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
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
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
[to top of second column in
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
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
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.
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