The season began for real for the Lincolnwood High School volleyball team on Wednesday, Oct. 30, as the Lancers kicked off the postseason against the Knights of Metro-East Lutheran.
The opponents from Edwardsville entered the game with an 11-23 record, but put up a fight on Wednesday before the Lancers came away with a 25-22, 25-23 victory.
Cassie Krager led the team in points (seven) and kills (11) as the Lincolnwood attack put down 29 kills on the night. Maggie McClelland and Katelyn Payne would add seven and six kills respectively, while Madison Krager chipped in four. Avery Pope, who had one kill, led the team with 25 assists.
In addition to Krager, Lexie Millburg and Avery Pope had five points each at the service line, while Kyra Shull added three. Sidney Glick (two) and Maggie McClelland (one) also had service points for the Lancers.
Defensively, four different players, Millburg, Cassie Krager, Glick and Pope, all had seven digs each, while McClelland added six. Katelyn Payne, who had one dig, and Madison Krager added one block apiece.
With the win, Lincolnwood advances to the regional championship game, where they will take on Morrisonville for the third time this season. The Mohawks advanced to the championship by beating Nokomis in the quarterfinals and Bunker Hill in the semis on Wednesday night.
In their first two meetings, Lincolnwood came away victorious, beating the Mohawks 27-25, 25-19 on Sept. 12, and 25-17, 25-20, 15-4 on Oct. 5, at the Morrisonville Tournament.
For some, familiarity breeds contempt, but not so much in the case of this rivalry in recent years, due in part to co-ops in other sports, shared support of Grace Herschelman and the fight to beat INAD and Coach Kimberly Denney's work as a substitute teacher in the Morrisonville district.
Still, the Lancers know that only one thing stands in the way of the program's 15th regional title, and there is plenty of time to be friends afterward.
October 30 at Mt. Olive
Mt. Olive Regional Semifinal
Lincolnwood 25 25
M-E Lutheran 22 23
Service Points: Cassie Krager 7, Lexie Millburg 5, Avery Pope 5, Kyra Shull 3, Sidney Glick 2, Maggie McClelland 1. Aces: Cassie Krager 2, Avery Pope 1, Lexie Millburg 1, Kills: Cassie Krager 11, Maggie McClelland 7, Katelyn Payne 6, Madison Krager 4, Avery Pope 1. Assists: Avery Pope 25, Cassie Krager 1, Madison Krager 1. Blocks: Madison Krager 1, Katelyn Payne 1. Digs: Lexie Millburg 7, Cassie Krager 7, Sidney Glick 7, Avery Pope 7, Maggie McClelland 6, Katelyn Payne 1.
Record: Lincolnwood (27-7-1), Metro-East Lutheran (11-23).