It was an early season rivalry match-up for Montgomery County’s South Central Conference foes as the Litchfield Lady Panthers hosted the Hillsboro Lady Hiltoppers.
The Panthers would keep it close in the early going against their visiting rivals, but Hillsboro would eventually pull away with a pair of 25-17 victories on Thursday, Sept. 5.
Reagan DeVashier started things off for Hillsboro with a pair of aces to help her team get off to a 4-0 start. Litchfield would come back though, tying the game on a Becky Painter kill, then taking a 5-4 lead with another point scoring hit, this time by Mallory Beechler.
Hillsboro would break Litchfield’s serve though, retaking the lead with a lift, a block by Kaci Papin and an ace by Haley Major. Litchfield would cut the lead to two after another kill by Painter, but that is as close as they would get the rest of the match.
The Toppers would allow just five more service points the rest of the match, while going on several extended runs on the attack. Kills by Kayli Ward and Papin, along with blocks from Chloe Beck would help boost Hillsboro to lead by as many as ten before settling for an eight point victory.
The Lady Panthers would start game two in similar fashion to the way game one began, keeping it close and leading 6-4 and 9-7 at one point. Ward would come up with a kill to break Litchfield’s serve and make it 9-8, which led to a seven point run with the HHS senior hitter at the service line. Ward would pick up a pair of aces and Hillsboro would lead 15-9 once the smoke cleared.
Litchfield would get within five down the stretch, with Devan Morgan serving up three straight points, but the Toppers would pull away and finish off the two set victory, their first of the season.
Becky Painter would lead Litchfield with four kills, while Emily Senjan had one and Mallory Beechler and Jordan Morgan had one apiece.
Hillsboro was led by Kayli Ward with eight points and eight kills. Ally Devore would chip in seven points, with two aces, while Reagan DeVashier had six points and two aces. Ward and Beck also had two aces.
In addition to Ward, Kaci Papin had seven kills as well, while Jordan Jacobs (eight) and DeVaisher (seven) led the team in assists.
Defensively, Papin had seven blocks, while Beck had five and Haley Major added one. Devore led the team in digs with eight, followed by Major with seven and Reynolds with six.
The two county rivals will meet again on Oct. 22, in Hillsboro, for their official South Central Conference game. Hillsboro’s next game on the schedule is at Alton Marquette on Tuesday, Sept. 10, while Litchfield will play Monday, Sept. 9, at Pawnee, followed by a home game against East Alton-Wood River on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
September 5 at Litchfield
Hillsboro 25 25
Litchfield 17 17