Lady Panthers win seventh straight regional title

The O’Fallon Girl’s Volleyball team won their seventh consecutive Regional Championship, and head coach Melissa Massey believes the team has a good shot at becoming Sectional Champions. 

Massey said that the first round of regionals took place at Belleville East where they did “fairly well.” 

“We were trying to get our groove back,” Massey. said. “We hadn’t been playing all that great prior to that.”

Massey said that the girls handled Belleville East and them competed against Collinsville. 

“They were coming for us,” Massey said. “They has us pegged. They knew how to try and beat us.” 

Massey described the game as “awesome” and “intense.” Massey said that while they ended up beating Collinsville, they were down at one point in both sets. “We came back and won 25 to 23.” 

Coming into their first Sectionals game against Edwardsville, Monday, Oct. 29, the team “dominated,” according to Massey. 

“We lost to them during the season and we didn’t play our best when we saw them the first time,” Massey said. “We had a lot to work on and wanted to change last night. I think we came out and just dominated.”

“Our sophomores have not been in those situations and they are usually the first to touch the ball, there is a ton of pressure on them,” she said. “They did a great job at handling that pressure.”

Massey said that the team spent a lot of time preparing for how the Edwardsville team would serve the ball. 

“They knew they were going to serve speed and they did and they knew they were going to pick on them and they did,” she said. “They did a great job kind of keeping us in system and defending their big hitters. They have a lot of big hitters.”

“You never know what is going to happen on the other side of the net,” Massey said. “They did a great job answering to them beating us the last time.”

Wednesday, Oct. 31, girl’s volleyball will take on Bloomington High School in Bloomington for the Sectional Finals. 

“We have never won a Sectional Final.”

“It’s obviously something we can taste right now – we want it. We have won seven regionals, we want a Sectional Final. There is a lot on the line.”

If they win the Sectional Finals, girl’s volleyball will then face Normal Community High School in Super Sectionals on Friday, Nov. 2. 

Massey said that if the team continues playing the way that they have been, she “absolutely believes” that they have a shot at competing in the State Championship. 

“I definitely believe we can do it,” Massey said.  

“We believe in them, they just have to believe in themselves and I definitely think there’s a good chance we can make it.”

Massey said that the six girls that make up the team’s seniors are a “special group” that are “extremely talented and extremely close” and also good leaders on the team.  

“I really want it for the school but I definitely want it for them,” she said. “They are a good group and I think they worked hard for it all season and expect good things tomorrow night.” 

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