MT. CARROLL, Ill. — West Carroll gets to play their first two regional games in their home gym, and they started off strong with a sweep of Morrison on Monday night.
West Carroll High School is serving as a host for the Illinois High School Associated Class 2A Girls Volleyball Regional Tournament. The bracket ends play with the championship at Port Byron next Monday.
On Monday night, the Thunder dominated the one-win Fillies from the get go, taking them in two sets 25-17, 25-17.
“They came out with jitters,” West Carroll head coach Nia Diercks said about her team. “We struggled our last couple of games and we just wanted to come out and get a win. We weren’t quite where we wanted but now we know to bring it against Galena.”
They seemed to shake it off pretty fast. The Fillies stuck with them for a while, but they ended up pulling away and easily taking Set 1.
After dominating the first set, the Fillies struck first and seemed to get some life. Then, they started to struggle on all front, especially getting a good pass up to the setter. They quickly fell behind 7-2.
“We’ve struggled with serve receive all season, it’s been our weakest skill,” Morrison head coach Julia Deter said. “In the last few matches we played, we seemed to making a little bit of progress. I was really looking for some better serve receive from them it just didn’t happen.”
And the Thunder utilized it.
“That’s one of our main things, it aggressive serves and eliminating our own errors,” Diercks said. “They came out and executed well.”
Plus, the Filles almost completely eliminated quality swings from their play. If they got a decent set, the front row was tipping balls trying to avoid a big Thunder block.
“Our front row is key to our defense,” Diercks said. “We work a lot with reading the hitter …our front row is crucial.”
TheThunder pulled away even more, until the Fillies went on a run to make the game closer.
“They were like oh dear, here we are, we’ve got to do something,” Deter said. “They’ve been constantly inconsistent all season. I think they realized the end was near.”
It was too little too late and the Fillies ended their season 1-24.
“Frustrating, yes. Long, yes,” Deter said about Morrison’s volleyball season. “I went into the season knowing it was going to be different from seasons past and I knew I needed to focus on working on becoming young ladies. That was more critical than the wins and losses this season. I really feel like we made progress.”
The Thunder move on to face Galena, who has been in the state rankings throughout the season. In their first matchup, the Thunder had the game tied in the first set 17-17, then they had a middle hitter exit the game. Diercks said the life went out of them.
Still, they showed that they can play with Galena on the road. Now, Galena comes to their place.
“If they come out and they play together, communicate with high energy, I think we’ll be happy at the end of the game,” Diercks said.
West Carroll plays Tuesday in the middle school at 5:30 p.m., while the Fulton/Erie-Prophetstown matchup follows at 6:30 p.m.