Nothing has been normal about the 2020-2021 volleyball season this year, but on Saturday, April 3, the Lincolnwood and Hillsboro volleyball teams made sure that one of their traditions didn’t get lost to the pandemic. On Saturday, the Lancers and Hiltoppers traded in their familiar orange and black for purple, the color associated with INAD (infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy) research and nine-year-old Grace Herschelman, at least in Montgomery County.
“We were on the bus from Pawnee and the girls asked about the Beat INAD jerseys for Saturday’s game,” Lincolnwood Coach Kimberly Denney said. “I hadn’t even really thought about it, but they said that they always wear purple when they play Hillsboro and it’s always a Grace game. So, I texted Emily (Zimmerman, Hillsboro’s coach) and she said she had thought the same thing.”
Even with visiting fans unable to attend, the day raised nearly $150 for research looking for a cure for INAD.
Grace was unable to attend, but a cutout version of the Hillsboro youngster was cheering on both teams and was present for the group photo afterwards.
The charity on behalf of the Lancers was just for off the court though, as they surprisingly dispatched the visiting Hiltoppers in two games 25-19, 25-13.
The two teams entered the game coming off wins, with the Lancers having only lost one of their eight contests this season. Hillsboro, who had only lost twice before Saturday, were the aggressors out of the gate, though, and jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the early going.
Lincolnwood began to chip away at that advantage and before long, they had taken an 11-9 lead before Hillsboro broke Avery Pope’s serve.
The lead would jockey back and forth, with Hillsboro taking a 17-16 advantage before Cassie Krager put down a kill for the Lancers and Emme Weller served up five straight points to give Lincolnwood a comfy 22-17 margin.
The Toppers would get two more points to pull within three, but Lincolnwood got the side out on a kill by Krager and won it on a block by the Lancer senior two points later.
Sensing blood in the water, Lincolnwood wasted little time in jumping on the Toppers in game two. Sydney Glick served up ten straight points to give Lincolnwood an 11-3 lead, with Katelyn Payne and Maggie McClelland hammering home kills in the streak.
From then on, nothing seemed to work for the Toppers. Hillsboro hitter Emma Miller and Kaci Papin would blast shots to the back corners, only to have Krager and company come up with a diving dig to keep the ball in play. Krager and teammate Avery Pope both notched double digit digs in the win, posting 14 and 11 as the Lancers finished with 47 digs.
The Toppers pulled within six at one point, but weren’t able to string together points and Lincolnwood finished the game the way they started it, with Glick at the line, serving up back-to-back aces.
With the win, Lincolnwood improved to 8-1 and earned Grace Game bragging rights. The Toppers moved to 4-3 on the season.
Hillsboro will return to conference play to start the week with a home game against Carlinville on April 5, followed by a road trip to Morrisonville for the last time on April 6 (the Mohawks will be co-oping all sports at Lincolnwood starting next season).
Lincolnwood keeps the rivalries coming as they take on Nokomis at home on April 6, followed by their last meeting with their future teammates at Morrisonville on April 9.
April 3 at Raymond
Hillsboro 19 13
Lincolnwood 25 25
Service Points: Sidney Glick 15, Avery Pope 8, Emme Weller 6, Maggie McClelland 2, Lexie Millburg 1. Aces: Sidney Glick 4, Avery Pope 3, Lexie Millburg 1, Maggie McClelland 1. Kills: Cassie Krager 8, Katelyn Payne 8, Maggie McClelland 3, Desi Pitchford 2, Sidney Glick 2, Avery Pope 1. Assists: Avery Pope 13, Katelyn Payne 2, Sidney Glick 2. Blocks: Katelyn Payne 4, Maggie McClelland 2, Cassie Krager 2. Digs: Cassie Krager 14, Avery Pope 11, Lexie Millburg 7, Sidney Glick 6, Katelyn Payne 4, Maggie McClelland 4, Emme Weller 1.
Records: Lincolnwood (8-1), Hillsboro (4-3).