IMS defeated the Panthers of Pekin in straight sets Tuesday night 25-21, 25-20, 25-20.
IMS honored five seniors for their commitment, support and participation in the IMS volleyball program including Avery Blauvelt, Alyssa Hershberger, Raine Hathaway, Joya Schrock, and Monet Slabach. “This is a very special group of seniors for me. They are the first ones I have worked with since they were freshmen (Monet joined the program as a sophomore) when I started coaching at IMS four years ago,” Coach Miller said. “I am very proud of their hard work, dedication, attitude, and leadership they have provided over these fours years. Each one of them has contributed to the team with their own special talents,” Coach Miller stated.
The IMS volleyball team also thanked their statistician, Gretta Rempel, for her assistance. “Statistics in volleyball are a key component to any successful team and we are thankful Gretta has given of her time to us,” coach Miller commented. The players then went on to thank “the guys”, Cole Ours, Mitchell Schmeider, Trevor Leyden, Reggie Borntrager, Cody Jones, and Blake Bontrager. “These guys are the other half of our team. They come to practice three times a week, and help us out,” the team captains Alyssa Hershberger and Avery Blauvelt told the crowd.
The gym was rocking and the team came out smoking! This was the atmosphere at Hillcrest Union on Senior Night. The team was ready and their seventh player the student section was at their best. Alyssa Hershberger started out the first set with a kill off a quick set by Sami Miller. This was immediately followed by a dig from Miller which contributed to point #2, and Hershberger got the third point with another kill out of the middle. The passers passed, the hitters hit, and the blockers blocked. ‘The team blocked the best they have all season, which threw off Pekin’s offense,” noted Coach Miller. IMS never gave up the lead and ended the set on a kill from the middle by junior Rubye Ney, which was anchored by a great serve receive pass from senior Joya Schrock and an assist from Miller.
Set two started out and went pretty much the same way as set one. IMS built up an early lead forcing Pekin to call a time out at 6-1. IMS lead by as much as 21-9 before Pekin began to get itself back into the set until the score was 23-20. Coach Miller called a time out. This led to two successive Pekin errors, ending the set at 25-20.
Set three was different in that Pekin kept the match close until IMS started breaking away at 7-5. Consistent serving by Joya Schrock and defensive play by Raine Hathaway allowed IMS to keep the pressure on Pekin. An Avery Blauvelt kill and strong blocking from Monet Slabach put IMS ahead 14-7. Despite a late run by Pekin, bringing the score to 23-17, they were unable to overcome the inspired play by IMS on senior night. A solo block by Hershberger and a Pekin serving error ended the set at 25-20 in IMS’s favor.
IMS finishes the regular season with a conference record of seven wins and one loss. Overall, the match record is 14-13.
Statistical leaders for the evening were: Ney with eight kills, Miller with 17 assists, junior Suzanna Yoder with 18 digs, and Hershberger with three solo blocks.
Next up for IMS is the first round of Regionals versus Waco next Tuesday, October 17th at 7 pm here at Hillcrest Union.