Netters struggle to find a CB win

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers
IVC junior Maddy Batek, left, and senior Hannah Scherer look to make a save against Eureka Oct. 6.

Nearing the end of the season, the IVC varsity volleyball team is connecting on all facets of the game, but so are its opponents.

The Lady Grey Ghosts suffered two Cornbelt Conference Losses to Eureka and Mahomet-Seymour. 

At Eureka

In the second match with Eureka Oct. 6, IVC was on the losing end to split with the Hornets.

The Lady Grey Ghosts won the first match earlier in the season in two sets, but lost this one in three, 25-27, 25-18, 25-21.

“We’re pretty solid right now. Our front row is extremely aggressive,” coach Heather Cooper said.

“We do have to work on things like blocking, our middle row has to get there, but we’re improving and that’s all you can ask for during the season, is that the girls still improve.”

Senior Hannah Scherer was two kills higher this time with 11 and senior Katelyn Heinz improved as well with 19 assists, but the effort wasn’t enough against Eureka’s Lauren Rokey who finished with 19 kills.

In the first half of the first set, IVC trailed until a Heinz kill put the Lady Grey Ghosts ahead, 18-17.

Eureka and IVC exchanged leads and then a Hornet error at 25-25 gave way for the last two IVC points. Scherer closed out the set with a slam that Eureka failed to return.

In the second set, IVC struggled to gain an offensive edge. The Hornets doubled their lead at 20-10. 

Scherer was able to get a couple tap overs for points, but not enough to stop Eureka.

The third set wasn’t any easier for the Lady Grey Ghosts.

Freshman Casy Grove was on the court for most of the match and had her first kill to make it 5-5 before Eureka had another rally.

With senior Shayna VanOstrand serving, the 

Lady Grey Ghosts were able to lessen the deficit to 15-12 after Heinz and freshman Madi Johnson had a block and then the duo connected on a kill with Johnson with the slam and Heinz in on the assist.

Rokey was finally shutdown by one of Scherer’s digs and a block by senior Olivia Parrott to bring the game closer, 20-17.

“We knew that we had to get a block on her. We know she can hit, but I think the first time we played them we were able to shut her down, but you have to get an early jump on that,” Cooper said.

Eureka commanded the last portion of the set to give up just four more points.

Junior Maddy Batek was a decisive force for the IVC defense with 16 digs and Heinz was the assist leader with 19.

“You can tell when someone is ready to play and (Heinz) was ready (Monday),” Cooper said.

“I really look to her to run our offense and she does great.”

At Mahomet-Seymour

Facing Mahomet-Seymour Oct. 7, the Lady Grey Ghosts lost again, but were able to hold out in three sets, 25-23, 23-25, 25-16.

Parrott was the strong arm of the match to lead IVC with eight kills and Scherer pulled through with three aces.

Heinz totaled 21 assists after the three sets.

Blocking was on key with Heinz, Johnson and Grove with three apiece. On the floor, Scherer closed out with seven digs.

M-S powerhouses Sophie Christianson and Katlyn Murphy had 12 kills apiece and Masun Moore had 41 assists.

The IVC JV squad pulled through with a win, 25-9, 25-13 and the freshman too, 25-19, 25-14.