The Lewis and Clark Community College volleyball team started the night honoring their graduating sophomores with flowers and other gifts. They finished with the best present of all: the team’s 20th win on the season.
The Trailblazers swept the visiting St. Louis Community College Archers 3-0. The set scores were 25-5, 25-9, 25-11.
“It was a great way for our sophomores to celebrate their years here,” said head coach Jim Hunstein. “They have been instrumental in this year’s success.”
The sophomores on the team include setter Lauren Chiarelli (Collinsville, Illinois), outside hitter Emma Chiodini (St. Louis, Missouri), libero Drew Myers (Lesterville, Missouri), setter Kennedy Netters (Dunlap, Illinois), defensive specialist Meg Sitzes (Cisne, Illinois) and outside hitter Macy Thurston (Jerseyville, Illinois). Chiodini and Myers are also two-year team captains.
Chiodini led the attack with seven kills and six aces. All of her aces came in a row at the start of the second set. Netters was next with four aces, including three in a row in the middle of the first set.
The freshmen also made important contributions. Outside hitter, Brooke Hustedde (Trenton, Illinois) scored six kills, followed by middle hitter Denae White (New Athens, Illinois) with four kills. White also had an ace and three total blocks (one solo, two assists). Middle hitter Becca Bowlin (Dunlap, Illinois) scored three solo blocks, two kills, and an ace.
“Twenty wins is a great number and the team has worked hard to get there,” Hunstein said. “But it is just a number and we have a lot more work ahead of us to get where we want to be.”
The next challenge for the Trailblazers is a two-day tournament at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois. There they will play four teams from the Chicago area, including nationally ranked Sauk Valley.
The last home match of the season will be Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 6 p.m. against Regional 24 #5 seed Lincoln College. The teams split their two matches this year. L&C is the #4 seed in Region 24.
“We are excited about being the four seed for regionals,” said Hunstein. “And, for the chance to play Lincoln again. I’m hoping we have a huge crowd for that match to give us a chance to go to nationals.”