Netters close out regular season strong, focused

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers
IVC junior Maddy Batek receives an Olympia kill attempt Thursday. Batek closed out the match with 18 digs to aid in the three set win.

The IVC varsity volleyball team went out with a bang in the regular season.

The Lady Grey Ghosts put together eight straight wins from league and non-league matches. IVC finished its first Corn Belt Conference season 7-7.

At Pontiac

The Lady Grey Ghosts hit hard again for another victory of Pontiac, 25-18, 20-25, 25-17.

“I keep telling them, you keep playing with them and I want you to beat them,” coach Heather Cooper said.

“I compare Pontiac with us very closely. I think as the season goes on we knew the teams were going to get better. They only get better with more practice and so did we.”

IVC needed just two sets the first time meeting the Indians, but were able to pull through with the three-set win this time around.

Seniors Shayna VanOstrand and Katelyn Heinz each broke season-records in the match against the Indians.

VanOstrand had a season-high 10 kills and Heinz had a wompin’ 32 assists to help with the offensive attacks. Junior Maddy Batek closed out with three aces.

At the net and in the air was freshman Madi Johnson with two block and Batek was back in the court with 16 digs.

The IVC JV squad won in two, 25-18, 25-15 and the freshman won, 25-15, 25-18.

Vs. Olympia

To round out the first Corn Belt Conference season for the IVC volleyball teams, the Lady Grey Ghosts were able to battle through three sets for a win over Olympia, 22-25, 25-22, 25-20.

IVC took a 6-5 lead early on after a Scherer kill assisted by Heinz. The lead lasted most of the first set, but when tied at 21-21 the Spartans capitalized on IVC errors and had three kills of their own to take the first-game win.

Both teams attacked hard in the second set to exchange leads plenty of times. There were 13 tying points throughout the set.

The Lady Grey Ghosts were able to earn the last tie of the set at 22-22, after Batek had a dig to help set Heinz in the for the assist on Scherer’s kill.

Three consecutive Olympia errors was enough to give IVC the second-set win.

In the third set, IVC grabbed a 6-5 lead and were able to command a 10-point lead at 19-9 before Olympia struck back.

The Spartans were able to get within one point of the Lady Grey Ghosts, 20-19, before Scherer stopped the run with another kill.

Scherer then closed out the match with a dink and two back-to-back kills for the victory.

“I knew I could do it all season, but me and (Heinz) haven’t clicked well on some games, but tonight we really did,” Scherer said.

“That’s what I was taught since I’m sort of a short outside hitter, believe it or not. I’ve been taught to place it, so I was throwing those in there.”

Batek finished out the match with 18 significant digs to help the defensive end of the game.

“I usually always go in and cover for the blocking. When our hitters go up to hit I’ll always try to cover it. It’s hard when it comes right down, but I feel like I can always be there to get the save,” Batek said.

Leading in kills was Scherer with 13 and Heinz clocked in 26 assists.

Johnson led again in blocks with seven and junior Kylie Milliken closed out with IVC’s lone ace.

Quincy Notre Dame Tournament

Closing out the regular season, IVC traveled to Quincy for its Notre Dame tournament Friday and Saturday.

The Lady Grey Ghosts went 3-1 in the tourney taking wins over Camp Point Central, 25-14, 25-14, Belleville Althoff, 25-17, 21-25, 16-14, and Collinsville, 25-22, 25-14, but fell to Springfield Lutheran, 25-13, 25-22.

In the tourney, Scherer totaled 26 kills in the winning matches.

Heinz was in on the offensive attack as well with 75 assists in all four matches.