Purple Panthers Bow Out After Battle With Auburn

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Sophomore Marley Smith recorded 12 kills, four points and two blocks to help Auburn eliminate the Litchfield Lady Panthers from the IHSA Class 2A Auburn Regional Tournament Monday night. Coach Jeff Smith's Auburn Trojans captured a 25-20, 25-18 straight set win over the Panthers but lost to Carlinville Tuesday night in one of two semi final matches. 

Number one seed Quincy Notre Dame beat North Mac in the first semi final game and the Raiders and Cavaliers meet tonight to determine the regional champion.

In Monday's match-up between Litchfield and Auburn, the two teams played to an 8-8 tie in the first set before Litchfield would take a 9-8 lead following a service error by the Trojans. 

With sister Jordan Morgan at the service line, Devan Morgan made a great save on an Auburn attack that resulted in point 10 for the Panthers, followed by a good hard, deep serve by Jordan that wasn't returned and it was 11-8 Litchfield.

The Panthers would increase their lead to 15-11 but Auburn rallied and outscored their guests 7-3 to tie the score at 18. Auburn would gain point 19 from a Panther attack that landed out of bounds, followed by a successful block at the net by Krystal Bly. 

Litchfield gained a point and possession off a kill by senior Emily Senjan, but possession was returned to Auburn and the Trojans added points 22 and 23 with Kylie MacKenzie at the service line. Litchfield had the serve at 20-23 but back-to-back out of bounds spikes ended the first set 25-20.

Auburn would establish an 8-3 lead in the second set, which ballooned to 19-12 and the Panthers would get no closer than five points before the set ended with Auburn's Elsie Stewart at the service line. 

The power of the Trojans' offense again played a key role in the second set as Krystal Bly and Marley Smith combined for 12 of Auburn's 24 match kills in the deciding frame.

For Litchfield, Mallory Beechler led the team in scoring with seven points, followed closely by Devan Morgan and Cara Pence each with six. Jordan Morgan had five points, four kills and 11 digs. Devan Morgan contributed nine assists and three digs while back row specialist Kate Komor recorded ten digs and scored three points.

The Panthers finished the season with a record of eight wins and 21 losses.

October 28 at Auburn

Auburn 25 25

Litchfield 20 18

Auburn Statistics

Service Points: Dorothy Dambacher 7, Jace Eicken 5, Kylie MacKenzie 5, Elise Stewart 5, Marley Smith 4, Jayde Landers 2. Aces: Kylie MacKenzie 2, Dorothy Dambacher 1, Jace Eicken 1, Marley Smith 1. Kills: Marley Smith 12, Krystal Bly 5, Jace Eicken 3, Kylie MacKenzie 2. Assists: Elise Stewart 20, Allese Trimingham 1, Jayde Landers 1. Blocks: Marley Smith 2, allege Trimingham 1, Krystal Bly 1, Elise Stewart 1.  Digs: Dorothy Dambacher 8, Jace Eicken 6, Kylie MacKenzie 5, Elise Stewart 5, Jayde Landers 4, Krystal Bly 2.

Litchfield Statistics

Service Points: Mallory Beechler 7, Devan Morgan. 6, Cara Pence 6, Jordan Morgan. 5, Emily Senjan 4, Kate Komor 3, Becky Painter 1. Aces: Jordan Morgan 1, Emily Senjan 1. Kills: Jordan Morgan 4, Emily Senjan 2, Cara Pence 2, Becky Painter 1. Assists: Devan Morgan 9. Digs: Jordan Morgan 11, Kate Komor 10, Becky Painter 4, Devan Morgan 3, Mallory Beechler 2, Emily Senjan 2, Carson Jackson 1, Cara Pence 1, Emma Walch 1.

Records: Litchfield (8-21); Auburn (15-20).

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