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Wednesday, Sept. 27

Lady Railers pummel Chatham   Send a link to a friend

Crucial conference contest with SHG set for Thursday

By Rick Hobler

[SEPT. 27, 2006]  It's homecoming week at LCHS.

And as Dorothy is famous for saying on her return from the Land of Oz: "There's no place like home."

Watching the Lincoln Lady Railers play last night, one would have to say that this year's team has truly and finally come home. Hopefully, they have come home to stay.

The Lincoln Lady Railers volleyball squad (13-4-2 overall and 2-0 in conference) came back home to Roy S. Anderson gymnasium Tuesday night after successful tournament play and an extended road schedule. Lincoln High School buses have traveled to East Peoria, Mount Zion, Taylorville and Quincy in the last 10 days, and on each occasion the Lady Railers have come home happy. Once you prove you can win on the road against tough opponents, then home is even sweeter. Especially sweet when the home win comes against conference rival Chatham Glenwood. The Railers pummeled the Titans by scores of 25-19, 25-14.

There was really only one problem for the Lady Railers on Tuesday night -- her name was Hannah Werth. But "one" is definitely the loneliest number in volleyball, and the Lady Railer "many" made short work of the Chatham one.

In game one Lincoln got off to a slow start, but once they began to roll, they really rolled. The initial Railer roll began with some consistent serving from Molly Goodrich and what was to be the beginning of an awesome night of hitting for Jamie McFadden. Two service aces and two monster kills finally put Lincoln in the lead 7-5. Some all-around team play and a few more McFadden kills put the Railers securely in the lead at 20-13. The Railers hurt themselves over the next series of volleys and allowed Chatham to crawl back into the game as a Hannah Werth ace brought the Titans to within two points at 21-19. Senior leadership then showed up for the Railers. A kill, a tip into an open court area and a block, all by Natalie Boward, along with an impressive Katie Conklen dig, gave the Railers the win at 25-19.

The second game was even more one-sided, as five of the Titans seemed to concede the match almost from the start -- everyone except for Ms. Werth, of course. Once again Lincoln's McFadden was pounding the unreturnable ball into the gymnasium floor, for six additional kills. Abbie Feldman added a couple of nice kills, and the serving of Amy Ramlow and Molly Goodrich carried the Railers home to victory. A McFadden soft tip that landed on the Titan's court untouched brought the match to an end at 25-14.

The entire Railer team played well. Especially awesome were Jamie McFadden with 12 kills and Katie Conklen with 12 digs. Jamie delivered some of the hardest hits of the season while Katie took some of the hardest hits of the season. Both were crucial to the Railer victory. The Railers served exceptionally well for one of the first times this season. Molly Goodrich had 11 service points, including five aces. Amy Ramlow was close behind with nine service points. Most everything the Railers tried, worked. The Railers were impressive in almost every aspect of their match. Maybe the most impressive was the statistics Chatham's Hannah Werth did NOT have -- just three kills for the entire match.

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I hope the Lady Railers enjoyed the victory last night, because homecoming week is only half over.

To say this week is crucial to the Central State Eight volleyball championship would definitely be an understatement. Having taken care of Chatham, Lincoln now heads to the generally unfriendly confines of Griffin High School to play the ladies from SHG. It would be nave to think that LCHS will get fair shake on the court ruled by SHG coach Helen Dulle. If the past is any indication of the future at SHG, Lincoln should be ready to play against eight instead of six.

We will see if the Lady Railers are up to the task. We'll see if LCHS students are there to support their fellow classmates during homecoming week. We'll see if the team plays like it did on Tuesday night. It's certainly early, but if they do, they should ride home Thursday night firmly in charge of their own destiny in the CS8. It's up to you, ladies.

GO, RAILERS!

* * *

Lincoln JV plays well in loss

The junior Railers are close but are not there yet. The younger Railers are playing well enough to be close but continue to make too many errors to win. Last night, all games of their three-game match were decided by scores of 25-20. Unfortunately for LCHS, Chatham had the 25 points twice and the Railers had it only once. This year's team has several players struggling in significant aspects of their game, while other players are playing strong. It is yet to be seen if this year's sophomore class (who lost only three matches last year as freshmen), along with the new freshmen players, can put this squad in the winning column again.

Hilary Hobler led the team in two categories, with nine kills and seven service points. Amy Kelley and Hannah Sheley added eight service points each. Amy Kelley and Kayla Riggs shared the setting responsibilities, garnering 10 and six assists, respectively. Emily Sheley had some positive plays at the net, with five kills and two blocks. Laura Aughenbaugh played well all night at the center of the net.

The Lincoln JV moves on to a tough match at SHG on Thursday.

GO, RAILERS!

[Rick Hobler]

Respond to the writer at rhobler@lccs.edu.

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