IVC netters lose two, beat Mendota

Justin Miller
A gracious gesture: Illinois Valley Central netter Audra Storm sings the national anthem before the volleyball game at Mendota after the music system failed.

With an unusual start to the game, the Illinois Valley Central netters had an exciting win at Mendota Thursday.

The action started before the first set when Mendota’s music system failed before the national anthem was played.

Not wanting to start the game without it, Audra Storm offered to sing the anthem.

Storm then gave a performance of the anthem with no musical accompaniment, which was received with rousing cheer from both sets of fans.

The game then started, and it was only the Ghost fans that had reason to cheer from then on.

“This was our best blocking performance and fewest hitting errors of the season so far,” Miller said.

The first set was tight, with the teams trading scores and the lead throughout most of the set.

Storm continued to shine when she used her defensive prowess at the net with blocks that kept the Trojans from racking up points.

Jessie Ely led the offensive charge for the Ghosts with game high 10 kills.

The Ghosts were able to pull away near the end of the set and took a 25-22 victory.

In the second set, Amy Berchtold’s heads-up defense helped the Ghosts keep Mendota from putting up points early.

“We had an excellent effort all around,” Miller said.

Marci Fletcher helped the Ghost offense have plenty of shots at Mendota’s defense, and IVC had no problems racking up points.

With the hustle and tenacity of Rachel Grochowsky on their side, the Ghosts pulled away with a 25-13 victory and gave Mendota their first conference loss.

“We still tend to have moments of greatness followed immediately by head shaking frustration,” coach Lisa Miller said.

IVC started the week by losing at Limestone in three sets.

The Rockets took control of the first set, and pulled away with a 25-16 victory.

With the selfless passing and assists of Jodi Stumbaugh, the team evened the game with a 25-23 victory in the second set.

The Ghosts were unable to match their own intensity from the second set in the third set, and fell, 25-15.

IVC then traveled to take on North Central Illinois Conference foe Rock Falls Sept. 28 but fell in two sets.

The Rockets overpowered the Ghosts’ defense in the first set to take a 25-22 victory.

In the second set, IVC’s offense did not fare much better, and the Ghosts lost, 25-17.

The Ghosts (14-10, 2-3) next play at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Princeton.

“Our improvement since the beginning of the year shows the most in blocking,” Miller said.