PORT BYRON, Ill. — Fulton started strong in each game and defeated Prophetstown 25-13, 25-21 on Thursday night to win the title at the Illinois Class 2A Riverdale Regional volleyball tournament.
The Steamers, who were seeded third, improved their record to 13-17-3. They head to the Farmington Sectional, where they will play Orion at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the first semifinal. Orion defeated Sherrard 25-21, 25-20 to win the Rockridge Regional.
Chelsea Lesniewski topped Fulton with nine kills, and Olivia Edfors had nine serving points, two aces and eight assists. Rachael Beiermann was the team leader with 11 assists, and she also had eight kills. Averi Leitzen led with seven digs, while Betsy Leonard recorded three blocks.
Fifth-seeded Prophetstown, which knocked off the fourth and first seeds to reach the final, finished the season with a 12-20 record. Karlie Stafford led the Prophets with six kills, while Clare Kramer had five kills and a team-high 10 digs. Katie Fringer had 14 assists.
It was the third matchup between the two Three Rivers Conference teams this season, with Fulton winning all three.
Erie claims crown
LANARK, Ill. — Erie outscored host Eastland 7-1 down the stretch to finish off a 25-10, 25-23 victory that gave the Cardinals the first-place trophy at the Class 1A Eastland Regional on Thursday.
“It was a very good match and lots of energy from start to finish,” Erie coach Alicia Murphy said. “The girls really came together and played great, especially during the comeback in Game 2. We knew Eastland would be tough and we’d need to really gut it out to finish in two and keep it from going three.”
Eastland led the second game 22-18, but Erie scored four straight points to tie it, pulling even on a Rachel Cobert kill. The Cougars reclaimed the lead with the next point, but a Savannah Mettler kill pulled the Cardinals even again at 23.
With Mettler serving, Erie scored the final two points. Cobert put a kill just over the Eastland block for the one point lead, then the Cardinals scored the winning point on a double block of an Eastland attack.
Mettler and Cobert each finished with nine kills to lead the Cardinals, while Mary Chapman had 20 assists and Courtney Cobert delivered three ace serves.
Erie, the top seed in the regional, advances to the Pearl City Sectional and a semifinal matchup with Keith Country Day of Rockford in a 7 p.m. semifinal Tuesday. Keith Country Day defeated Freeport Aquin 25-21, 25-18 to win the Aquin Regional.
FULTON 25-25, PROPHETSTOWN 13-21
Kills — Prophetstown, Karlie Stafford 6, Clare Kramer 5, Claire Milnes 5; Fulton, Chelsea Lesniewski 9, Rachael Beiermann 8, Betsy Leonard 5. Assists — Prophetstown, Katie Fringer 14; Fulton, Beiermann 11, Olivia Edfors 8. Digs — Prophetstown, Kramer 10, Katlyn Shirley 8; Fulton, Averi Leitzen 7, Lesniewski 6, Jamie Huennekens 6. Blocks — Prophetstown, Kali Fetrow 1; Fulton, Camerin Huizenga 1, Leonard 1, Beiermann 1. Ace serves — Prophetstown, Fringer 1; Fulton, Leonard 3, Edfors 2, Huennekens 1.
ERIE 25-25, EASTLAND 10-23
Erie statistical leaders
Kills — Savannah Mettler 9, Rachel Cobert 9, Delaney Tegeler 3, Megan Heun 3. Assists — Mary Chapman 20, Courtney Cobert 1. Digs — Heun 5, Mettler 5, RaeAnna Stover 5, R. Cobert 3, C. Cobert 2. Blocks — R. Cobert 3, Tegeler 1, Mettler 1. Ace serves — C. Cobert 3, Stover 1.