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Wednesday, Oct. 6

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Lady Railers win easily over Springfield Lanphier. Normal Community up next.

By Rick Hobler

[OCT. 6, 2004]  I hoped I would get home early Tuesday night.

Thankfully, the Lady Railers granted my wish.

In a varsity match that lasted only about 26 minutes LCHS easily disposed of the Lions from Lanphier High School. The match score was 25-10, 25-13, with most of Lanphier's points being unearned.

And it was a good thing that Lanphier had little to offer because the Railers didn't seem to have Lanphier on their minds. Instead, the Railers seemed to have only "Thursdays" on their minds. The main topic of volleyball conversation at LCHS last night was about matches in the past or in the future. Specifically the SHG loss last Thursday and the Normal Community match this Thursday. But more about that in a minute. First things first.

For a few minutes in game one, it looked liked Lincoln's star server, Maria Benitez, might "run the table" on the Lions. From a score of 0-0 to 9-0, the Lions barely touched Maria's well-placed serves. And that was only the beginning. For the night, Maria had 15 service points, including four aces. During that same service spree, Megan Hoffert and Michi McFadden led the charge at the net. The Railers were quickly up 19-3 after a couple of nice kills by another McFadden sister. This time freshman Jamie McFadden did the damage for the Railers (I have asked the McFadden parents to keep having more children, but they have respectfully declined). Melissa Ramlow and Robin Conklen did a nice job of setting for the varsity in game one. After a couple of finishing "touches" by Erin Frick and Julie Fults, the Railers moved to the other side of the net for game two.

Game two was no different from game one, except for some names added to the contribution list. The Railers, led by the fine serving of Michelle Fitzpatrick throughout (seven service points for the match), put the Railers up easily and they never looked back. Some uncharacteristic mistakes allowed Lanphier to garner 14 total points, but the end of this story was never in question. The Railers again pulled out an array of offensive weapons, including both McFadden sisters, Megan Hoffert, Erin Frick and Julie Fults. Thirteen short minutes later the net was being taken down and the gym was emptying out.

With that "little detail" out of the way, what was really on the team's mind began to flow again. Normal Community. Thursday night. Our house. The team and the fans were making sure no one would forget. Not likely.

[to top of second column in this article]

But there is some forgetting that does need to be done immediately and, on the other hand, some remembering that needs to be done.

First the forgetting. That would be last Thursday at SHG. The Lady Railers need to forget it. All but that one part about how badly it hurt to lose. The only way that last week's loss can hurt the Railers anymore is if they let it. They shouldn't. Let's remember the facts here for a moment. The Railers are 22-4 overall, are 3-1 in conference play, have won two difficult major tournaments and placed second in another, are the No. 1 seed in their postseason sectional complex, and potentially have one of the best volleyball teams ever at LCHS. Need I go on, ladies? Forget about last Thursday or it will ruin this Thursday. I am confident they won't let that happen.

In the category of things for the Lady Railers NOT to forget and to definitely remember are the times that Normal Community has sought not just to beat them, but to humiliate them. Even at my advanced age and with my shortened memory, I haven't forgotten the times that Normal Community has acted "superior' to the Railer program. I am also confident that the Lady Railer seniors haven't forgotten that Normal "attitude" thing. It's time to turn it up a notch.

I know it's only Wednesday, but I've got Thursday on my mind. GO, RAILERS!

* * *

LCHS junior varsity and freshmen continue to win

In matches that appeared to be going in slow motion sometimes, both the Railer junior varsity and freshman teams nevertheless pulled out wins over the squads from Springfield Lanphier last night. The JV won by scores of 25-14, 25-8, while the freshmen pulled off wins at 25-16, 25-18. Katie Conklen, Ashley Bonaparte and Kate Schonauer had excellent matches for the junior varsity. In the freshman match, Abbie Feldman, Cori Wendell and Carrie Jones all made significant contributions to the victory. Both the JV and the freshman squads also face off with Normal Community, beginning with the freshman match at 4:45 p.m. Thursday.

[Rick Hobler]

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