Pulaski edges out Lewistown Central 26-24 and 25-22
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[March 12, 2017]
In semifinal play at Decatur LSA on Saturday, Mount Pulaski
Honeybears punched their ticket to the state championship match.
Mount Pulaski had to fight hard to earn this state championship
berth. The Honeybears rallied late in set one over Lewistown Central
and then had to hold off a very determined group of Indians in set
two to punch their ticket to the Class 7-2A State Championship match
on Tuesday night at 6:45 p.m.
In the first set Mount Pulaski found themselves down early 6-3 as
the Indians were little and mighty, with only two taller girls to
Mount Pulaskiís errors were abundant from the get-go and the Indians
took advantage. After the Honeybears front row watched the ball drop
between them, it was evident something about the Indians style of
play made the Honeybears freeze in their tracks. With Mount Pulaski
facing an 11-4 deficit, the Honeybear fans were getting just as
nervous as the players on the court.
A tip by Je'Na Rentmeister and an ace serve by Alexis Wade allowed
Mount Pulaski to stay alive, only trailing 12-8 at this point.
Mount Pulaski managed to keep pace with the Indians in the next
couple exchanges and after a long volley the Honeybears won the
point. Even though the score was a close yet distant 15-11, this was
just the beginning of the momentum shifting in favor of Mount
The next volley would see the ball drop in between the Lewistown
Central players and quickly their coach would call a timeout.
The timeout allowed just enough time for Mount Pulaski Head Coach
Donna Dulle to start a fire under her seventh grade leader, Cassidy
Clark. Clark came up huge with not just one but two BIG kills next
and the game was within reach, 16-14 now the score.
After an Indians player hit the ball long and out of bounds, Mount
Pulaski fans were fired up along with Clark. All of the blue and
white crowd was enjoying the 16-15 score, despite trailing yet at
But the Indians bounced back and eventually extended the lead to
19-15 after a kill by Addison Yurkovich.
Nerves set in with the Indians, too, as Lanie Swearingen served the
ball under the net and that was a costly error that caused things to
With the momentum shifting in full swing Mount Pulaskiís way, an ace
serve by Clark would be icing on the cake and the end result was
finally a new ballgame, 19-19 the tie score.
After a great volley between the two scrappy teams, a Lewistown
Central player hit the ball wide and out of bounds and nearly into
the wild Honeybears fan section. Finally Mount Pulaski had their
first lead of the game at 20-19.
After a series of errors committed by the Indians, Mount Pulaski
built a 23-20 lead and the wild Honeybears were going crazy.
But those wild Indians were a fierce bunch and Macy Mikulich gave
Clark a hit she couldnít handle and then Wade got a little frazzled
and tipped the ball out of bounds to allow the Indians to inch
closer, 23-22 now the score.
Then Lewistown Central did something Mount Pulaski is famous for, a
sneaky tip of the ball. So sneaky that the three Honeybears who dove
to the ground after it, had no chance of coming up with it.
Oh this momentum keeps swinging in different directions. Another
kill by Mikulich gave the lead back to the Indians.
Mount Pulaski evened the score at 24-24 after Lewistown Central was
called for an illegal hit.
Back-to-back hits by Rentmeister would end the Indians hopes of a
victory in set one. The kill that put Mount Pulaski on top 25-24 was
a no-doubter by Rentmeister, but the final blow of the game for the
Indians was when their middle maybe got a fingertip on the ball hit
by Rentmeister, but had to watch it fall to the ground as the
Honeybears celebrated on the other side of the net.
The 26-24 come-from-behind win was one Mount Pulaski fans will not
likely forget anytime soon.
Not that set two was any easier, but the point spread was a wee bit
larger. Wee bit is the key word here.
Just after Rentmeister was stunned and nearly knocked over by a shot
from the Indians, Clark answered back with a monster kill to make
the score 2-1 in favor of Mount Pulaski.
The score was back and forth until Mount Pulaski started to make a
little run to break open the 4-4 tie.
Running the lead up to 8-4, it was Clark connecting
with the ball and with a snap of the wrist, she left the Indians
back row discombobulated. Clark was on a tear during this run and my
oh my her kill to make the score 11-4 was simply put: awesome, wow!
[to top of second column]
Hailee Daigh serves for Mount Pulaski during the
Although for a brief spell Clark looked a little tired and in need
of a second wind. She hit a couple balls in the net and allowed the
Indians to crawl back in the thick of things, 11-7 the score.
Rentmeister stepped in to pick her teammate up and her nice play at
the net allowed Mount Pulaski to maintain a 15-10 lead.
Both teams might have been getting a little wore out at this point,
as the errors were frequent, but Mount Pulaski still held on to the
20-18 lead after Clark was called for being in the net.
A kill by Rentmeister left the Indians defense froze in their tracks
as the game was quickly passing by and Mount Pulaski kept that lead
intact, 22-20, but the end was drawing near.
Rentmeister would shut the door in set two, too. Her kill, her tip
and her serve finished off the Indians down the stretch. Lewistown
Central could not return any of it and it was game over.
Mount Pulaski had won 25-22 and the Honeybears ticket to the state
title match was punched.
Mount Pulaski (15-4) will take on Mason City Illini Central (24-2)
Tuesday night at 6:45 p.m. for the Class 7-2A State Championship.
Illini Central defeated Ashland A-C Central 25-19 and 25-17 in the
semifinals late Saturday.
Mount Pulaski stats
Cassidy Clark 10 kills 2 aces 1 block
Je'Na Rentmeister 8 kills 1 block
Alexis Wade 2 kills 12 digs 1 ace
Makenna Wilham 1 kill 15 digs 1 ace
Hailee Daigh 21 assists 1 ace
Clarissa Turner 1 block
Happy Honeybears going to state title game
Happiness leads to hugs