Volleyball

Allendale wins WEAA volleyball title

ALLENDALE - The Allendale volleyball team captured the championship of the WEAA conference with a straight-set win over St. Mary’s Monday night.

The Yellow Jackets won the opening game, 25-23, then completed the sweep with a 25-21 victory. The win wrapped up an undefeated conference season for the hosts.

Rosignol commits to SIU

There was a time last summer when Alex Rosignol thought her dreams of playing college volleyball had gone up in smoke.

“After I tore my ACL, the first thing I thought of was ‘There goes the volleyball scholarship. I won’t be going to college to play volleyball,”’ said Rosignol of the June injury during a summer basketball game that cost her her senior volleyball season at the Hilltop, as well as the first half of the girl’s basketball season, where she is the tallest of the Lady Aces.

Now recovered six months later and cleared Dec. 31 by doctors to play again, Rosignol will soon realize that dream.

Friday, she verbally committed to play next year at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

She is expected to sign the national letter of intent during the April signing period.

Edwards County in finals

The Edwards County Lady Lions volleyball team will play Saturday for the state championship.

The Lions defeated Fieldcrest 25-22, 25-17, to advance to the IHSA Class 2A title game. Edwards County (41-0) will play Elmhurst Immaculate Conception Saturday at 1:55 p.m. at Redbird Arena in Normal. IC downed Deer Creek-Mackinaw, 25-22, 25-17 in the other semifinal.

A welcome home celebration is planned for Edwards County Saturday night regardless of how the Lady Lions fare in the championship game. It will begin at 9 p.m. at Linda Oxby Gym at ECHS in Albion. The public is invited.

Back to state for Edwards County

MCLEANSBORO, Ill. — For the second straight year, the Edwards County Lions will play at the IHSA Class 2A state tournament.

Edwards County was stretched to the limit by Effingham St. Anthony in the Super Sectional here on Saturday before pulling away to defeat the Bulldogs, 25-14, in the third and deciding game of the match.

'Dream Team" wins sectional title

CARTERVILLE, Ill. — Edwards County volleyball coach Linda Oxby is stepping down after 19 years and more than 500 wins at the helm of the Lady Lions program she built into a state powerhouse.

Yet of all the great teams she has produced, this last one may be her best.

“This is my Dream Team,” said Oxby of her squad which improved to 39-0 with a straight-set win over Waterloo Gibault in the championship match of the IHSA Class 2A sectional tournament Thursday night.

“It’s taken a lot of years. They are hard workers, and there is no drama.”

Edwards County’s 25-23, 25-10 victory sends the Lions into Saturday’s Super Sectional matchup in Mc Leansboro against Effingham St. Anthony, which defeated Carlinville 25-17, 25-23, to win the crown at Newton.

The winner of the super sectional advances to the state tournament next week in Normal.

Senior Whitney Beck said the team is focused on sending Oxby, who has waged a highly-publicized battle against cancer, out a winner.

“This year is definitely a tribute to coach Oxby,” Beck said. “It’s her last year and we want to make it special for her. We want to go out and win the title.”

Edwards County appeared in control in the final, leading 19-8 in the first game. Riley Messman and Katlin Schmittler did most of the hitting at the net until midway into the game when senior leader Whitney Beck caught fire.

Gibault, which had defeated Pinckneyville in the semifinals, fought back into contention with a 12-4 run of its own.

“We came out strong, but let them back in it,” Oxby said. “Their serves got to us a little bit and they got the momentum.”

Even after a timeout, the Hawks continued the surge, fighting off game-point three times before an unforced error ended the game.

“We got a little confident,” said Beck, who next week will sign scholarship papers to play next year at Butler. “We thought we had it and they snuck up on us. Kinda got rattled when they scored those points on us but we came back.”

In the second game, Edwards County again bolted to the front. Except this time, Gibault did not have an answer.

“We have four pretty good hitters. If one is off, somebody else will step it up,” Oxby said. “It’s awesome when they are all four on. You never know where it’s going to come from.”

Said Beck: “This is not just a one-person team. Everybody contributes really well.”

Edwards County has defeated St. Anthony twice already this season. Therein lies the challenge, according to Oxby, a former coach at Wabash Valley College.

“We’ve played them twice. It’s hard to beat a good team three times,” she said. “They’ve also changed their offense a little bit, so we’ll have to work hard on that.”

NOTES: Game time is 6 p.m. on Saturday at Hamilton County High School... Lions are seeking a return to state, and fifth in school history, all under Oxby... Lions finished fourth last year and third in 2007.

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