With missing players and tough competition at the Altamont tournament, it had been a tough week for the Nokomis volleyball team, who had lost seven straight before the Montgomery County Invitational. Thankfully, the Grace-Filled Tourney appeared to be exactly what the doctor ordered the Redskins to be.
Nokomis not only ended their losing streak in their first game at the Hillsboro tournament, but they also swept both of Saturday’s Bronze Flight games to finish 3-2 on the weekend and in ninth place in the tournament. to 16 teams.
Playing at Hillsboro Junior High Gym, one of four tournament venues along with Hillsboro High School Gymnasium and two gyms in Lincolnwood, the Redskins faced Mt. Olive in their opener. Making short work of the Wildcats, Nokomis clinched a 25-10 win in Game 1, then added an almost equally decisive 25-15 victory in Game 2 to move up to 3-9 overall. the season.
The other two teams from the Beat INAD pool played next, with Vandalia beating Roxana 25-22, 21-25, 15-11. The two former South Central Conference opponents made Beat INAD one of the toughest in the tournament, as they both finished in the top five. Roxana has finished in the top five at each of Montgomery County’s three previous invitations.
Vandalia was also in the top five in 2019 and 2018.
The Redskins could see how good the Vandals were in their next game, but did battle against the Fayette County team. Vandalia would fend off Nokomis 25-19 in Game 1, then beat the Redskins by eights, 25-17, in Game 2 to stay perfect at Hillsboro.
Roxana would improve to 1-1 in the pool with a 25-6, 25-22 win over Mt. Olive and continue her momentum in her match against Nokomis. The Redskins managed to put together a few points, but fell to the Shells 25-15, 25-16 to end the group game with a score of 1-2.
Vandalia closed the group game with a 25-6, 25-7 victory over Mt. Olive, which sent them to Gold Flight with a 3-0 record, while Mt. Olive moved to Copper Flight at 0-3. Roxana, at 2-1, moved on to Silver Flight.
With three games under their belt, the Redskins’ goal would be ninth place, which would require two wins on Saturday, Sept. 11 at the Hillsboro High School Gymnasium.
Nokomis took care of the first part of this quest with a victory over a familiar name, even familiar faces. The Lincolnwood JV team were a late replacement for Auburn, who had to withdraw from the tournament on Thursday. The Junior Lancers won a pool victory over Litchfield to qualify for the Bronze Flight, but Nokomis would prevent them from qualifying for ninth place with a 25-20, 25-13 victory over the Young Lancers.
Just before Nokomis’ opener in the Bracket Game, the Edinburgh Wildcats sent Ramsey in two games 25-20, 25-18 to earn their spot in the contest for ninth place, where they would meet the Redskins. .
After Ramsey beat Lincolnwood JV 25-18, 25-20 to finish 11th, the Wildcats and Redskins faced off. Nokomis would claim a 25-20 win in Game 1, then held on for a 25-21 win in Game 2 to end the tournament on a high note.
With three wins and two losses, Nokomis raised his record to 5-11 this season, more than doubling his pre-tournament winning tally. The Redskins face another team in the Grace-Filled tournament tonight, September 13, when they host South County, which finished seventh overall.