Panthers quietly go about their business in win over the Kahoks
September 26, 2012By Chris Kusnerick of Collinsville High School
O'FALLON— O'Fallon coach Melissa Massey wishes her team had more rah-rah in it, but the Panthers are quietly getting the job done.
Katie Roustio had 19 kills and Nzingha Clarke had several key blocks as the Panthers beat the Collinsville Kahoks 27-25, 25-17 Tuesday in a Southwestern Conference girls volleyball match.
"We're more of a quieter team, and it drives me crazy," Massey said. "I like loud. They're not like that. I guess we can have that quiet with a big stick kind of a deal."
The Panthers definitely carry a big stick in the 6-foot-2 Roustio, a University of Illinois recruit who had 14 kills during a tense first game.
"We use her so much, but she gets the job done," Massey said of Roustio. "Even on her worst day, she does a really good job. She's a great asset to have on this team."
Massey was back on the bench coaching the Panthers in the "Volley for the Cure" match just eight days after giving birth to a daughter, Aniston.
"We all think we are crazy, including myself," Massey said. "But, I missed the girls."
The Panthers improved to 13-2 overall, 4-0 in the SWC, while the Kahoks dropped to 10-5 overall, 4-1 in the SWC.
The Kahoks were able to match up against the Panthers at the net.
Katie McCarthy had eight kills and one block. Cathy Schreiber had four kills and five blocks.
"They were scrappy, they stood right with us," Massey said.
Collinsville coach Tracy Plagemann, however, felt like her team came out a little emotionally flat.
"I kind of felt like we just didn't come out and play tonight," Plagemann said. "I don't know if we were too tentative. We were kind of going through the motions. There wasn't a whole lot of celebration on the plays when we were doing good."
The Kahoks had two inopportune service errors in the first game.
The first service error came with the score tied at 22-22, and it enabled the Panthers to take a 24-22 edge after a back-row kill by Roustio.
A kill by Kristen Ruffcorn staved off game point for the Kahoks, and then a kill by McCarthy and a block by McCarthy put them ahead 25-24.
The second service error by the Panthers tied the score at 25-25.
Roustio had a well-placed tip to bring the Panthers to game point again.
This time, a dig attempt by the Kahoks off a powerful spike by Roustio sailed out of bounds.
"I feel like we had the first game," Plagemann said. "We let the first game slip away, and, then you get your heels."
In the second game, the Kahoks trailed 18-15 after back-to-back aces by Roustio.
A block by Schreiber and an ace drew the Kahoks within 18-17.
After a kill from Roustio, Elise Brown served the final six points for the Panthers.
Clarke had a block, her fourth of the match, and then the Kahoks had some serve receive problems that led to three straight hitting errors.
Match point was scored in definitive fashion on a kill by Clarke.
"One of the laws of the volleyball game: If you can't pass, you can't hit, and we were having a hard time getting to the ball and it cost us toward the end of the game," Plagemann said. "We were right there, so that's a good thing."