Volleyball playoffs begin with Carlinville victory
Gillespie, North Mac and Southwestern eliminated in regional quarterfinals
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
The Carlinville High School volleyball team advanced to the next round of the Illinois High School Association Class 2A playoffs with a thrilling victory over Litchfield at the Hillsboro regional Oct. 24.
The Cavaliers took the opening set, 25-21, then re-grouped after the Purple Panthers evened the match and jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the decider.
Carlinville won 25-21, 19-25, 25-20, and avenged a regular season conference defeat.
Isabella Tiburzi racked up 21 assists and nine kills for the Cavaliers with a rejection.
Makenah Dugan made 13 digs and contributed a trio of service tallies.
Jordyn Loveless unleashed a pair of aces.
Carlinville, a ninth seed, moved on to meet No. 2 Breese Central the next night. The Cavaliers were 17-16 entering that contest.
The tenth-seeded Gillespie Miners took to the hardwood after the CHS celebration, looking for some jubilation of their own. Unfortunately, a common fate of getting overpowered remained and the host Hillsboro Hiltoppers reigned supreme in a battle of orange and black. A convincing 25-9, 25-11 victory landed HHS in the semifinal against South Central Conference champion Staunton.
Gillespie ended the year on a nine-game losing streak and with a 5-25 record overall.
The 28-7 Bulldogs, who received a first round bye, battled the Hiltoppers after the Carlinville/Breese Central game Oct. 25.
The regional championship is Thurs., Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. in Hillsboro. The victor advances to the Breese Mater Dei sectional and will face the Salem regional champion (either Newton, Lawrenceville, Pana or Salem) on Halloween night Mon., Oct. 31 at 7 p.m.
Southwestern and North Mac eliminated
As with Gillespie, the Southwestern and North Mac teams were only breathing for two sets.
The Piasa Birds lost to Alton Marquette 15-25, 18-25 at the Wesclin regional and the Panthers crumbled against one of their former rivals in Athens, 19-25, 16-25.
North Mac, which finished third in the SCC, went 19-13-2 this season.
For Southwestern, 2022 was a year to forget in terms of overall consistency. The Birds lost 23 of 30 matches and 49 of 64 sets.
Greenfield-Northwestern, Mt. Olive and Bunker Hill in Class 1A action Oct. 25
Greenfield-Northwestern, Bunker Hill and Mt. Olive were each asssigned to the IHSA Class 1A Raymond regional – a sector of the White Hall sub-sectional.
No. 5 Greenfield and No. 13 Bunker Hill squared off head-to-head in the quarters.
No. 14 Mt. Olive faced No. 4 Franklin.
Both matches were played Oct. 25.