SJ-O, A-L, Watseka and Schlarman reach sectional finals.
ARGENTA — Shelby Simmons and her St. Joseph-Ogden volleyball teammates continued their late-season surge Tuesday night.
The Spartans overpowered Salt Fork 25-12, 25-13 in a semifinal match of the Argenta-Oreana Class 2A volleyball sectional. SJ-O carries a nine-match winning streak into Thursday’s championship match against St. Teresa.
Simmons had 10 digs, eight kills and three aces for SJ-O (25-8). Freshman Kylie Michael had 11 kills. Karlie Baker had 24 assists. Marissa McElroy had five kills.
“(Tuesday night’s) pace of the match was slower than what we have seen over the past two weeks, and it took us a while for our defense to adjust,” SJ-O coach Abby McDonald said. “We had difficulty finding a rhythm that we were comfortable with. Our kids did a nice job of executing when it was needed. We served aggressively and maintained our composure.”
Salt Fork’s Allie Trosper had nine assists and Kalyn Learnard totaled eight digs.
Class 2A, at El Paso
Lexi Shoemaker had 11 kills and Watseka teammates Taylor Bauer and Hayley Gray added five apiece as the Warriors (32-3) swept Seneca 25-23, 27-25.
Maddie Pfingsten had 19 assists, and Natalie Castonguay had 10 digs.
Class 1A, at Streator
Schlarman (30-4) overcame slow starts in each set to defeat Blue Ridge by identical 25-18 scores and break the school’s season-wins record.
“They had a pretty good scouting report on us,” said Blue Ridge coach Evan Miles, whose team led 6-1 in the second set. “They’re very athletic and have pretty good height.”
Jordan Marganski had 10 assists, eight in Set 1.
“Everyone played smart,” Schlarman coach Heidi Crane said. “Shelby (Mascari) was aggressive in the front row during the second game and helped us to pull away.”
Mascari had a team-high eight kills and 12 digs. Janelle Marion had seven kills and Laura Gross six. Sierra Bell added eight digs.
The Hilltoppers will play Thursday against Lexington — which lost to Blue Ridge earlier — for an Elite Eight berth.
Class 1A, at Arcola
In a match between schools that traded regular season wins, Arthur-Lovington topped Heritage 25-17, 25-22.
Sherelle Coller had 16 assists for the Lancers (27-3). Teammate Emily Seegmiller had six aces and shared the team lead in kills with Karly Goodman with five. A-L’s Jessica Davis had four blocks.
Taylor Wienke had 11 assists and Cedar Richardson four kills for the Hawks (14-15).
In Thursday’s 7 p.m. championship match, A-L will face Windsor, which ousted Tri-County 25-10, 26-24. Heidi Dague and Abby Smith each had five digs for the Titans.
A-L beat Windsor in a three-set regular season meeting.