It was a tough start, but a great finish for the Litchfield High School volleyball team at the Montgomery County Invitational, which was held on Sept. 10-11, in Hillsboro and Raymond. The Panthers would go 0-3 in pool play, but rebounded the following day to go 2-0 in the Copper Flight to take 13th place.
Playing in the Hope Pool at the Lincolnwood multi-purpose gym, Litchfield drew a tough group with eventual champion Staunton, seventh place finisher South County and a young, but talented Lincolnwood JV team, who was subbing in for Auburn after the Trojans were unable to participate.
The Purple Panthers opened up with their toughest test, Staunton, who lived up to their billing as South Central Conference favorites and beat the Panthers 25-14, 25-12.
Next up for Litchfield was South County, who defeated Lincolnwood’s JV 25-11, 25-17 just before the game with the Panthers. The back-to-back contests didn’t slow the Vipers down much as they knocked off Litchfield 25-17, 25-21.
Staunton improved to 2-0 with a 25-13, 25-11 win over the young Lancers, who would be Litchfield’s next opponent. Perhaps giving a glimpse of how good they’ll be in the future, the Lincolnwood JV team managed to upset the Purple Panthers, 25-16, 25-23 to pick up their first win of the tournament.
With the loss, Litchfield moved to the Copper Flight, while Lincolnwood’s JV made its way to the Bronze Flight. In the final game of the Hope Pool, Staunton beat South County in a battle of tournament undefeateds to earn a spot in the Gold Flight, while the Vipers moved to the Silver Flight.
The Panthers rebounded with a strong showing on Saturday, Sept. 11, at Hillsboro Junior High for the Copper Flight.
After Father McGivney defeated Greenview in game one of the flight, Litchfield picked up their first win of the tournament by beating Mt. Olive.
In the matchup with the Griffins, Litchfield picked their second win of the tournament and claimed 13th place over the Glen Carbon-based parochial school. In the 15th place game, Mt. Olive downed Greenview for their first win of the Grace-Filled Tourney.