The boys varsity team battled hard on the court last weekend to earn a second place finish in the Triad Tournament.
O’Fallon finished in second out of a sixteen team tournament that included Belleville East, Belleville West, Triad, and Althoff. Jacobs high school took home the first place hardware while Belleville West and East finished third and fourth respectively.
On their way to their second place plaque O’Fallon defeated Sacred Heart Griffin, Carbondale, and Belleville West before losing to eventual champions Jacobs High. The Panthers blanked Sacred Heart Griffin 5-0 before moving on to narrowly defeat Carbondale 3-2. After a close match with Carbondale O’Fallon easily put down SWC rivals Belleville West 4-1 and were just barely edged out by Jacobs 3-2.
Varsity head coach Erin Thoman credits her team’s early tournament success to hard work and team chemistry.
“They battled every match and were always right there in the game no matter what,” said Thoman.” We are very big on team this year and everyone plays with the common goal to win as a team. Everyone was very encouraging of each other over the weekend and it helped us out.”
The junior varsity Panther team also competed in the Triad tournament. O’Fallon’s JV squad finished in 14th place, losing to Belleville West, Althoff and Effingham and defeating Sacred Heart Griffin 4-1.
This week the Panthers, who currently sit at 5-3 this season, will have an action packed week. Action on the court will start on Tuesday in a conference clash with Collinsville on OTHS’s home courts. On Thursday the team will compete in the Triad Duals and on Saturday will host the OTHS Quad meet. This year the OTHS Quad is filled with tough competition that includes Mascoutah, Champaign Central, Greenville, and O’Fallon.
With lots of play this week, coach Thoman has her team focusing hard in their limited practice time.
“We don’t get a lot of time to prepare for some important matches. Our practices have been more focused and everyone is working extra hard to be ready,” said Thoman.
Luckily for Thoman and the Panthers, they bolster a deep roster that will help the team in stretches of tough competition. So far this season, O’Fallon High’s depth has allowed the team has aligned them with their pre-season expectations.
“This team has good talent all around. The amount of work that everyone has put in in both the off-season and this season in practice has really started to pay off for us,” said Thoman. “It will be nice to play on our home courts this weekend against some really good teams.”