By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
With legendary coach Fran Struble in attendance at the Carlinville volleyball Invitational – now named in her honor, Kaitie Hammann’s Cavaliers brought a similar level of Struble intensity to their home hardwood and stood tall against an undefeated foe before taking second place Sept. 30.
Carlinville reigned in six of seven matches during pool play to reach the championship game, which was won by Calhoun, 25-17, 25-17. The Cavaliers dusted off rival Gillespie, 25-9, 25-12 and Central A&M 25-10, 25-17 via straight set, then held off Carlyle 25-22, 12-25, 15-13 in a tight title qualifier.
Isabella Tiburzi and Hannah Gibson represented the Cavaliers on the All-Tournament team alongside Greenfield-Northwestern’s Naomi Lansaw. Other honorees included Emme Meyer (Carlyle), Carlie Wademan (Carlyle), Sydney Walker (Decatur Eisenhower), Lacy Pohlman (Calhoun) and Delani Klaas (Calhoun).
Carlinville is 12-8 overall. The Cavaliers had an opportunity to claim sole possession of first place in the South Central Conference, but were unable to overtake long-time rival Staunton on the road Sept. 28. The Bulldogs improved to 11-5 and 4-0 in the SCC with a 25-19, 25-19 victory. Carlinville is 3-1 in league play.
Lansaw helped lead GF-NW to a 25-10, 25-15 sweep of Greenville in the opposing pool. The Tigers lost against Eisenhower (25-19, 20-25, 8-15) and Calhoun (16-25, 16-25) in the other matches but were still awarded a shot at third place after they finished in a three-way draw. GF-NW took fourth place after being overpowered by Carlyle. The Tigers are 15-13 on the season.
Gillespie, which had recently earned a pair of conference victories over Southwestern and Pana, rallied to defeat Central A&M 21-25, 25-20. 15-13. The Miners went on to lose against Decatur Eisenhower in the fifth place match.
Gillespie finished the tournament 1-3. The Miners are 5-13 overall and 2-1 in the SCC.