In honor of breast cancer awareness and prevention, the annual Dig for the Cure volleyball game between Lincolnwood and Litchfield was held Monday evening, Sept. 27, in Simmons Gym.
The interior of the gymnasium was decked out in pink while both teams wore T-shirts applicable to the theme and many in attendance wore pink T-shirts in honor of the cause.
The two teams acknowledged breast cancer survivors who were in attendance with the presentation of pink carnations, followed by a warm round of applause from the crowd. In addition, tables of baked goods lined the outer hallway with all proceeds from sales donated toward the awareness and prevention of breast cancer in Montgomery County.
Unfortunately, the Panthers were unable to celebrate with a win as the visiting Lancers breezed to a 25-12 first set win and took the second set 25-19 for the straight set match win. It was win number 16 for Coach Kimberly Denney’s Lady Lancer varsity squad, while Litchfield dropped to 6-9 overall.
A fast start, due in part to junior Hailee Belsher’s three kills in the opening minutes of the first set, helped boost Lincolnwood to a 7-2 lead. The lead ballooned to 14-3 before Litchfield’s Emma Walch would lay down one of her four match kills and send the ball to the Panthers, who answered with three consecutive points.
A return error by Litchfield returned possession to the Lancers and they responded by outscoring their hosts 10-5 during the remainder of the set. Belsher finished the first set with six kills.
Coach Abby Carlson rallied the Panthers during the three-minute break between sets and Litchfield found consistency. The two teams battled to a 9-9 tie before the Lancers tacked on three points from a Litchfield serve return error, an out of bounds attack and a second return error.
The Panthers would retain a point and possession following a Lancer serve that found the net but it was short lived as Belsher again asserted her power for a kill and a 14-10 Lancer lead, a lead they would not relinquish.
Litchfield drew the score to within two at 16-14 but the next five points belonged to the orange and black and Litchfield could only trim the gap to five as a Belsher kill ended the match at 25-19.
For the Lancers, Sidney Glick led her team with 10 service points while Desi Pitchford and Haelee Damm each contributed six and Avery Pope had five. In addition, Glick, Pitchford and Pope all three ace serves while Damm had one.
Hailee Belsher finished with a match-leading 11 kills, five blocks, five digs and an assist. Jasmin Seaton recorded three kills and also had a block at the net. Pope was the assist leader with six and she dug out five balls. Leading the team in digs was Jasmine Vickery with 10 followed by Haelee Damm with seven. The Lancers front line attack entered the match averaging 11 kills per set, having put down 459 in 41 sets.
For the Panthers, junior Emma Walch had a good night with four kills in four attempts, three inbound serves, six assists, two blocks and a dig.
Blair Johnson led the team with six kills and also had three good serves and six digs. Taylor Brakenhoff recorded two kills in four attempts and had three inbound serves and a block. Ashley Hickerson had six assists.
Carlee Harmon had one kill in four attempts and stood tall at the net for two blocks. She also had three inbound serves. Playing in the libero position, Amy Frerichs led the team with nine digs. Annika Rhodes had one kill, six inbound serves and eight digs while Kendall Stewart led the team at the service line with seven good serves, including an ace, two blocks at the net and defensive dig.
The Panthers wrap up the week with a road game at Gillespie this evening. Lincolnwood will be at the Morrisonville Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 1-2. They play Mascoutah at 5 p.m. Friday, followed by games against Lovejoy at 7 p.m. and Bunker Hill at 8 p.m. On Saturday, the Lancers play Mulberry Grove at 9 a.m., followed by medal rounds between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
Sept. 27 at Litchfield
Lincolnwood 25 25
Litchfield 12 19
Service Points: Sidney Glick 10, Desi Pitchford 6, Haelee Damm 6, Avery Pope 5, Jasmine Vickery 2, Hailee Belsher 1. Aces: S. Glick3, D. Pitchford 3, A. Pope 3, H. Damm 1. Kills: H. Belsher 11, Jasmin Seaton 3, H. Damm 1, Tessa Funderburk 1. Blocks: H. Belsher 5, T. Funderburk 1, J. Seaton 1. Assists: Jasmine Vickery 10, A. Pope 6, T. Funderburk 3, S. Glick 1, H. Belsher 1, H. Damm 1. Digs: H. Damm 7, A. Pope 5, H. Belsher 5, S. Glick 2, D. Pitchford 2, T. Funderburk 1.
Attack Attempt/Kills: Blair Johnson 22/6, Annika Rhodes 13/1, Emma Walch 4/4, Taylor Brakenhoff 4/2, Carlee Harmon 4/1, Kendall Stewart 2/0. Blocks: E. Walch 2, K. Stewart 2, C. Harmon 2, T. Brakenhoff 1. Serves In/Out: K. Stewart 7/0, A. Rhodes 6/0, C. Harmon 3/1, T. Brakenhoff 3/1, E. Walch 3/1, B. Johnson 3/2. Aces: K. Stewart 1. Digs: A. Rhodes 8, B. Johnson 6, E. Walch 1, K. Stewart 1, A. Frerichs 9. Service
Records: Litchfield (6-9); Lincolnwood (16-3).