Toftemark a very positive influence on Lady Panthers team

Katherine Toftemark

Head Volleyball Coach Melissa Massey said that senior Katherine Toftemark has done a great job at picking the team up when they are down. 

Massey said that many seniors don’t realize that the volleyball season is coming to an end and they won’t be playing together for much longer. 

“Kat doesn’t think she’s going to go on to play in college,” Massey said. “I feel like she has done a really good job just trying to pick the team up.” 

Massey said that Toftemark “puts it all out there every game” and works hard despite the season ending soon. “She is a kid that gets it.” 

Despite Toftemark not pursing collegiate volleyball, Massey said that she has made the most of her season. 

Massey said that Toftemark, who is a middle hitter, always “lays low.” 

“She does a lot of things consistently good,” she said. “She’s a kid we need to honor because she’s done a really good job.” 

Massey described the six volleyball seniors as “quite a special group” in that they are all great friends outside of just being teammates. 

“There is something to be said about that,” she said. “They have a mutual respect, love and passion for each other.”

Massey said that Toftemark “would do anything for her teammates.” 

“She sometimes puts her teammates in front of herself,” she said. “She’s a very respected kid and also very respectful to myself and the rest of my coaching staff.”

According to Massey, school is very important to Toftemark and said that she plans on attending Mizzou and eventually go into the medical field. She also said that Toftemark will likely try out for a club volleyball team at her respective university. “She’s a great player.” 

“It has been an interesting season,” Massey said. She said that the 27-6 record “speaks for itself.” 

“This has probably been our toughest season we have had as far as competition goes. I really have worked hard to play in the best tournaments and get good competition for us,” she said. “Our losses are good losses. We have lost to good teams.” 

Massey said that she wants her volleyball team to be pushed and to realize that games are not all about winning. 

“I feel like our team is extremely talented.”

Massey said that the volleyball players are “excited, pumped and ready to play” in the upcoming post-season.

Toftemark has accumulated 33 blocks, 99 kills, 50 digs and 29 aces this season. 

Abby Braswell adds leadership, stability to team

Abby Braswell

According to Head Volleyball Coach Melissa Massey, its no understatement to call senior Abby Braswell the rock of the team.

“Abby is pretty much our steady player every single game, involved in every single play as our only setter. Being a senior she takes on a leadership role and has done a bang up, consistent job for us all year. We look to her all the time to pick us up,” Massey said.

Braswell, who last weekend was awarded All Tournament Honors at the Metro East Classic, has set herself apart from the rest of her team through her attitude and constant drive.

“What sets Abby apart from a lot of volleyball players I’ve seen is that she is always in a good mood, even in practice, picking her teammates up. She knows that when she’s passed out on the floor, the others feed off of that and not in a good way. So not only does she carry a big load being our only setter, she also has to emotionally be on her game all of the time because the girls are feeding off of her,” Massey explained.

During the Metro East Classic, the competition got very difficult for the Panthers, who had to play top flight schools such as Gibault Catholic, Cor Jesu Academy, and Ursuline Academy. Massey said Braswell kept her cool and kept the team focused.

“Despite the day being long, Abby is such a level headed tone on our team and its just so refreshing to see and have on our side. Today was so draining. She was physically drained because she is involved in every single play and if another player is struggling, its her job to chase a ball down. No one else is doing that. So not only does she have to stay physically in the game, but also emotionally. Abby does a really good job carrying that load,” Massey said. 

Braswell, who has played volleyball her whole time at OTHS and joined the Varsity team in her sophomore year, really has blossomed into the leader.

“She’s been with me three years. Her biggest thing has been leadership, becoming a mature athlete and understanding how to deal with pressure. She takes a lot of pressure playing for a school like O’Fallon and getting into these matches. We do not have an easy schedule. I feel like she has risen to the occasion and can handle high pressure situations.”

Massey said Braswell not only is doing well on the volleyball floor, but also in the classroom.

“She’s committed. She’s committed not only on the volleyball floor but in the classroom. She’s got really great grades. I’ve seen a big level of maturity in her not just as an athlete but as a person too.”

Braswell is still trying to decide where to go after OTHS.

“Abby is still trying to narrow it down. Missouri Baptist has made an offer and so has Cumberland University in Tennessee. I actually get coaches reaching out to me daily and she’s just trying to figure out what she wants to do. Does she want to stay local or go away? She’s definitely going to pursue volleyball in college,” Massey said.

Wherever she goes, Massey said they will be picking up a fantastic teammate.

“The rest of the team just loves Abby. She’s one of those kids that is really likable. She is friends with everyone on the team. She is very respectful and is very coachable. She listens to everything we say to her and tries to fix what we say to fix. It’s just so refreshing to have a player that is so instrumental to your team and have them stay so humble and honestly understand her role on the floor and be a good teammate. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Lauren LePere brings quiet intensity to the volleyball court

Lauren LePere

By Nick Miller

Senior Lauren LePere has been a constant presence on Coach Melissa Massey’s girls volleyball team since she was a freshman. Massey said that it was rare for a freshman to see playing time in 2015, but the fact that Lauren did says a lot.

“The one thing about Lauren is that, not just this year, but over the past four years, she’s just been so solid for us. She’s a coach’s dream, for sure. Besides her solid play on the floor, she’s so committed on the off-season and plays summer ball. She’s a great leader,” Massey said.

Lauren is known by her teammates for her intensity and drive, which some may mistake for aggression.

“I have to laugh because some people may think she’s mad or something, but we know she is intense. I think the girls don’t mistake her for being mean, they just recognize her intensity,” Massey said. 

Coming into her senior year this season, Massey said Lauren has really embraced her role as a leader on the team.

“It’s funny with Lauren, because she’s a quiet person. But, this year especially, she’s really stepped up and become more of a vocal leader. I expect a lot out of my seniors. This year I have six seniors and it can be difficult to step up and find your voice. But she’s really taken on a big leadership role. For example, just today, we were doing drills and it wasn’t going great. She stepped up, took care of it, got everyone together, and got everyone on track. She’s not afraid to do that,” Massey said. 

Lauren has proven to be valuable in a number of positions through the years, which Massey said is a huge accomplishment. 

“In volleyball these days to be a six rotation player is a big deal. You have so many specialty people… defensive specialists… liberos… and all that, and to be a six rotation player three out of the four years she’s played for me is incredible,” she said.

According to Massey, Lauren wants to attend a larger college and is considering attending one of five schools: the University of Alabama, University of Washington, University of Michigan, University of Florida, or University of Minnesota. She has yet to sign anywhere and is narrowing down her final decision. 

Ultimately, Massey knows she has a solid, strong player in Lauren and will look to rely on her a lot during this fall season.

“I have never seen somebody show me in and out every day that they are going to work hard by the way she works hard. A lot of kids may say they will, but Lauren is a gamer. She is intense, but not disrespectful. She works her butt off on the floor during practice and games. She is a constant player for me,” Massey said. 

Elise Smith gives all to her team, hits personal records

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

Elise Smith has been one of the top volleyball players in the Southwestern conference this season, not matter how many naps she might take.

Smith was honest when asked about what she enjoys doing in the offseason, and that was to nap, and nap a lot.

On October 17, Smith surpassed her 1,000 kills mark on Senior night against East St. Louis.

“It felt like everything I had been working for finally came together. I knew I had to get six more kills before the game started, and it was funny because everyone was counting down the kills until it finally happened. There was so much excitement in that moment, and it was one of the best feelings in the world,” said Smith.

But there have been plenty more memories for this season than just recording over 1,000 kills for Smith.

To read the full article, pick up a copy of this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition.

Lady Panthers tear through competition at Metro-East Classic

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

The O’Fallon Girls Volleyball team is coming off another great week on the court, as they showed their dominance in the conference at home and that they can compete with some of the top teams in the area at the Metro-East Classic this weekend.

Last Tuesday, the ladies won in very convincing fashion, 25-10, and 25-15 over Collinsville. With that win, the girls moved to 4-0 in the Southwestern Conference.

Head Coach Melissa Massey said, “It feels good to be undefeated, but we still have our work cut out for us. We will not be satisfied until we beat everyone in our conference. The girls want that so badly!”

To read the full article, pick up a copy of this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition.

Victories for the Lady Panthers

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

Another long week for the Blue and Gold, and another week of victories for the Lady Panthers Volleyball team.

To start their busy work week, the ladies traveled to Breese to take on Mater Dei in an event where the Panthers would close a tight match beating the Knights 25-21 in the first set. In set two, it was Mater Dei who flipped the script on O’Fallon, winning 25-21. In the final set, OTHS pulled out a nail-biter, serving and spiking to get the win 25-20.

The Panthers wouldn’t get much of any rest, as they turned around to play against the Triad Knights. In this contest, it seemed as if the Knights were no match for the very talented Panthers. O’Fallon swept, as they took the first set 25-10, and the second set 25-8.

To read the full article, pick up a copy of this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition.

Volleyball Panthers win tough match against Villa Duchesne

Lady Panthers take seventh in Edwardsville Tiger Classic

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

The O’Fallon Girls Volleyball team started off what would be a very busy week for them, on a very high note.

The Blue and Gold won a very tough, non-conference match against Villa Duchesne on Thursday.

The Villa Duchesne Saints are one of Missouri’s top teams in the area year in and year out. The Saints won a state title a couple years ago in 2015 to add to their resume. But it was O’Fallon who scored points when they needed to at the end of matches to sweep Villa Duchesne.

To read the full article, pick up a copy of this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition.

 

Lady Panthers sweep Waterloo to kick off season

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

The O’Fallon Panthers rallied past Waterloo last Thursday sweeping them two games to none.

In the first contest, it was the Panthers who started off slow, but quickly turned things around. In game one, the ladies were down 8-19 but clawed their way back to defeat Waterloo, 27-25.

Head Coach Melissa Massey commented on the first game saying, “We got off to a bit of a rough start, but pushed through to get those first game jitters out.”

 

To read the full article, pick up a copy of this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition.

Athlete Spotlight – O’Fallon teams exhibit the Christmas spirit

Pictured from left: Parker Johnson, Garrett Hagarty, Jack Gozard, Donavan Balisteri, Brandon Mayfield, Cody Wyatt, Chris (adopted family), Rodney (adopted family) Patrick Roy (Head Coach for OIHC), Sharron (adopted family), De’ahnah, Shaniyah, oldest daughter. (Submitted Photo)

Pictured from left: Parker Johnson, Garrett Hagarty, Jack Gozard, Donavan Balisteri, Brandon Mayfield, Cody Wyatt, Chris (adopted family), Rodney (adopted family) Patrick Roy (Head Coach for OIHC), Sharron (adopted family), De’ahnah, Shaniyah, oldest daughter. (Submitted Photo)

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Ice Hockey Club (OIHC) adopted a family from the O’Fallon VFW Post 305.

The hockey club had not done this community service before and wanted to help give back this year. The OIHC reached out to the Jeff Hastings at VFW to see if there was a family they could help with over the holiday season. The VFW informed the club of a family where the mom was in the hospital and the kids were being taken care of by the oldest daughter. There were five kids that needed help. The OIHC players reached out to their parents to obtain donations. The OIHC family rose over $600 for the family.  One Parent and a player and two coaches went shopping for the kids to try to fulfil their Christmas wish list.

Members of the O'Fallon Girls Volleyball team took time out of their busy holiday schedules to sing Christmas carols at a nearby nursing home for residents. (Submitted Photo)

Members of the O’Fallon Girls Volleyball team took time out of their busy holiday schedules to sing Christmas carols at a nearby nursing home for residents. (Submitted Photo)

After a lot of shopping and wrapping the OIHC met with the family at the VFW on December 18, 2016 to give them their presents.  The kids opened everything and were really thankful to all that was done. Since the OIHC raised so much money they also were able to help the family pay some of their outstanding bills.

The O’Fallon High School Girls Volleyball team also got into the Christmas spirit recently. The ladies went carolling at The Colonnade Senior Living, bringing joy and happiness to the residents.

Lady Panthers peaking in time for post-season play

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER
Austin Wilkerson takes the ball into enemy territory during Friday night's game against SLU High. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Jeff Egbert)

Austin Wilkerson takes the ball into enemy territory during Friday night’s game against SLU High. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Jeff Egbert)

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Lady Panthers had a very busy work schedule this week and could not have played any better.

“This has been a great week for our team, and I could not be more proud with how hard the girls worked,” Coach Melissa Massey said.

The ladies started off the week traveling to Alton and dominating in both matches, winning 25-14 in each set. The ladies would then turn around and host Althoff on Thursday and beat them as well to extend their record to 23-5.

Over the weekend the Panthers competed in the O’Fallon Township High School Autumn Classic tournament. The ladies won their first two pool play games defeating Pickneyville 25-16 and 25-7. The ladies would also get their second win of the day, beating Salem 25-11 and 25-6.

On Saturday, the ladies beat Breese Central 25-13 and 25-12, and would then continue on to bracket play.

O’Fallon finished the day on Saturday winning the Gold Division after beating Champaign Central in a third match 15-9. They would then advance to the Championship and face Chicago Marist. The ladies swept the championship match winning 25-23 and 27-25.

Coach Massey said, “We are definitely peaking at the right time. Beating a team that is ranked fifth in the state is pretty incredible. We need to take that momentum and ride into the postseason.”

Mackenzie Koester was the tournament Most Valuable Player, and Elise Smith was on All-Tournament team. Coach Massey said, “Both girls played a huge part in our success this weekend.”

Coach also mentioned many times that as a team the girls are playing great, “All of our players played so well, and it was our team that got us there. They are getting into really good rhythm, and we are very excited for the playoffs.”

The ladies record currently sits at 28-5, and they are ranked 15th in the state. The Panthers will travel to conference opponent East St. Louis on Tuesday beginning at 5:30.

Athlete Spotlight – Imani Williamson has only one goal for the Lady Panthers Volleyball team: State

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER
Imani Williamson

Imani Williamson

Southwestern Conference standout, Imani Williamson, of the Lady Panther Volleyball team is showcasing her dominance on the court. The senior currently ranks third on her team in kills, with 104 total. Imani also has the highest Ace percentage on her serves at an outstanding statline of 20.2 percent. She received All-Tournament team honors at the Metro-East Classic Tournament, where the Panthers won first place in the Silver division.

Imani plays Outside Hitter for the Lady Panthers and is a major contribution to the ladies’ success on the floor.

“My strong suit is my athleticism because it gives me the ability to help my teammates on the floor. My performance so far has been strong, but I definitely have certain aspects of my game that I want to improve on before playoffs,” Imani said.

Coach Melissa Massey commented on Imani saying, “Imani has really stepped up on the court as a player and as a leader. I am so proud of the way she has grown into being a successful athlete and pushing her teammates to do the same.”

Imani and the Panthers are currently 21-4, and ranked in the top 20 in the state of Illinois. She has big expectations for the rest of the season.

“My expectations for the rest of the season is to make it to State. I have a lot of faith in my team and I feel like if we can work hard on our defense, we can definitely get there,” said Imani.

Aside from Volleyball, Imani is also involved in school and a part of the Leadership Council at O’Fallon High School.

Imani is the daughter of Elisha and Richard Williamson. She plans to continue here academic career, but is undecided on what she would like to study. Also, she plans to continue to play volleyball at the college level, but has yet to decide on where she wants to attend.

Lady Panthers Volleyball take first in division at Metro East Classic tourney

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

volleyball - generic RESIZEDO’FALLON – The O’Fallon Panthers volleyball team won Tuesday’s home conference match against Collinsville, sweeping both sets 2-0. Before the game was played, there was a moment of silence for Collinsville student, Tray Turner, who passed away the week prior after suffering from severe injuries after a fall.

“Previous to the match starting, we offered a card with a flower and a moment of silence to Collinsville in memory of the student they lost the week before,” said Coach Melissa Massey.

The ladies beat the Kahoks in set one 25-13 and 25-21 in set two.

“The girls played focused and poised. I was impressed with our players in that they were ready to play once that whistle blew,” said Massey.

Senior Cassie Reno led the Panthers with nine kills and senior Imani Williamson was right behind her with five kills of her own. Junior Kaity Mueller led the team in total digs for the sets with ten total. Senior Ali Fournie led the team in assists with 16, and Mackenzie Koester also helped the team in assists with seven. The Panthers record would end up being 16-3 overall after their win against Collinsville.

The Lady Panthers would then host non-conference opponent Quincy on Wednesday.

The ladies swept their opponents winning both sets by a score of 25-23 and 25-18.

“Quincy is always a strong program and this year is no different. I was very proud of the girls battling like that knowing we would see a good amount of competition going into the weekend,” Massey said.

Seniors Imani Williamson and Cassie Reno and sophomore Kenzie Simmers led the Panthers with six kills a piece. Senior Ali Fournie and sophomore Lauren Lepere led the team in digs with five each. Koester and Fournie each helped their team tremendously in assists with 11(Koester) and 14(Fournie).

The Panthers have been working with different lineups and trying to prepare themselves for anything that can happen in the postseason.

“I think when we work with a bunch of lineups, we can create some friction or create an atmosphere for the girls to be ready, focused, and prepared for just about anything. Going into the postseason, you never know what is going to happen and I want the girls to be able to adjust and deal with adversity. We have quite a bit of depth on our bench so we are just trying to see what works best,” Massey said.

The Lady Panthers kept up a busy work week as they played in the Metro-East Classic Tournament this past weekend. The ladies took first place in the silver division, with a record of 4-1 on the weekend.

The Panthers started off the tournament with a loss against Ursuline Academy. The ladies lost both sets by a score of 17-25 and 20-25. This would end up being the ladies only loss of the tournament as they would go on to win the next three and finish 4-1.

The O’Fallon Panthers swept both sets against Champaign Centennial 25-18 and 25-21.

The girls would then move on to the second round of the tournament to face Belleville West in what was a highly competitive matchup. The matches ended up going to three sets, as they each split the first two sets. The Panthers won the first set 25-20, but fell to the Maroons in the second set 16-25. Then the ladies ended up winning in the last set 25-21 to take the victory in the series.

The Panthers took another win against Incarnate Word Academy sweeping both sets 25-18, and 25-19 for their third win of the day, and would be en route to play Normal Community for first place in the silver division. The girls dominated in the first set 25-14, and played with the same mentality in the final game of the tournament, winning the second set 25-22.

“Normal Community beat us last year in the Sectional Final and then placed third at the State tournament. They are an incredible program and we handled them in two sets. It was nice to see them now because we may end up seeing them in the postseason,” said Massey.

The girls finished in first place overall in the silver division and went 4-1 with wins against Champaign Centennial, Belleville West, Incarnate Word Academy, and Normal Community.

Their overall record currently sits at 21-4, and the ladies are currently ranked 15th in the State.

Panthers volleyball split week against Maroons and Warriors

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

Senior Cassie Reno spikes the ball during their game against the Granite City Warriors last week.  (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Colten Steele)

Senior Cassie Reno spikes the ball during their game against the Granite City Warriors last week.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Colten Steele)

O’FALLON – The Lady Panthers volleyball team competed against conference opponents, Belleville West, and Granite City this past week.

In a competitive match, the Panthers fell to Belleville West losing the first set 22-25, dominating the second set 25-14, and then falling in the tiebreaker set 25-27. Coach Melissa Massey said, “It was a tough loss for us. The girls worked so hard in the off season and have done so much this season that I’m sure they expected a different outcome of that game. We learned a lot though, and are ready to move forward because there is a ton of season left.”

The Panthers would then travel to Granite City, and sweep both of their sets against the Warriors, 25-9 and 25-16. Because of games being back-to-back this week, the Lady Panthers didn’t get a chance to practice in between games, but Coach Massey said, “The girls wanted some redemption, so they just got together as a team and played very well against Granite City.”

As the girls swept both sets against Granite City, Coach Massey complimented her Seniors by saying, “I tried to sit back a bit that game and let the seniors take more control. They encouraged each other, and battled to get that game in two sets.”

Looking forward to their next opponent, Collinsville, this Tuesday, Coach Massey said, “We have to serve receive better than what we did against Belleville West. We are unstoppable at the net sometimes so once we get our backcourt working, we can really gel as a unit.”

The ladies overall record now sits at 15-3 on the year, 2-1 in the Southwestern conference, and currently ranked 12th in the state according to Maxpreps.

 

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.

Panthers take second at Edwardsville tourney

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

Senior Cassie Reno prepares to spike the ball at two Mater Dei defenders during the Tiger Classic Tournament on Saturday. (O'Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

Senior Cassie Reno prepares to spike the ball at two Mater Dei defenders during the Tiger Classic Tournament on Saturday.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

EDWARDSVILLE – The O’Fallon Girls Volleyball team got off to a hot start in the Tiger Classic Tournament this past Friday and Saturday hosted by Edwardsville.

Friday evening the Lady Panthers won both of their sets against Chatham and Freeburg. Saturday morning they would wake up with their eyes on the prize, taking both sets against St. Theresa 25-14

and 25-12.

As the Lady Panthers kept their win streak alive, Championship pool play had begun.

The Lady Panthers took on Mater Dei in the first round. Unfortunately, the Panthers lost the first match 25-23. But, the Lady Panthers would come up big in the second match of the series, winning 25-11. This would mean that the tiebreaker

between O’Fallon and Mater Dei would have to be played to 15. A strong serving performance by Senior, Imani Williamson, gave the Lady Panthers the edge in the match, winning 15-10, and would move on to the Championship match meeting host, Edwardsville Lady Tigers.

The Lady Panthers met the Lady Tigers in the final match of the afternoon, the Championship. Edwardsville would jump out to an early lead going up 40 on O’Fallon. Senior, Cassie Reno came up huge all day for the Panthers with many kills to keep them close in the match. Edwardsville would jump out to their biggest lead of game one leading 18-10 over the Panthers. O’Fallon would then surge with momentum late in the match. Led by Senior, Imani Williamson serving, the Panthers would then crawl all the way back to tie the match at 23 for each team. The Lady Tigers would then have a key kill to go up one point on the Panthers and eventually take game one 25-23.

Game two of the series was another very hardfought match between the Lady Panthers and Tigers. Very competitive on both sides of the net. This match was back and forth

early for both sides playing phenomenal. Cassie Reno was back again with a more than exceptional performance to keep the Lady Panthers within striking distance. The largest lead of the match was when the Lady Tigers were up 23-17. The Panthers eventually gained their momentum

back and cut the lead to 23-20 being down only three points. A key timeout was taken by Edwardsville, and whatever message that was for the Tigers turned out to be a good one. The Lady Tigers would then win the second and final match of the Tiger Classic Tournament 25-21.

The O’Fallon Lady Panthers took second overall in the tournament, and their overall record still standing tall at 6-1.

Seniors, Imani Williamson, and Cassie Reno received AllTournament honors. The Blue and Gold have much to look forward to this season as they’ve gotten off to a quick start placing second at the Tiger Classic Tournament with an overall record of 6-1.