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Hot Collinsville nets win over Belleville East

September 14, 2012
By 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.”

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