6 following an 0-5 showing at the Edwardsville tournament over the weekend. The Eagles dropped matches against Edwardsville, Eureka, Oakville, Mascoutah and Freeburg.

Last Tuesday, Columbia defeated Roxana, 25-21, 25-16. Molly Mistler led the Eagles with seven kills. Paige Becker and Lindsay Wibbenmeyer each finished with 11 assists.

Mistler leads the team with 40 kills on the season, followed by Emily Huy with 33 kills. 

Wibbenmeyer leads in assists with 86.

Following Thursday’s rivalry match with Waterloo, Columbia hosts Cahokia Conference rival Breese Central this coming Tuesday.

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