Volleyballers dig in for regionals

Valmeyer’s Markee Voelker (center) makes a dig during last week’s volleyball match against Gibault. See more photos from the match online at republictimes.smugmug.com.

There were enough promising results in the regular season to have optimism for local high school volleyball squads making deep postseason runs this fall.

Waterloo (26-5) opened Class 3A Triad Regional play Tuesday against the host squad. The Bulldogs won and will now face Civic Memorial on Thursday night in the final. 

The winner of the Triad Regional advances to the Civic Memorial Sectional, which begins Monday.

Waterloo closed out its regular season in style last Tuesday with a 25-23, 25-15 win at Highland, completing a perfect 10-0 schedule in the Mississippi Valley Conference. 

Ellie Schwehr led the way with 12 points and 22 assists in the victory. 

She is the team leader in assists this season with 515.  Other team leaders for Waterloo are Josie Briggs (153 points), Paige Montgomery (208 kills), Emma Day (55 blocks) and Maddie Davis (394 digs).

Columbia (21-14) began its postseason with a 22-25, 25-18, 25-13 win over Red Bud at the Class 2A Red Bud Regional on Monday. Megan Bolyard had 12 points and Katie Toenjes recorded 12 assists for the Eagles.

The Eagles battled a tough Freeburg squad Tuesday night, winning to advance to Thursday’s final against Nashville.

Columbia posted a 25-23, 25-13 win over Granite City last Wednesday. Sophie Gill-Kemper had 11 kills and Toenjes had 10 assists. 

On Thursday, the Eagles closed out the regular season with a 25-16, 25-20 loss to Freeburg. Karsen Jany posted six blocks.

Gill-Kemper leads Columbia this season in points (151), aces (47) and kills (189). Toenjes is the assist leader with 253. Jany has a team-leading 90 blocks, which ranks among tops in the St. Louis area.

Valmeyer (25-11) is riding high entering the postseason, having won 11 of its past 13 matches.

The Pirates concluded their regular season with a 25-11, 25-10 win at Lebanon on Thursday, completing a perfect 10-0 schedule in the Kaskaskia Division. 

Markee Voelker finished with 17 points. Kierstin Miller had 10 assists to lead Valmeyer.

Valmeyer opened Class 1A Metro East Lutheran Regional play Wednesday against Father McGivney, winning in two sets. The Pirates play Thursday in the regional final against Carlyle for a berth in the Marissa Sectional that begins Monday. 

Team leaders for Valmeyer this season include Voelker (230 points), Brooke Miller (298 kills, 71 blocks), Jayna Krekel (432 assists) and Mia McSchooler (291 digs).

Gibault (18-16) began its quest for a regional championship Tuesday night in the Class 1A New Athens Regional. The Hawks battled Sandoval, winning 25-8, 25-9.

Gibault downed New Athens on Wednesday, 25-12, 25-7, to advance to Thursday’s regional final against Okawville. 

Gibault lost 25-11, 25-15 at Freeburg last Tuesday to close out the regular season. 

Lucy Range has been Gibault’s top player this season. She leads in points (134), kills (130) and assists (146).

Dupo (10-15) was led this season by Octavia Heidelberg with 116 kills and 37 blocks. Lexi Curtis has 198 assists. The Tigers lost Tuesday night to New Athens in three sets.

The Tigers downed New Athens on Oct. 14, 25-18, 27-25. 

The winner of the New Athens Regional also advances to the Marissa Sectional.

The state tournaments take place Nov. 12-13 at Red Bird Arena in Normal. 

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