While all Litchfield High School home volleyball games would normally be played in Simmons Gymnasium, Coach Jeremy Heigert's Lady Panthers were forced to open their season in the middle school's Panther Gym on Aug. 29 due to ongoing roof repairs to Simmons.
The change of location had little effect on the varsity Lady Panthers as they capped off their home opener with a 25-11, 25-8 straight set win over the Nokomis Redskins.
Coach Heigert started five seniors, Mallory Beechler, Carson Jackson, Devan Morgan, Jordan Morgan and Emily Senjan and one junior, Becky Painter while junior Kate Komor entered throughout the match as a back row defensive specialist (libero).
Coach Megan Mehochko countered with two seniors, Macee Eisenbarth and Jade Jett, three juniors, Mia Fesser, Delaney Keiser and Alex Pavolka, and sophomore Presley Lamb.
The Redskins put the first point on the board with Presley Lamb at the service line but the Panthers reeled off the next 11, the last being a service ace by Carson Jackson.
Looking at a 10-point deficit, Coach Mehochko would call for a timeout, but the Panther tide kept rolling and they tacked on another five points to increase their lead to 16-1.
Down by 15, the Redskins didn't roll over and outscored the Panthers 10-9 before the set ended with Litchfield's Devan Morgan at the service line and the scoreboard reading 25-11.
Again in the second set, the Redskins would play catchup as Litchfield built a quick 8-0 lead before Presley Lamb would direct a spike down the sideline for the Redskins' first point. Nokomis would draw the score to within four at 11-7 but Litchfield reeled off the next 11 and closed out the match 25-8.
Senior Carson Jackson would finish the match with 12 service points and four aces while Devan Morgan also put 12 on the board including an ace. Mallory Beechler had six service aces. Rounding out the Panther scoring was Jordan Morgan with two points, and Jordan Minkevich and Emily Senjan each with a point.
Jordan Morgan led the Panthers with four kills while Senjan and Becky Painter had three apiece and Jackson and Beechler recorded one each. On the defensive side of the ball, Kate Komor led the team with eight digs followed by Minkevich, D. Morgan, Painter and J. Morgan each with two and Aly Fenton and Beechler with one apiece. Setter Devan Morgan had 12 assists.
For the Redskins, Jade Jett had three points and four kills while Presley Lamb had two points, two kills and two assists. Rounding out the scoring was Delaney Keiser with two points. Mia Fesser recorded two assists and had four digs with Alex Pavolka turning in four defensive digs also.
The Panthers will host Marquette Catholic in a non-conference match on Tuesday and Hillsboro on Thursday. The Marquette Explorers are 4-2 on the season with wins over Brussels, Mt. Olive, Carrollton and Valmeyer while losing to Jersey and Auburn. The Toppers are 0-1 having lost a three set conference game to Pana in their season opener. They will play at Carlyle on Tuesday.
August 29 at Litchfield
Nokomis (0-2) 11 8
Litchfield (1-0) 25 25
Aces: Nokomis - Presley Lamb 1, Jade Jett 1, Delaney Keiser 1; Litchfield - Mallory Beechler 6, Carson Jackson 4, Devan Morgan 1, Emily Senjan 1. Kills: Nokomis - Jade Jett 4, Presley Lamb 2, Mia Fesser 1; Litchfield - Jordan Morgan 4, Becky Painter 3, Emily Senjan 3, Mallory Beechler 1, Carson Jackson 1. Assists: Nokomis - Presley Lamb 2, Mia Fesser 2; Litchfield - Devan Morgan 12. Digs: Nokomis - Alex Pavolka 4, Mia Fesser 4, Presley Lamb 3, Delaney Keiser 3, Addison Dangbar 2, Sophia Keller 2, Jade Jett 2, Natalie Engelman 1, Macee Eisenbarth 1; Litchfield - Kate Komor 8, Devan Morgan 2, Jordan Minkevich 2, Becky Painter 2, Jordan Morgan 2, Emily Senjan 1, Aly Fenton 1, Mallory Beechler 1.