It took the junior varsity and varsity three sets each, but Centralia volleyball beat the visiting Wright City Wildcats Tuesday night at Centralia High School’s Jim Enlow Court.
The JV squad lost the first set 16-25, then returned to win the final two 25-13 and 25-22.
The varsity won the first set 25-22, lost the second, 23-25 then cleaned up the third, 25-14.
The varsity squad is now 2-1. They are 1-0 in the EMO Conference, in which they compete, as the CCC has only one other volleyball team, Brookfield.
Wright City Head Coach Jacob Toenjes said Centralia give the Wildcats exactly the game he expected.
“We’re constantly subbing in and out, switching players, using our whole bench. Centralia subs, but the go with their core six and a couple after that.”
He said they tried to move the ball back and forth behind the net more than Centralia, before getting it to the setter “to get a good hit.”.
Centralia though, had a counter for that.
“They tipped the ball a lot,” Toenjes said. “So we brought play up to the net to try and prevent that.”
He complimented the Lady Panthers.
“Their back row passed really well. Their libero, Kyra Ward was very active too. We had to run around a lot and that allowed them to take the offensive.”
The Wildcats are now 1-3.
“We were expecting to play a talented athletic team and that’s what we got,” Sofija Ivanovic, Centralia head volleyball coach said after the game. “I think they played pretty well. We knew a couple players from last year’s team were coming back. We practiced a few things with them in mind, but the second set, they didn’t work out. “We played point for point, we looked flat-footed.”
But things did work out in the third set.
After being behind, they caught up with the Wildcats at 10 points and behind the serving of Lily Biggs, Madison Smith, Beth Heimann and others, pulled away for the win.
Ivanovic called Biggs’ performance “really great.” She also complimented Ashton Turpin and Ashlyn Crum’s performance.
“By the third set we set things up, we got them,” she said. “It was a good when, but at the same time I think we could do much better.”