Lady Volleyball Panthers defeat Belleville East, Waterloo Gibault

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

volleyball - generic RESIZEDThe Lady Panthers Volleyball team took control of their opponents again as they beat Belleville East and Waterloo Gibault this past week, sweeping both teams.

Coach Melissa Massey said, “It’s always a little nerve wracking considering our conference is usually pretty tough. We came out a little flat at East. Our serve receive was off and we couldn’t get our offense going which is what we are strong at. We pulled it together and won the game in two sets.”

The ladies beat Belleville East 25­-23 in the first match, and 25-­16 in the second match to take the series, and put them at 13-­2 on the season.

Seniors, Imani Williamson, and Cassie Reno led the team each with six kills, followed up by McKendree commit, Mackenzie Koester, with five. The team had 24 kills overall on the night. Senior Ali Fournie led the team in assists with 16 to help the Panthers get their 24 kills.  The Lady Panthers played great team defense as they had five blocks on six attempts. The Panthers also had 28 successful digs, and they successfully received 34 serves and only had two errors.

Friday night, the ladies traveled to Gibault, and dominated both matches winning 25­-15, and 25-13.

“Playing at Gibault is also sometimes interesting because they have a smaller gym and have some intense fans. Our girls went in and attacked early and won the matches. We are really starting to get used to our new lineup and figure out our strengths and weaknesses,” Coach Massey said.

The Panthers win streak now sits at eight, and the chemistry of this team looks unstoppable. This team is leading in every statistical category above the national average according to MaxPreps.

The ladies have won 28 of their sets and have only lost five. This season is off to a very promising start for the ladies as they have the best overall winning percentage in their conference at 0.875. Senior Cassie Reno is leading the conference in hitting percentage at .417 and second in kills with 86, trailing her teammate, Elise Smith, who has 91.

“Belleville West is Tuesday and they are one of our bigger rivals so we will need to come ready to play,” said Massey. The Panthers will be hosting conference opponent Belleville West Tuesday, beginning with Junior Varsity at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Varsity Lady Panthers.

The Lady Panthers are currently ranked 12th in the State, and 7th in the Illinois Class 4A rankings.