Sports NewsMutterings,

CalendarSports News Elsewhere  (fresh daily from the Web)

Wednesday, Oct. 13

Easier done than said     Send a link to a friend

Lady Railers improve their conference record to 4-1

By Rick Hobler

[OCT. 13, 2004]  Everyone said it was going to be another tough match for the Lady Railers last night.

It really didn't appear to be.

Based upon a long history of classic Central State Eight battles between Lincoln and Jacksonville, it was rightly anticipated that last night's match would be another knock-down, drag-out affair. In many of those past battles, Jacksonville came out on top.

Not last night. History did not repeat itself last night, as the Lincoln Lady Railers came to play and rather easily defeated the Crimsons by a match score of 25-15, 25-16. The Railers improve to 23-5 overall and 4-1 in Central State Eight play.

The key to last night's Railer victory was great serving. Great serving really by the whole Railer lineup and significantly by Melanie Boyer (six points), Brooklyn Robbins (nine points), Maria Benitez (six points) and Michelle Fitzpatrick (five points).

Michelle had a significant four-service-point run at the beginning of game two that helped the Railers jump out to an early 6-1 lead. Maria began both games with crucial serving, including a game-opening ace in game two and the two game-ending serves in game one. Brooklyn fired nine total bullets at Jacksonville during the match. Most of her serves were either not returned (two actual aces) or were returned so weakly that they popped back up to the net and resulted in crushing kills by the Railer front line. Then there was Melanie Boyer. After a couple of excellent serves, during the middle of game one, Melanie apparently decided she would end game two all by herself. Mel stepped to the service line at 21-16. Four line-drive jump serves -- resulting in four aces -- later, Jacksonville was terminated for the night.

Proverb for the night: Good serving wins crucial matches.

Game one was only lightly contested by Jacksonville as the Railers jumped out to an early lead that the Crimsons never seriously threatened. Lincoln held leads of 8-2, 12-4, 15-5 and 19-9 before allowing a brief JHS run. Brooklyn Robbins did a nice job of mixing up the front-line offense in order to keep Jacksonville blockers from getting in place. Megan Hoffert started off the game with a kill and got point 24 for the Railers the same way. Michi McFadden and Erin Frick got most of the rest of the Railers' finishing touches, with some nice shots by Julie Fults and Jamie McFadden. The same group also did a nice job of defensive blocking throughout game one. In the end the Railers prevailed 25-15.

[to top of second column in this article]

In game two the Railers again jumped out to a quick lead, but then let the Crimsons back in before Brooklyn Robbins and Melanie Boyer slammed the door shut with their serving.

The serving of Maria Benitez and Michelle Fitzpatrick, along with the net play of the McFadden sisters, vaulted the Railers to an early 7-2 lead. Three successive serves by Brooklyn put the tally at 10-2.

But when Jacksonville closed the gap to 13-10, Lincoln's coach Howe invited the girls over for a little heart-to-heart talk. That talk only managed to keep the score going back and forth over the next few points with the scoreboard showing 17-14.

That was until Brooklyn decided to serve up some "talk" of her own from the service line. On her next two serves, Brooklyn hit low line drives at Jacksonville. Jacksonville's first pass popped up just over the top of the net… on the Railer side… and the McFadden duo promptly sent both passes back to the JHS side of the floor: 19-14 Railers. After a couple brief miscues by the Railers, an Erin Frick kill and the game-ending aces of Melanie Boyer closed the deal at 25-16.

The Railers have only a tournament in Peoria this weekend and two conference matches next week before the regular season is over. Next Tuesday the Railers play at Southeast, and next Thursday, Oct. 21, is Senior Night. With victories in both of those matches, the Railers could end up with six wins in CS8 play.

To end well, the Railers will need to make sure they take no other team for granted (specifically Southeast and Springfield), make final improvements for the upcoming postseason (including better recognition of opposing blockers) and "get psyched" for a run at the state title.

But I understand… that is easier said than done. Your fans are confident you CAN do it.

Seniors, this is it. Make some memories you will never forget. GO, RAILERS!

Lincoln JV wins again

A great all-around team effort resulted in the Lincoln junior varsity disposing of their counterparts from Jacksonville last night by a match score of 25-12, 25-17. In both games the Railers got great efforts from Katie Conklen, Natalie Boward, Melissa Ramlow, Chrissy Schonauer, Ashley Meyrick, Kate Schonauer and Ashley Bonaparte. Game two was more of the same, with Abbie Feldman, Bridgette Hyde and Kari Jones also adding to the Railer victory.

[Rick Hobler]

Respond to the writer at

LDN sports sponsored by:


< Sports index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law & Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health & Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor