Volleyball teams start conference play with wins

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Valmeyer’s Tiffani Brewer serves against Dupo on Thursday. Brewer finished the game with 6 kills and  blocks. (Corey Saathoff photo)

Local high school volleyball teams are cruising into conference play, posting recent wins ahead of more key match-ups.

Valmeyer is 14-6 on the season following a third place finish in the ninth annual Ray Long Pretzel Classic in New Berlin over the weekend.

The tourney offers an opportunity for the Pirates to compete against other Class 1A teams they are likely to see in the postseason.

Valmeyer defeated West Central in three sets and North Mac and Lincolnwood in two sets to advance out of pool play. This pitted the Pirates against host team New Berlin in the semifinals, which they lost in two sets.

“They were the best serving team we played against all weekend,” Valmeyer head coach Jenny Kohnz said.  “However, when you have 12 hitting errors and 4 service errors to go along with a team that keeps us off balance with tough serves, cutting down on errors makes the difference in a win and a loss.”

Valmeyer regrouped to defeat Carrollton for third place, 21-25, 25-23, 25-23.

From the libero position, Morgan Redohl kept the ball in play pretty well, the coach said. She had 32 points and 10 aces in the tourney. Redohl also had 50 digs.

Tiffani Brewer led the team with 53 kills while adding 10 blocks.

Miranda Kaufmann, who recently returned to action after nursing a wrist injury, led the offense with 84 assists while also playing solid defense with 47 digs. She earned all-tourney honors.

After playing several games on the road, Valmeyer played its first home match Thursday against Dupo, winning 25-11, 25-16.

Sami Sensel led the Pirates with 11 points against the Tigers. Brewer and Kaufmann tied for the lead with 6 kills each, with Brewer adding 4 blocks.

Jordyn Killy led the way with 11 assists.

Valmeyer will play at conference rival New Athens on Thursday.

Columbia

The Eagles continue to reign supreme on the area volleyball scene, posting two more big wins last week to run their record to 16-0.

Columbia topped Breese Central and Red Bud in two sets.

“The girls look forward to playing Breese Central and putting forth their strongest effort,” Columbia head coach Kelly Landgraf said. “I think overall we played very solid. In the first game, we had to change up our defense to adjust to their tall middle hitter but the girls did a great job adjusting and were able to start picking up the tips she was sending over. I felt we controlled the pace of the first game very well.”

In the second set, the Eagles gave up a 13-point lead but pulled it together for the win.

“There was no major problem, we just struggled to get some side outs and gave them a little momentum.  I love that the girls stayed focused and were able to complete the win,” Landgraf said.

Against Red Bud, the coach credited Kendall Roessler and Jordan Rippelmeyer for an excellent job in the front row.  Roessler registered 8 kills and Rippelmeyer added 6 kills.

Megan Huffman notched 14 assists against Red Bud, and tied with Caitlyn Touchette in assists with 12 against Central.

Huffman added 8 kills againat Central, with Claire Foster leading the team in blocks with 5.

The Eagles played at Freeburg on Tuesday night and will be at Wesclin on Thursday night.

Gibault

Gibault is 9-6 on the season  following recent wins against Metro East Lutheran and Whitfield with a loss to O’Fallon in between.

Ashley Grohmann led the way with 18 assists and 2 service aces for the Hawks against Metro East Lutheran. Lauren Goldschmidt led the offense with 7 kills, Caralyn Papenberg had 3 blocks from the middle, and libero Maddie O’Neill had 10 digs.

Against O’Fallon, Grohmann notched 16 assists and 3 aces, Goldschmidt had 8 kills, and Kelly Dooley finished with 11 digs and 5 kills.

Against Whitfield on Monday, Grohmann again led the way with 22 assists and 3 blocks. Goldschmidt had 11 kills, Papenberg had 5 kills and 3 blocks, Lauren Schmidt had 3 blocks and 3 kills, and Dooley added 10 digs.

“As the team is playing together more, they are connecting with Ashley on more difficult play calls made by her,” Gibault head coach Heather Ebert said. “They are really growing as a team each day.”

The Hawks will host Lebanon on Wednesday.

Waterloo

The Bulldogs (8-5) got off to a good start in the Mississippi Valley Conference last week, posting two-set wins over Jerseyville and Civic Memorial.

Waterloo hopes to remain undefeated in the MVC with matches this week at Mascoutah and Highland.

On the season, Sydney Ratz leads the team in aces with 16.  Kylie Albrecht leads the Bulldogs in service percentage at 98.6 percent.

Kathryn Finnerty leads the team in blocks with 30. Mia Reed leads in kills with 44 so far this season.

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