SPRINGFIELD — Sami Breckenridge hits the ball over the net during the first set of the Regional Semifinal on Tuesday, Oct. 24. She ended with twenty-four assists, six service points, five digs, a block and a kill.
Breeze-Courier Sports Editor
SPRINGFIELD — Taylorville played in their first varsity volleyball postseason match since their fourth place State run a little over a year ago on Tuesday, Oct. 24. The Regional Semifinal match was held at Springfield High School and featured the number two seed Tornadoes defend their spot in the playoffs against number six seed Jacksonville. First game jitters out of the way early, the Taylorville Tornadoes defeated the Crimsons in
two sets; 25-19, 25-22.
“It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that we were in this situation.” Head Coach Peabody comments on the team’s return. “It feels good. For us, it was the first night to play. Jacksonville got to play a game last night so they looked a little more comfortable to start. They
(TheTornadoes) played well
but it seemed like they had a little bit of nerves to get rid of before Thursday night.” Jacksonville struck first blood with the opening serve but Taylorville had setter Sami Breckenridge to get the ball to her hitters. Breckenridge put up a whopping twenty-four (24) assists, five service points (one ace), five digs, one kill and one block in the contest. The team jumped out to a 12-6 lead with the help of junior Lyla Repscher at the service line (eight service points (one ace), and four digs.) Set number one was capped off with a serve by junior Lia Champley who collected four kills, two service points (one ace)and three digs in the Regional Semifinals.
“We hustled for ball, we dove.” Peabody says. “I thought their effort was great tonight.”
Set number two had a slight feel all the way around. The Tornadoes were given a confidence boost and Jacksonville was fighting to save their season. Multi- point runs were made by the Crimsons in a back and forth set two. Scores such as 1-1, 11-11 and 16-16 were seen allowing the benches and crowd to cheers be visibly seen by each side.
SPRINGFIELD — (left) Taylorville sophomore, Brogan Anderson, gets set to serve the ball in the Regional Semifinal against Jacksonville. Anderson finished with three service points (one ace) along with two digs.
Lucas Domonousky Breeze-Courier Photo
Senior libero Claire Hadley kept the defense tight with eleven digs and two assist while Rean Ward (two service points) and Liv Havera (two kills, one assist and two digs) came together for a variety of Tornado aid. Sophomore hitters Robyn Ward (Odugbesan) and Alayna Vincent (six assists, one service point) were seen and heard combining for thirteen kills and two blocks. But it was Mazie Fleming who lead the Tornadoes with 13 blocks in the two set contest. The junior outside hitter also finished with one block. Fleming provided a few words after the 25-22 set two, Regional Semifinal victory about just how pumped the Tornadoes are to be back in the postseason. “I’m really excited!” She exclaims. “Last year, we had a really, really good run which was the peak of our season. We just kept going up from there. We’re really hoping we can do that this year. Our record is really similar and we have a lot of girls back so I’m really excited. Obviously, we lost some seniors but the way we play is a little different. We have more than one person setting this year, we have different hitters in the front, a lot of people coming up from JV to Varsity this year. That’s kind of the biggest differences this season. Last year, a lot of people came back and this year we have a little bit less but overall, I think, we’re still a really good team.”
Taylorville will take on the winner of Rochester/ Springfield High School for the IHSA Regional Championship on Thursday, Oct. 26 with first serve delivered at 6:00 p.m.
SPRINGFIELD — (above) Alyana Vincent gets power be- hind the ball and serves it over the net during set number on against Jacksonville. Vincent added a statline of five kills, six assists, one block, one ser- vice point and four digs.
Lucas Domonousky Breeze-Courier Photo