Only two schools have ever won a Montgomery County invitational tournament in the three years the tournament has been held. On Saturday, Lincolnwood, one of the tournament hosts, tried to become the third.
The Lancers were 8-0 heading into the Championship game, having swept away the pool game and their Gold Flight semi-final game, but a daunting task (literally) stood in their way. Staunton entered the tournament 4-4, but his losses were to Nashville, Freeburg, Edwardsville and Pleasant Plains in tournament play, except for a cupcake among them.
The Bulldogs were also the defending champions and had a powerful lineup, including sisters Haris (5’10 “) and Kennedy (5’9”) Legendre.
Despite their best efforts, Lincolnwood couldn’t stop Staunton from winning the number two title, beating the Lancers 25-11, 25-19.
Both teams had a time out after winning their semifinals in the flight for gold as Lincolnwood beat North Mac in three games, 25-22, 20-25, 15-11, while Staunton dominated South Central Conference enemy Vandalia 25-19, 25-12. The break came thanks to a wild third-place game that saw North Mac handily lose to the Vandals 25-9 in Game 1, before coming back to win 26-24 and 25-22 in the next two games. to capture third place.
The championship slope was tight early on as neither team chained too many points. With an 8-6 lead, Staunton shattered Lincolnwood’s serve with a kill by Kennedy Legendre, who then completed a five-point serve that increased the Bulldogs’ lead from two to eight points.
If it wasn’t a backbreaker for the Lancers, Staunton’s next run was sure to be as Kylie Lucykow scored five more runs and took advantage of Haris Legendre hammering home kills at the net to make it a game of ball 21-8.
Lincolnwood tried to rally, but struggled with Staunton’s frontline and succumbed to a 14-point loss.
Game 2 would be much closer, with Lancers’ Hailee Belsher starting to get into her rhythm. The Morrisonville junior finished the game with six kills, most of them in the second set.
Lincolnwood led up to three early in the game and was still ahead 8-7 before Staunton leveled it off, then took a 10-8 lead behind Danielle Russell’s serve.
Staunton didn’t want to hang around anymore, but Lincolnwood kept him at two or three points until the end of the game. The Bulldogs would rack up the match point at 24-18, before a hit went out of bounds to give the Lancers one last chance. Kennedy Legendre, however, put an end to any hope of a miraculous comeback, hammering the victory for the 25-19 victory.
After the match, the Legenders were both named to the tournament’s overall squad, with Haris being selected as the tournament’s MVP. Sidney Glick and Hailee Belsher were also on the All-Tournament roster for the Lancers.
Beat the INAD pool
The loss to the Bulldogs did nothing to shine the tournament for the Lancers, who beat Ramsey, St. Elmo-Brownstown and Greenview in a group game on their home ground in Raymond.
In the tournament opener, Lincolnwood sent Ramsey 25-8, 25-12, in a regular season rematch against the Rams.
St. Elmo-Brownstown defeated Greenview in Pool Game Two, 25-14, 25-12, setting up a showdown between the Eagles and the Lancers. Lincolnwood would have got the better of the visitors, but narrowly as they won 25-14, 26-24.
After Ramsey beat Greenview 25-13, 26-24, Lincolnwood kept the tournament newcomers winless with a 25-7, 25-11 win over Greenview.
The night ended with the St. Elmo-Brownstown victory over Ramsey 25-17, 25-22, which put the Eagles in the Silver Flight and the Rams in the Copper Flight.
In addition to the game, Lincolnwood Volleyball and the volunteers who run the tournament have also raised funds and raised public awareness about Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD). Dubbed a Grace-Filled tournament, the event pays tribute to the late Grace Herschelman, who died in May at the age of nine after a long battle with INAD.
Lincolnwood head coach Kimberly Denney presented Hillsboro’s parents Grace, Kyle and Mary Herschelman, and sister, Charlotte, four, one of the tournament’s original balls. A prayer circle was also held at the event, with Isabella White of Hillsboro leading the group.
“The support and generosity of Montgomery County volleyball families continues to amaze us,” said Kyle Herschelman. “We wish Grace could have been here with us, but we are very grateful to everyone who is making this event happen.”
With the tournament on the books, the Lancers are now turning their attention to the regular season, where they will face Carlinville on Monday, September 13, in Macoupin County.
September 10 in Hillsboro
Montgomery County Invitation
Beat INAD Pool – Game One
Lincolnwood 25 25
Ramsey 8 12
Service points: Sidney Glick 15, Desi Pitchford 8, Haelee Damm 6, Avery Pope 5, Hailee Belsher 1, Madyson Bockewitz 1. Ace: Sidney Glick 8, Haelee Damm 4, Desi Pitchford 2, Avery Pope 1. Kill : Hailee Belsher 11, Jazmin Seaton-Hobson 5, Haelee Damm 4, Sidney Glick 2, Desi Pitchford 1. Assists: Tessa Funderburk 11, Avery Pope 7, Madyson Bockewitz 1. Excavations: Madyson Bockewitz 5, Hailee Belsher 3, Sidney Glick 2, Desi Pitchford 1, Avery Pope 1.
Defeat INAD Pool – Game Two
Lincolnwood 25 26
Saint-Elme-Brownstown 14 24
Service points: Sidney Glick 11, Haelee Damm 9, Desi Pitchford 4, Hailee Belsher 3, Madyson Bocketwitz 3. Ace: Haelee Damm 3, Hailee Belsher 3, Desi Pitchford 3, Sidney Glick 2. Kill : Hailee Belsher 9, Desi Pitchfod 4, Sidney Glick 3, Haelee Damm 2, Jazmin Seaton-Hobson 2. Assists: Tessa Funderburk 9, Avery Pope 9, Sidney Glick 1. Excavations: Desi Pitchford 8, Haelee Damm 7, Madyson Bockewitz 5, Hailee Belsher 4, Avery Pope 4, Sidney Glick 3, Jazmin Seaton-Hobson 3, Tessa Funderburk 1.
Beating INAD Pool – Part Three
Lincolnwood 25 25
Green view 7 11
Service points: Haelee Damm 15, Sidney Glick 11, Hailee Belsher 6, Avery Pope 3. Ace: Haelee Damm 11, Sidney Glick 8, Hailee Belsher 2, Avery Pope 2. Kill : Hailee Belsher 8, Haelee Damm 4, Desi Pitchford 1, Tessa Funderburk 1, Jazmin Seaton-Hobson 1. Assists: Avery Pope 6, Tessa Funderburk 6. Blocks: Hailee Belsher 2. Excavations: Hailee Belsher 5, Haelee Damm 4, Avery Pope 3, Jazmin Seaton-Hobson 3, Sidney Glick 2, Desi Pitchford 2.
September 11 in Hillsboro
Montgomery County Invitation
Vol d’or semi-final
Lincolnwood 25 20 15
Mac North 22 25 11
Golden flight – 1st place
Lincolnwood 11 19
Staunton 25 25
Service points: Desi Pitchford 3, Haelee Damm 2, Madyson Bockewitz 1, Hailee Belsher 1. Ace: Haelee Damm 1. Kill : Hailee Belsher 6, Jazmin Seaton-Hobson 5, Haelee Damm 2, Tessa Funderburk 2. Assists: Tessa Funderburk 8, Avery Pope 4, Jazmin Seaton-Hobson 1. Blocks: Hailee Belsher 4. Excavations: Jasmine Vickery 5, Haelee Damm 4, Sidney Glick 3, Hailee Belsher 3, Tessa Funderburk 1.
Save: Lincolnwood (8-1); Staunton (9-4).