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St. Elmo wins EIC

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By Andrew Harner

ST. ELMO – The St. Elmo High School volleyball team won the Egyptian-Illini Conference Tournament last Friday, defeating Christ Our Rock Lutheran in three sets.

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Junior Megan Maxey led the Lady Eagles with nine kills and junior Katie Stites added eight of her own during the 25-18, 23-25, 15-10 victory on St. Elmo's home floor.

CORL entered the game after having not lost any EIC games all season, including a win against St. Elmo in the season-opener.

That, coach Elise Asher said before the game, would be a motivating factor for the Lady Eagles, and it proved to be just that.

Pool play
In the final game of pool play last Thursday, St. Elmo got kills on the final four points of the third set to erase a 14-11 deficit in a set that was capped at 15 to fend off a pesky Ramsey squad, 20-25, 25-20, 15-14.

Savannah Feezel had three of her 20 kills during that stretch, and Maxey delivered the final blow. Perry Manley assisted on each of those strikes.

“For us not to have any mistakes and come back and win that ball game was huge for our kids,” Asher said.

It was the only one of the three sets to not end in controversy, as a four-hit call against St. Elmo on the final point of the first set quieted the crowd, and what appeared to be a service error against St. Elmo that was missed by the officials at the end of the second stunned Ramsey.

That set up a thrilling race to 15.

St. Elmo got off to a 5-2 lead, but Ramsey senior Morgan Miller then killed off four straight points and earned a block on the next to the Lady Rams ahead, 7-5.

“She had it in her heart to win, and they know this is a game I want to win,” Eddy said. “This is a game they all want to win, and they all had it in their hearts tonight.”

Strong serving from Jenna Hunt allowed Ramsey to continued pushing that lead, with St. Elmo finally breaking the streak after falling behind, 10-6.

Miller earned another kill, but St. Elmo was able to close the gap after a handful of Ramsey errors. A kill from Ramsey’s Angel McDonald pushed the Lady Rams’ lead to 14-11 to set up St. Elmo’s comeback.

“I look for everybody to do their job when they have the chance,” Asher said. “It’s just one skill at a time, so we really focus on the task at hand.”

In the first set, Ramsey took the first significant lead after Darien Carter put several serves in play to open up a 14-10 lead.

St. Elmo would battle back within one with an ace from Maxey at 16-17, but the Lady Rams got three kills and a block over the next five points to get back ahead by four, and soon after, closed out the set.

The Lady Eagles had the big lead at the start of the second, moving ahead by four, before Ramsey tied the set at seven on a block by Carter.

St. Elmo scored the next three points, however, and the Lady Eagles maintained their lead the rest of the way, mostly on the strength of hitting.

In total, St. Elmo got 17 of its 25 points in that set off of kills, including nine from Feezel.

“Savannah hit the ball as hard and as accurately as she all year,” Asher said. “She really threw us on her shoulders and carried us.”

On Friday, the Lady Rams defeated Mulberry Grove, 25-18, 25-11, to finish in fifth place.

On the first day of pool play last Tuesday, St. Elmo defeated Patoka (25-10, 25-9) and Cowden-Herrick (25-20, 25-15). Ramsey beat Patoka (25-14, 25-13) and lost to Cowden-Herrick (25-9, 25-23).

EIC Tournament Stats
Friday, Oct. 21
St. Elmo vs. CORL
Kills: Maxey, 9; Stites, 8; Feezel, 6; Manley, 2; Molly Hill, 1.
Aces: Heather Seibert, 2; Feezel, 1; Patricia Guerrero, 1; Maxey, 1.
Blocks: Feezel, 4; Stites, 2; Seibert, 1.
Assists: Manley, 21; Feezel, 2; Seibert, 2.
Digs: Maxey, 11; Manley, 9; Seibert, 8; Feezel, 6; Hill, 6; Stites, 3; Guerrero, 1.

Thursday, Oct. 20
St. Elmo vs. Ramsey
Kills: Feezel, SEHS, 20; Miller, RHS, 9; Maxey, SEHS, 8; Stites, SEHS, 8; Carter, RHS, 6; Hunt, RHS, 6; McDonald, RHS, 6; Hortenstine, RHS, 2; Erica Behl, SEHS, 1; Kati Cole, RHS, 1.
Aces: Cole, RHS, 2; Maxey, SEHS, 1; Seibert, SEHS, 1.
Assists: Manley, SEHS, 30; Carter, RHS, 13; Hunt, RHS, 12; Seibert, SEHS, 5; Hortenstine, RHS, 2; Hill, SEHS, 1; Miller, RHS, 1.
Tuesday, Oct. 18
St. Elmo vs. Patoka
Kills: Stites, 7; Feezel, 6; Maxey, 3; Hill, 1; Manley, 1.
Aces: Guerrero, 6; Seibert, 2; Maxey, 1; Stites, 1.
Blocks: Feezel, 1; Maxey, 1; Stites, 1.
Assists: Manley, 14; Seibert, 1; Stites, 1.
Digs: Seibert, 4; Hill, 3; Maxey, 2; Taylor Spain, 2; Stites, 1.

Tuesday, Oct. 18
St. Elmo vs. Cowden-Herrick
Kills: Feezel, 7; Maxey, 7; Hill, 3; Stites, 3; Manley, 1; Seibert, 1.
Aces: Maxey, 8; Feezel, 1; Manley, 1; Seibert, 1; Stites, 1.
Blocks: Manley, 1.
Assists: Manley, 17; Seibert, 3; Guerrero, 1.
Digs: Maxey, 5; Seibert, 5; Hill. 4; Feezel, 3; Manley, 3; Stites, 1.