Smashing good times for volleyballers

Valmeyer’s Brooke Miller smashes home a winner during Friday’s home match against Gibault. The Hawks won in two hard-fought sets over the Pirates. See more photos at (Corey Saathoff photo)

Local high school volleyball squads are spiking as the shortened season already nears its midway point.

Gibault (9-2) saw its unbeaten streak come to an end Monday night at home against rival Columbia. The Eagles won in three sets, 25-21, 23-25, 25-21. 

Natalie Huy led Columbia with 11 points, with Taylor Holten and Ava Khoury contributing nine kills each.

On Thursday, the Eagles won 25-17, 25-17 over Salem. Kate Toenjes had 22 assists for Columbia.

Last Tuesday, the Eagles dropped a two-set match to Breese Central.

Columbia (4-2), which lost 25-18, 25-21 at Freeburg on Tuesday, plays at Wesclin on Thursday and hosts Marquette on Monday, is led in kills this season by Khoury with 37 and assists by Toenjes with 96. Holten had nine kills against Freeburg.

Prior to their first defeat, the Hawks enjoyed a two-set victory at Valmeyer on Friday. Gibault won the first set 25-20, then watched a large second-set lead evaporate to 22-19 before winning 25-19.

Ande Grohmann, a senior, led the Hawks with nine kills in the victory.

Gibault reeled off two-set victories over New Athens last Tuesday, Red Bud last Wednesday and Metro-East Lutheran on Thursday. 

Abby Grohmann, a sophomore, leads the team in kills with 50, followed by Ande Grohmann with 43. Ryley Lehmann leads Gibault with 100 assists.

Gibault battled Mater Dei on Tuesday, falling 25-18, 25-16. The Hawks got back in the win column Wednesday at Belleville East, posting a 25-11, 25-22 victory. Gibault hosts Freeburg on Monday.

Valmeyer (4-2) picked up a 25-19, 25-15 victory over Steeleville on Monday. A 10-point service run by freshman Mia McSchooler propelled Valmeyer in the first set. She had 18 points in the match. 

Markee Voelker, a sophomore, had eight kills and Kiersten Miller, a freshman, added seven kills for the young Pirates.

“As a team, we often make ‘freshmen’ mistakes, which is to be expected since we are a young team,” Valmeyer head coach Karla Bivins said. “But the team’s work ethic, combined with their physical skills and mental toughness, bring things together nicely.”

The Pirates downed Marissa in two sets last Tuesday.

Valmeyer, which hosts New Athens on Thursday, is led in points this season by McSchooler with 59, in kills by Voelker with 32 and assists by Miller with 50.

Waterloo (2-3) won Thursday at Civic Memorial, 25-19, 25-22. Lilly Heck, a sophomore, and Ellie Schwehr, a junior, each had 11 assists. Emma Day, a sophomore, led with seven blocks.

Last Tuesday, the Bulldogs downed Jerseyville, 25-14, 25-18. Ella Bockhorn had nine kills and Hailey Montgomery led Waterloo with 14 points.

Waterloo, which lost 25-20, 25-23 on Tuesday at Mascoutah and plays Thursday at Highland, is led in kills by Bockhorn with 29. Day leads in blocks with 36 and assists with 26.

Dupo (0-2) has not played a match since March 16 due to a COVID situation.

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