By Lenny Sementy
It was a rough start to the Central Illinois Conference for Tuscola’s volleyball as the team fell to one of the league favorites in Shelbyville 12-25, 17-25. The Lady Warriors fell behind quickly in both sets and despite a big effort up front by Sydney Moss were unable to recover.
Moss led all in the black and gold with five kills and two blocks at the net. Both Zoey Thomason and Addisyn Pettry each added a pair of kills to the stat sheet while Natalie Veach and Anna Rauguth donated one each. Rauguth was top in the assist column with six to her credit. Emily Czerwonka fed the offense as well, serving up three assists and was also strong on defense leading the Warriors with eight digs. She also delivered five service points and two aces. Thomason was next up in the dig department with six, followed by Mia Hausmann who tallied five.
Tuscola opened the week with a pair of non-conference road matches and fell to Chrisman in a thriller 22-25, 24-26 on Monday Sept. 12, and then dropped another, one night later at Paxton to Paxton-Buckley-Loda 18-25, 17-25. Pettry shined in the backcourt at Chrisman digging out 20 balls while also leading the way at the net with five kills. Thomason and Natalie Hastings were next in line in the kills department with four kills each. Rauguth distributed the ball to the hitters donating 11 assists to the cause while also coming up with a kill of her own and four saves. Hausmann and Czerwonka were strong on defense combining for 15 saves and Catie Gibson was tough at the service line providing seven service points and two aces.
Miller’s JV unit gave the program a shot in the arm and a glimpse at the future ending the week on Saturday Sept. 17, sweeping the competition at the Blue Ridge JV Invite. The younger Warriors won all four matches without surrendering a set, going 4-0 in match play and 8-0 overall in games.
“Saturday was a fantastic day for the JV team,” stated JV coach Griswell. “They bring such a strong energy level every time they step on the court, it’s invigorating to watch and be a part of. Every player was utilized, and they all worked well together throughout the day. I’m very proud of the girls, but most importantly, they should be proud of themselves.”
They opened with an early morning win over Ridgeview 25-23, 25-20. Followed that up with a dominating sweep of Tri-City 25-15, 25-11, a 25-19, 25-17 win over host Blue Ridge and ended the tourney without a blemish, beating Georgetown in the night cap 27-26, 25-18.
The Warriors were at their best at the service line pounding out 23 aces on the day as a team. Ayla Deleva led all with nine aces, followed by Carly Ochs with five, then came Ava Rauguth and Belle Notaro who accounted for four each. Ochs was strong all day long in all aspects of the game adding 16 kills, and 14 digs to the stat totals. Delevan and Notaro did their share of the damage at the net firing away to the tune of 8-kills apiece. Rauguth was tops in a pair of categories leading the way in assists with 23 and saves with 16. Reese Davis found her way to 12 digs in the four matches. Filling in the holes were Lilly Kurtz three aces, one dig and one kill, Callin Munson three assists, Catie Gibson four kills and 14 service points, Olivia Wallace six saves, Natalie Hastings four digs and four kills and Chloe Fowler three aces and six digs.