The Homecoming King and Queen were crowned Tuesday night at the Stags volleyball game.  The Queen is Ashley Zinser and the King is Antonio Coit-Kirk.


Hartem loses on Homecoming Night to West Prairie

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[September 21, 2016]  The Cyclones of West Prairie (13-3) defeated the injury-plagued Stags (5-7) 25-13 and 25-16 on Hartem’s Homecoming Night.

The Stags came out pumped up with the large crowd on hand as sophomore Anna Hayes started the action by getting the first two kills of the night for the home team.

West Prairie was loaded with heavy-hitters though and quickly jumped out to an 8-4 lead before Coach Jennifer Hayes called a timeout.

The Stags found themselves down 13-7 when another timeout was called by Coach Hayes and she tried to settle her young team down.

West Prairie just kept pounding the ball and moments later the score was doubled up on the Stags, 20-10 in favor of the Cyclones. West Prairie just kept scoring, but finally Kassy Eskew’s tip caught the Cyclone defense off-balance and Hartem was able to put a point on the board, 23-11, now the Cyclones lead.

Hartem Junior Kassy Eskew (7 in the center) sets the ball to Sami Perschall (14) as Shyanne Conrady (4) and Lexi Barry (5) look on in Tuesday night’s volleyball game with West Prairie.  

Hayes slammed another kill on her opponent to earn a point for the Stags, but West Prairie was too much and shut down the orange and black, 25-13, the score in set one.

Set two saw Hartem dig themselves into a little hole early, as the Cyclones took a 3-0 lead. Hayes with the kill finally put the Stags in the scoring column and eventually the Stags would tie the Cyclones at 6-6 as Lexi Barry did an outstanding job on the block all by herself.

The Cyclones continued to get the upper hand over the Stags though and stretched the lead to 16-8.

A couple more kills by Hayes kept the Stags in the set but they still trailed the Cyclones 19-12. An ace by Barry would be the last of the scoring for the Stags, with the Cyclones up 21-16 at this point.

West Prairie went on to run-off the next four consecutive points and Hartem bowed out with the 25-16 loss in set two.

This was not quite the outcome the Stags had hoped for on Homecoming Night, but with it being an emotional week for the Stags and several players battling injuries, the team made the best out of the situation.

According to Coach Hayes, “It’s been quite the season. We’ve had three sprained ankles, one concussion and one hospitalization.” All of that adds up to the coach admitting she has not ran the same lineup yet this season for more than two days in a row.

Injured freshman Emily Craig is sporting her “Be Fearless” t-shirt in her first trip back to the gym following her accident.

The emotional week for the Stags began back on September 11th when Emily Craig was injured in an accident. Craig sustained a serious leg injury and spent six days in the Peoria Children’s Hospital, according to Coach Hayes. Teammate Lexi Barry received a concussion in the accident also.

According to Craig’s mother, Jennifer Craig, Emily was in the trauma room at the hospital saying, “I don’t want to miss volleyball.” It was evident the team misses Emily, who was back in the gym Tuesday night in a wheelchair for the first time since the accident. Family and friends surrounded the freshman volleyball player all evening long, causing her to have a big smile across her face the entire night.

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Coach Jennifer Hayes has the attention of her team in the huddle before taking on West Prairie.

Coach Hayes was equally as happy to have Craig back in the gym. "It was great to see Emily back here, I mean with all the stuff that we’ve went through the last two weeks,” said Coach Hayes. "We are on an emotional roller coaster and you can see it by watching us play. We have some really good moments and then we have some not so good moments. We are still trying to figure it out.”

Of Craig, the Hartem coach said, "She was my libero and she was passing all the time. You can see that when our passing breaks down that we are very unsure of what we are going to do. I’ve got people passing that haven’t passed since they were in junior high.”

Coach Hayes continued, "So it’s just piecing it together. It’s about staying positive, teamwork, talk and communicate, which is what you saw there at the end. It’s just that we are not quite there yet. We haven’t been in a real rotation more than two days in a row since the beginning of the season with injuries. And until they get that chemistry of playing together, it isn’t gonna get better. But I never thought they really gave up. They always played hard, they always went for it. For a young, inexperienced team that’s all I can ask for in September. We’re running our offense and we’re trying to work on some different hits. We gotta keep working.

"Our hitters are mainly sophomores, you know, we have a junior middle, but we didn’t pass well enough to get her the ball.

"I’ve got a libero and an outside hitter that are seniors, but they really haven’t done it at the varsity level. It’s just a lot of new.

"And I’ve got a setter running it at the varsity level for the first time. It’s all brand new and everything is just kind of hit and miss right now.

"We are just gonna have to build and get ready for the postseason,” said Coach Hayes.

In the Junior Varsity contest West Prairie defeated Hartem in three sets, 19-25, 25-23 and 15-10.

Harlem’s record rests at 5 wins and 7 losses going into Thursday night’s matchup with Mount Pulaski. The game will be at Mount Pulaski and will be the Hilltoppers Homecoming.

Mount Pulaski has a record of 4 wins and 7 losses. It looks to be a good matchup with both teams boasting a lot of young talent and veteran coaches who love competing against each other.

Hartem stats

Anna Hayes 6 kills
Kassy Eskew 13 assists
Sami Perschall 1 kill
Shyanne Conrady 1 ace
Lexi Barry 1 ace

West Praire stats

Pema Zellmann 6 kills
Peyton Bowman 4 kills
Hannah Thompson 2 kills
Julie Shoemaker 2 kills

[Teena Lowery]

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