In the end the Railers prevailed.
Between two challenging
tournament weekends, the Lady Railers volleyball squad sandwiched in
a match against a potential postseason foe, the Tigers from Urbana.
The Railers had a tougher time than I would have anticipated putting
away their less-talented opponent, but they eventually came away
with the victory by scores of 25-22 and 25-20.
With my writing time limited today, due to my "day job," let me
make just a few unsolicited observations.
Sitting in the stands, it was clear from the crowd reaction that
Jamie McFadden won the "wow" award for the evening. Statistically
Jamie had nine volleyball kills, defined as a hit from the net that
scores a point for the home team. But Jamie also had a few "actual
kills" against Urbana. "Actual kills" are defined by me as hits that
knock down, knock out or cause the opposing players to flee for the
exits when you swing at the ball. Urbana got to experience that
feeling repeatedly last night from the talented Ms. McFadden.
And while Jamie got the "wow" award, I would give the "quiet but
very effective" awards last night to the two Ashleys on the team.
Ashley Bonaparte was largely the reason for the effective Railer net
play last night. I thought "B" calmly and deliberately mixed up the
sets to her team's hitters, allowing those hitters to score points
for the Railers. Ashley has the athletic ability to get to her
setting spot, assess the defense on the opposite side of the net as
well as her available hitters, and then make good choices as to
where the set should go. "B" also contributed four kills, five
defensive digs and several service points. I am personally ready for
"B" to step up and "be" the emotional floor leader that the Lady
Railers need to succeed this year. I know she's capable… I am
waiting to see if she is willing.
The other Ashley, Ashley Meyrick, was very effective at the net,
with five recorded blocks and four kills, as well as doing some nice
serving when she rotated to the back line. Given Meyrick's presence
in the middle, along with that of the talented Natalie Boward, and
with Lindsey Coyne waiting in the wings to show her stuff, the
Railers are blessed with some deep rotation possibilities at the
middle hitter-blocker position.
[to top of second column]
The Lady Railers improve to 3-3-2 overall with last night's
The varsity Railers move on to East Peoria this weekend to play
in their second successive weekend tournament. This weekend should
give the varsity a good indication of where they are as a team. The
Railers then play an unusual Monday night match at Mount Zion and
begin CS8 Conference play on Tuesday at Taylorville.
Junior varsity improves to 3-2
With a tough weekend ahead of them at the Jacksonville
tournament, the junior varsity Lady Railers were hoping for a good
warm-up match Thursday against Urbana. They got a little more than
they bargained for but pulled off the win 25-18, 25-23 against a
scrappy Urbana team.
Coach Crawford apparently sensed, in advance, that the Railers
could pull off the victory and turned the girls loose to do some
unusual serving. The crowd got to witness some fine jump serving by
Laura Aughenbaugh, Amy Kelley and Hannah McShane, primarily. Hilary
Hobler, Felicia Jackson and Hannah Sheley all had good nights at the
The Railers struggled a bit at the end of game two and found
themselves behind 21-22. Urbana took care of that slump by making
three successive mistakes to end the game and the match at 25-23 in
favor of LCHS.
The junior Lady Railers improve to 3-2 overall and head to
Jacksonville all weekend for a challenging tournament there. Other
teams at the JHS tournament will be Normal Community, Wheaton St.
Francis, Belleville East and West, Nerix Hall, and Champaign
Central. The tournament starts Friday night at 5 and continues on
Saturday at 9 a.m.
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