With the postseason picture now in focus, local high school volleyball squads know the path they must take for greatness.
Only a few more matches are scheduled before the regular season ends.
Waterloo (22-8) won at rival Columbia (20-11) on Monday night, 25-19, 25-18, and picked up a 25-13, 25-8 victory at home over Highland on Tuesday.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs went 2-2 in the Freeburg Tournament. Waterloo won against Hillsboro and Okawville but dropped matches to Mahomet-Seymour and Mascoutah.
The Bulldogs won at Triad on Thursday, 25-19, 25-14, but lost last Tuesday to Mascoutah, 30-28, 25-15.
Josie Briggs is tops this season for the Bulldogs in points, aces and kills. Kenzy Koudelka leads in the digs, Lilly Heck leads in assists and Emma Day is the top blocker this season for Waterloo, which hosted Highland on Tuesday.
Waterloo will compete in the IHSA Class 3A Jerseyville Regional, starting with a match against Jerseyville at 7 p.m. Oct. 25. Other teams in this regional are Taylorville and Cahokia.
Columbia received strong performances from Karsen Jany (eight points, seven kills) and Megan Bolyard (10 assists) in Monday’s loss to Waterloo.
On Thursday, Columbia lost 25-23, 25-23 to Breese Central. Kate Toenjes had nine assists for the Eagles.
Last Wednesday, Columbia won 25-18, 25-12 at East St. Louis. Addison Walton had 10 points and Bolyard had 12 assists for the Eagles.
Last Tuesday, the Eagles won 25-14, 25-23 over Roxana. Elliana Ames had 10 kills for Columbia, which hosts Granite City on Wednesday and Freeburg on Thursday.
Columbia will compete in the IHSA Class 2A Sparta Regional, starting with a match against the winner of Althoff vs. Sparta at 7 p.m. Oct. 25. Other teams in this regional are Pinckneyville, Red Bud and Freeburg.
A battle of small-school volleyball squads with postseason success on their minds took place Monday night between Gibault (19-15) and Valmeyer (24-8).
The Hawks, who downed the Pirates for a Class 1A sectional title last season, won in three hard-fought sets at Valmeyer, 24-26, 25-23, 25-20.
Abby Grohmann led Gibault with 17 kills and nine assists. Lucy Range had 13 kills, 10 points and nine assists. Avery Gilpin added 10 kills, 10 assists and eight points.
Gibault went 2-2 at the Freeburg Tournament on Saturday, defeating Benton and Okawville but falling to Nashville and Mascoutah.
Gibault also lost to Mascoutah on Thursday.
Last Tuesday, the Hawks again got 17 kills from Grohmann in a 20-25, 25-21, 25-13 victory over Marquette. Range had 16 assists.
Gibault hosted Freeburg on Tuesday, falling 25-11, 25-15, and plays Thursday at Althoff.
The Hawks host their own Class 1A regional this year, starting with a match vs. Madison at 6 p.m. Oct. 25. Dupo battles Madison at 7 p.m. Oct. 25.
Other teams in this regional are Carlyle, Maryville Christian and New Athens.
In Monday’s loss to Gibault, Valmeyer was led by Brooke Miller and Markee Voelker, who each had 11 kills.
The Pirates won 25-11, 25-11 over Steeleville on Thursday. Brooke Miller had eight kills, Kierstin Miller had six kills and Jayna Krekel contributed 20 assists.
Last Tuesday, Valmeyer won 25-13, 25-13 against Dupo. Krekel had 16 assists.
The Pirates host Lebanon for senior night this Thursday.
Valmeyer will compete in the IHSA Class 1A Okawville Regional, starting with a match Oct. 26 against the winner of Christ Our Rock Lutheran vs. Marissa. Other teams in the regional are Okawville, Sandoval, Father McGivney and Lebanon.