Litchfield Coach Abby Carlson’s Lady Panthers picked up a straight set bounce-back win on Sept. 19 at Metro-East Lutheran. After losing at Staunton on September 16, the purple and white began their three-match week with a 25-18, 25-23 win over the Lady Knights.
The first set tussle generated nine tied scores between the two teams within the first 13 points. Junior Carlee Harmon and sophomores Annika Rhodes and Kendall Stewart helped the Panthers to a 17-14 lead with successful attacks. A tandem block by Harmon and Blair Johnson opened a five-point advantage and Litchfield held on for the seven-point first set win.
Despite building a convincing 8-1 Panther lead in the second set, Metro-East refused to cave and scored the next three points to cut the Panther lead to four.
A long rally ended with a successful dink by the Panthers and it was at this point that Coach Jenna Ward’s Lady Knights began to defend their court well as they tied the score at 11 and took the lead after an out of bounds spike from Johnson.
Trailing 16-14, Carlee Harmon and Blair Johnson’s attacks knotted the score at 16. A net foul followed by a serve return error against Metro-East gave Litchfield a slim two-point edge. Harmon and Stewart partnered for a defensive block at the net and the 19-16 Litchfield lead prompted a timeout by the Knights.
Metro East responded with point 17 but the next four scores belonged to Litchfield and they were within two points of the match win. Metro-East rallied for five consecutive points and tied the score at 23 but the rally ended with back-to-back hitting errors and Litchfield took the set 25-23.
For Litchfield, Annika Rhodes had a good night with 15 inbound serves, three aces, five digs, two kills and a block. Emma Walch had 10 inbound serves, an ace, eight assists and four digs.
Blair Johnson led the team in kills with five, plus a service ace and a block and seven digs. Kendall Stewart and Carlee Harmon each had two kills and were credited with nine blocks apiece. Harmon also had nine inbound serves.
Sept. 19 at Edwardsville
Litchfield 25 25
Metro East 18 23
Serves In/Out: Annika Rhodes 15/0, Emma Walch 10/0, Carlee Harmon 9/1, Kendall Stewart 3/1, Taylor Brakenhoff 2/1, Blair Johnson 1/1. Aces: A. Rhodes 3, E. Walch 1, B. Johnson 1. Attack Attempts/Kills: B. Johnson 21/5, A. Rhodes 11/2, K. Stewart 5/2, C. Harmon 5/2, T. Brakenhoff 3/0, E. Walch 1/0. Blocks: K. Stewart 9, C. Harmon 9, T. Brakenhoff 1, E. Walch 1, A. Rhodes 1, B. Johnson 1. Assists: E. Walch 8. Digs: B. Johnson 7, A. Rhodes 5, E. Walch 4, A. Frerichs 3, K. Stewart 1.
Metro East Lutheran Statistics
Service Points: Melanie Wilson 7, Sidnee Schwarz 6, Tay Heard 3, Lexi Bozarth 3, Sarah Henke 2, Vivienne Runnalls 1. Aces: M. Wilson 2. Attack Attempts/Kills: L. Bozarth 25/2, S. Henke 15/6, T. Heard 15/0, V. Runnalls 12/0, M. Wilson 12/0, Emma Lorenz 8/2, Aprile Hepner 8/1, S. Schwarz 4/1, Grace Hopp 1/0. Block Assists/Solo Blocks: M. Wilson 1/3, S. Henke 2/2, E. Lorenz 4/0, L. Bozarth 1/0, A. Hepner 1, V. Runnalls 1. Assists: V. Runnalls 9, A. Hepner 1, T. Heard 1, M. Wilson 1. Digs: S. Schwarz 30, V. Runnalls 12, L. Bozarth 9, T. Heard 8, M. Wilson 5, E. Lorenz 1, A. Hepner 1, G. Hopp 1
Records: Litchfield (5-7); Metro-East Lutheran (6-10).