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LEBANON – A St. Elmo volleyball comeback is not a new concept.
Not this season, anyway.
A three-set win in the finals of the Lebanon Sectional marked the sixth time that the Lady Eagles had used all three sets in a victory this season.
“All through our season, we have always dug a hole and gotten out,” said senior Perry Manley. “We work together as a team and don’t quit, so little-by-little we get what we need.”
It was a good trait for the team to have last Thursday, as Lebanon outplayed St. Elmo in the first set, coming away with a 25-19 win.
But the Lady Eagles took the second set, 25-9, and the third, 25-22, to win the school’s first-ever volleyball sectional.
“The kids are champions and never quit,” said coach Elise Asher. “Our passers did a lot better job in sets two and three, which allowed our offense to run.”
Players agreed, saying that the first set was a “reality check” for them, and that they were glad to see the team come together in the final two sets.
“The first game gave us a reality check, but the second game was the kind of volleyball that we like playing,” Manley said.
Added senior Savannah Feezel, “That’s the team we honestly are. The first game, we were timid and not ready to go.
“In the second game, we knew how we could play, and did exactly what we wanted,” she said.
St. Elmo had a combined 27 kills in the final two sets and only made nine hitting errors. In the first set, the Lady Eagles committed 13 hitting errors and had just 10 kills.
The first comeback of the season came in game No. 2 at South Central, a 17-25, 25-17, 25-15 victory.
Two days later, the Lady Eagles were back at it, beating Taylorville, 20-25, 25-11, 15-3, at the Mattoon Tournament.
Three days after that, St. Elmo knocked off Cowden-Herrick, 19-25, 25-13, 25-16.
At the Flora Invitational, St. Elmo dropped the second set in wins against Cisne and Dieterich.
Since then, St. Elmo had not needed three sets in any victory, but did lose four three-set matches.