Edwardsville Volleyball Defeats O’Fallon and Heads to Supersectionals


Mason Kane

Junior Vyla Hupp plays in the Sept. 28 varsity volleyball game against O’Fallon

Lindsey Lankford, Staff Writer

Students, parents and players alike stood in anticipation as O’Fallon faced Edwardsville in their sectionals game on Monday.

“The game on Monday was a special one.” senior Kaitlyn Conway said. “Playing O’Fallon in post-season is always a big game.”

Nerves were high with parents in the stands exchanging nervous glances as the first few points were scored. 

Deafening cheers soon erupted from the stands.

Whether the Panthers had an impressive dig, a powerful block or the Tigers simply missed a serve, the O’Fallon fan section responded the same: outrageous cheers. 

The Tigers soon returned the favor as the fan section grew louder, even barking at the other team when Edwardsville had a “stuff block,” or a block where they earned the point. 

The game was tight in the beginning, but the Tigers soon got ahead with a 10-4 lead, resulting in O’Fallon calling their first timeout. 

Feeling rejuvenated, the Panthers came back from the timeout to tie the score. [11-11]

It was now the Tiger’s turn to call for a timeout. They were unable, however, to rally for as impressive of a comeback as the Panthers. The score stayed close at 14-15.

During one of Edwardsville’s serves, the O’Fallon fan section, specifically the student section, began shouting and chanting. 

At first glance, one may think that such outbursts would distract the Tigers, possibly causing a serving error. This was not the case, however. 

The Tiger’s serve went over the net, and the Panthers were unable to return the ball. According to junior Vyla Hupp, the Tigers’ practices have prepared them for loud crowds.

“The O’Fallon fans shouting is something every player has to learn to block out and play through,” Hupp said. 

With the loud cheers of the opponents came loud cheers of Edwardsville fans. 

Senior Gabby Saye uses the big crowds to motivate her. “Monday’s crowd was a lot bigger than most games,” Saye said. “I’m very glad that we had a lot of people show out to support us.”

The Tigers went on to tie the set at 18-18 after senior Gabby Saye got a kill, sending an unreturned ball over the net. 

The Panthers and the Tigers continued to battle for points, neither team able to secure a strong lead. 

Right when Edwardsville scored two consecutive points, making the score 22-20, O’Fallon called for another timeout. 

This was when the student sections began to interact, making gestures at each other from across the gym. Each shouted and returned chants in an effort to support their own team while distracting the other. 

After less than 60 seconds, the timeout was over and the teams took to the court. 

O’Fallon once again returned from their timeout hungry for a win, scoring two points and tying the game.

The Panthers and the Tigers went back-and-forth, each earning points until they were tied 24-24 in a set played to 25.

Sophomore Sydney Davis hit the ball straight down which the Panthers were unable to return.

She then took the endline to send what would be the final serve of the first set. After a short rally, O’Fallon hit the ball over the line, resulting in the Tiger’s winning 26-24. 

And that was just the first set. The teams’ close battle continued into the second set where Edwardsville secured the win.

The Tigers continued their winning streak on Wednesday when they played Normal Community in Pekin. According to MaxPreps, the Tigers won 2-0, sending them to SuperSectionals. 

They will play next against Huntley High School. “We play [Friday] up in DeKalb against a strong team.” Conway said. “With the talent we have if we play our game and have fun I believe we can take them down in order to advance.”