Explorers Claim Victory Over Purple Panthers

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Junior Josey Wahl had ten service points and right side hitter Claire Spain recorded five kills to lead Marquette to a 25-14, 25-11 straight set road win over the Litchfield Panthers on Sept. 3. 

It was the fifth win of the season for the Explorers against two losses while the Panthers’ record leveled at 1-1 after claiming their season opener against Nokomis on Aug. 29. 

Coach Sue Heinz’ Marquette Explorers have five seniors in their varsity lineup, with nine juniors and a sophomore. They compete in the Prairie State Conference and finished last year with a 20-13 overall record and went 4-2 in the conference.

Against Marquette, a trio of three players accounted for Litchfield’s six kills, led by junior middle hitter Becky Painter with three, followed by Mallory Beechler with two and Cara Pence one.

For Marquette, Spain’s effort at the net was supported by Peyton Zigrang with four kills. Abby Williams and Natalie Ellebracht had two apiece and Kristine Lauritzen had one. 

In addition to Wahl’s ten service points, junior Rachel Heinz served up nine points, followed by Katie Hartsock with four, Delaney Cain and Ellie Jacobs with three each and Ellebracht with two. Junior Rachel Heinz had nine assists in the match while Delaney Cain, who leads the team in digs with 42, dug out ten balls against the Panthers.

Senior Devan Morgan was the service leader for Litchfield with four points, followed by Beechler with three and Jordan Minkevich and Carson Jackson with one each. Morgan also tallied 14 digs with twin sister Jordan turning in eight followed by Kate Komor with seven, Jackson with six, Beechler and Pence with four each and Minkevich with one. D. Morgan also recorded five assists.

The junior varsity would also fall to the Explorers, but would stretch them out to three sets with scores of 22-25, 25-12 and 25-11.

The Panthers will enjoy home court advantage this evening when they host Hillsboro, who are in search of their first win after dropping their season opener at home against Pana on August 27, and losing a two set squeaker at Carlyle on September 3.

September 3 at Litchfield

Alton Marquette 25 25

Litchfield 14 11

Litchfield Statistics

Service Points: Devan Morgan 4, Mallory Beechler 3, Jordan Minkevich 1, Carson Jackson 1. Kills: Becky Painter 3, Mallory Beechler 2, Cara Pence 1. Assists: Devan Morgan 5. Digs: Devan Morgan 14, Jordan Morgan 8, Kate Komor 7, Carson Jackson 6, Mallory Beechler 4, Cara Pence 4, Jordan Minkevich 1.

Records: Alton Marquette (5-2); Litchfield (1-1).

JV: Marquette def. Litchfield 25-22, 12-25, 11-25.

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