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Vandalia beats Gillespie in last home game

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By Andrew Harner

VANDALIA – Pass. Set. Kill. Repeat.

The Lady Vandals were basically on autopilot for the final home game of the season on Tuesday, earning 26 kills in a dominating two-set 25-14, 25-11 South Central Conference win against Gillespie.

“I thought they came out and played well, especially with all the stuff that is going on,” said coach Allison Hall.

Not only was there the excitement of senior night, the Lady Vandals were also playing without their leading attacker, senior Megan Godoyo, who suffered a season-ending knee injury on Sunday.

She played for the first point before being substituted for junior Mercedes Reynolds, who finished as one of five players with at least four kills.

“Mercedes stepped up and played well in Megan’s spot tonight,” Hall said. “I told her, ‘You’ve got big shoes to fill.’”

Vandalia’s other senior – Brandy Protz – also played well, securing her best game of the season.

Protz, who missed all of last season due to injury, had a career-high three kills in the match, including the game-winning point.

“She is really getting quicker in the back row on defense, and tonight, she gave us quite a few serves,” Hall said. “To be able to get her that last kill meant a lot to me, and I’m sure it meant a lot to her.

“She was part of the coaching staff last year and saw the game from a new perspective,” Hall said. “I think that has helped her grow, not only as a player, but as a person.”

Everyone else seemed to be at the top of their game, too, which provided some much-needed momentum before the team travels to Pana on Thursday for the regular-season finale.

Junior Johanna Walton had a team-high six kills, with Reynolds, Kadi Metzger, Ally Sasse and Makaya Tinker adding four each to help Vandalia (15-12, 4-4 SCC) snap a four-game losing streak.

Those five players each had at least two kills in the fist set, and the Lady Vandals collectively had 15 in the second set.

“We want to attack,” Hall said. “We want to run our offense, and tonight we executed that to a T.”

Tuesday, Oct. 22
Vandalia 25, Gillespie 14
Vandalia 25, Gillespie 11
Kills: Walton, 8; Metzger, 4; Reynolds, 4; Sasse, 4; Tinker, 4; Protz, 3; Jessica Sullens, 1.
Aces: Jessica Booker, 3; Reynolds, 2; Sasse, 2; Madison Klanke, 1; Protz, 1.
Assists: Sullens, 19; Metzger, 2; Booker, 1; Sasse, 1.
Blocks: Walton, 2.
Record: 15-12 (4-4 SCC)