Hot Collinsville nets win over Belleville East
September 14, 2012By Chris Kusnerick of Collinsville High School
COLLINSVILLE • Collinsville hasn’t been a serious challenger for a Southwestern Conference girls volleyball crown in a while.
The Kahoks are showing signs of being a team to be reckoned with in the powerful Illinois league this fall, however. They improved to 3-0 in league play and 9-4 overall, thanks to a 25-23, 22-25, 25-15 win over Belleville East in an SWC match Thursday at Fletcher Gymnasium.
“In the past, I’ve had a lot of teams that were up and down,” Kahoks coach Tracy Plagemann said. “This team does a really nice job of staying even, staying level.”
Senior attacker Katie McCarthy and junior Cathy Schreiber are big reasons why. They can pound the ball into the floor, as they demonstrated against the Lancers. McCarthy converted 14 of 19 attacks into kills and Schreiber tallied nine kills on 18 swings.
“It’s a really, really big achievement,” McCarthy said of the win over the Lancers. “We’re 3-0 now in the conference which is really, really good for us. It’s pretty exciting. I think it’s a good start for the rest of our season. We’re clicking more as a team, which I think is exciting for everyone.”
With the match even at one game apiece, the Kahoks took charge quickly in Game 3. They moved out to a comfortable 9-3 lead, thanks to a couple of kills from McCarthy, some aggressive serving and solid net play from Schreiber.
Belleville East twice cut the deficit to three points soon after that, but the Kahoks put the pedal to the metal down the stretch and won the decisive game convincingly. Schreiber was dominant at the end of the contest with some big kills and blocks.
“I knew some girls on the team, the opposing team, and so I really wanted to win,” said Schreiber, who had seven blocks in the contest. “It’s a big game for us. A big conference game.”
Belleville East, helped by a lot of Collinsville unforced errors early in the match, moved out to leads of 9-5 and 16-12 in Game 1. However, McCarthy and Schreiber heated up and helped the Kahoks get back in the contest. The game, which was tied four times near the end, was decided by two Lancers unforced errors.
The Lancers won a back-and-forth second game, thanks a lot to some solid attacks and serving from junior Montira Mosby. She finished the match with a team-high 10 kills, five digs, three blocks and five service points, including three aces.
“Montira played great,” Lancers coach Stacey Perkinson-Posey said.
Belleville East also got solid efforts from setter Megan Case (25 assists) and outside hitter Clara Carraway, who had six kills and served effectively.
The loss, which was the Lancers’ third straight after seven consecutive wins, was a frustrating one for their mentor.
“We’ve got to play better than that,” Perkinson-Posey said. “We've got to have more energy on the court and (lack of) communication is really hurting us right now.”
The Kahoks rebounded from a loss to Highland on Monday. They are feeling pretty confident after winning three of five games recently in the very competitive Edwardsville Tiger Classic, the most wins they’ve gotten in the tournament in the past five years under Plagemann.
“We’ve never started off positive,” Plagemann said. “We’ve always gone to the Edwardsville Tournament first and struggled a little bit. Usually, it takes us a while to get going in the season. So hopefully that bodes well for us later on.”
Sam Stephens, who tallied six digs and handled 15 serves with only one error, also stood out for the Kahoks, as did setters Sabrina Flohr (21 assists) and Lauren Chiarelli (12 assists).
“We knew that we had to take them out and get ready for some big games coming up,” McCarthy said. “I think we played together through the whole thing. We kind of got a little iffy in the second game. We kept our energy high and we stayed together.”