The final score wasn’t irrelevant.
It never is when St. Elmo and Brownstown hook up – especially when you consider the Lady Eagles’ 25-12, 25-16 win over the Bombers gave head coach Elise Asher 250 career wins at the school.
But the figures carrying the most importance following St. Elmo and Brownstown’s second annual Volley For a Cure breast cancer awareness match had dollar signs in front of them.
The event drew nearly $600 worth of donations from the respective communities, and the big crowd present Tuesday at SEHS paid a total of $464 to watch the two teams play.
Considering a majority of those present were sporting pink T-shirts sold to be added to those totals raised for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the night was a success for both sides, regardless of the final score.
‘It was a great turnout by both communities to support the kids,’ Asher said. ‘And we raised quite a bit of money. I’m anxious to see how much money we get to send to the foundation.’
Last year’s inaugural event blew away expectations, as a little more than $2,000 dollars was raised, but this year’s may wind up topping that.
‘I hope that we can be pretty close to that this year,’ Asher said.
The only thing Brownstown coach Toby Harms would change about the night is the level of competitiveness his team displayed.
‘You don’t want to have a night where you don’t come out competitive,’ Harms said. ‘But I’m guessing we made a pretty good chunk of money for two small communities.
‘I think that’s a pretty impressive thing. Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about.’
The Bombers fell behind early in both games and – unlike last year – the outcome of the match was never in question.
‘We came out really, really flat,’ Harms said. ‘We went totally emotionally dead way to early in both games.’
St. Elmo raced out to a lightning-quick 5-0 lead in the first game and never looked back. Emily Imig then caught fire at the service line at the start of the second game, rattling off 11 straight points, including eight aces.
Serve receive was an issue for the Bombers all night, as St. Elmo wound up with 22 aces, some of which probably should have been handled.
‘I can’t even think of a practice where our serve receive was that bad,’ Harms said. ‘And tonight, we didn’t have any ability to pick ourselves up.’
Brownstown briefly got back into the opening game, cutting St. Elmo’s lead to 6-5, but it could never get over the hump, as the Lady Eagles countered with a 6-0 run that blew the game open.
Amy Fulk had three aces, a kill and a block during the spurt, showing off her considerable all-around skills.
A slew of Megan Durbin aces completely buried the Bombers late in the game, and Imig continued the Lady Eagles’ dominance at the service line in the second game rattling off five straight aces.
Brownstown actually managed to close an 11-0 gap to 19-15 late, but it was too little, too late, as a Fulk kill closed out a match-ending 6-1 St. Elmo spurt that evened the Lady Eagles’ record at 5-5 on the year following a 1-4 start.
‘We’re doing better and getting a little closer to where we need to be, but we still have some work to do,’ said Asher, whose team is now 4-0 in Egyptian-Illini Conference play.
The short-handed Bombers – who have just nine players – fell to 1-5.
‘They gave us a good fight at the end of the second game,’ Asher said. ‘Brownstown didn’t give up, and they could have.
‘That’s a testament to coach Harms and coach (Katy) Heckert to convince them that things will get better. They don’t need to pitch in their season just yet.’
Harms was expecting his team to respond earlier in the second game, but it just didn’t happen.
‘We’ve been able to come back strong in that second game so far this year,’ Harms said. ‘But tonight we just couldn’t pass the ball. Against a team like St. Elmo, if you don’t pass, they’re gonna get you pretty good.’
For Asher, getting to 250 career wins was pretty sweet, considering she inherited a struggling program that won just two games in her first year.
‘It was a personal landmark for me, which I was excited about,’ said Asher, who is in her 13th year as St. Elmo’s head coach. ‘It’s just (the byproduct of) great work from the kids and the time they put in.’
The night was made even more special for Asher when she found out Brownstown resident Deb Deal – a cancer survivor – won the raffle for a pink game ball autographed by the two teams’ players and coaches.
Fulk and Maxey had four kills apiece for St. Elmo, while Cassie Schmidt had three.
Brittany White led Brownstown with three kills, while Marcia Schilling had two aces.
ST. ELMO RESULTS
St. Elmo def. Ramsey
The Lady Eagles swept their way to a third EIC win in as many tries, as Mills had 11 assists and Fulk hammered down six kills.
Maxey had a fine all-around match, recording two aces, four kills, two blocks and four digs. Kendra Morrison chipped in four aces, while Ashlyn Beasley had three kills.
St. Elmo also swept the JV match, following a two-game split in the freshman/sophomore match.
St. Elmo def. Odin
The Lady Eagles had little trouble improving their record to 2-0 in EIC play, rolling past visiting Odin.
Mills finished with 10 assists in the winning effort, while Fulk had seven kills and a block. Maxey added five kills and four assists.
Ashlyn Beasley chipped in four kills, and Megan Durbin had three.
St. Elmo also swept the JV match.
Brownstown def. M. Grove
21-25, 25-13, 25-14
The Bombers bounced back from an opening-game loss against the Lady Aces to roll to their first win of the young season.
Shelby Pryor continued her fine start by hammering down a career-best 14 kills, to go along with a team-high six digs and two aces.
Brittany White was effective hitting at the net and service line, adding five kills and five aces.
Marcia Schilling added 19 assists and four aces, while Kathleen Rebbe chipped in five digs and Morgan Stinebring had six assists.
Cowden-Herrick def. Brownstown
25-10, 20-25, 26-24
White was solid all-around again – finishing with nine kills, seven aces and five digs – but Brownstown came up just shy of its first win of the season.
Pryor added six kills and four digs, while Schilling had 10 assists and four aces.
Jessica Behrends chipped in three aces, and Katy Satterthwaite had two kills and six assists.