Rolling off of their third place finish in the Edwardsville Classic, the O’Fallon Panther volleyball squad has had a huge week.
Since the beginning of the season, the Panthers have been looking forward for their chance to face off against Mater Dei. Early in the season OTHS struggled with slow starts, but they were fully prepared for their big match last Tuesday.
“There was a lot of excitement leading up to playing Mater Dei,” said coach Melissa Massey. “There wasn’t any nervous energy, the girls were tough and came ready to play.”
The match was by no means easy for the Panther team.
In game one, OTHS narrowly defeated Mater Dei by two points (25-23). The Panthers had 3 aces and 12 kills in the tightly played game.
O’Fallon found their groove in game two, topping the Knights by a final score of 25-19 and closing the match out in two games.
“Beating Mater Dei on their home court is a huge win for our program,” said Massey. “We were tough to defend against and moved the ball around well.
After their big victory at Mater Dei, the team took to the courts at Lincoln Community High School in the Lincoln Volleyball Tournament. At Lincoln, the Panthers faced off against Bartonville Limestone, Lincoln, Peoria Notre Dame, Normal West, and Quincy Notre Dame in the championship.
In the championship match, O’Fallon clashed against Quincy Notre Dame in a dramatic three game finale. Both game one and two of the match were decided by two points.
Game one went in favor of the Panthers, with a 25-23 win. In game two, the teams battled to a 28-29 score when O’Fallon challenged a rule preventing the game from proceeding past 29 points. After allowing the game to continue past 29, the Panthers fell 28-30.
The dramatic game two loss was all the motivation OTHS needed to win game three. In the largest point differential of the set, the O’Fallon Panthers closed out the match and the tournament with a 15-9 win.
Hoisting the title at in the Lincoln Tournament is a big win for O’Fallon. Not only does it move their record on the season to an impressive 13-1, but it also gives the team a taste of what they could face in the post season.
Coach Massey credits the teams bond to their fantastic start.
“The team plays very connected, with incredible group chemistry. They have done a great job of moving forward and taking their game to something bigger,” said Massey.