Elverado takes first at Goreville Tourney
By Doug Daniels
1351sports.com / elveradosports.com
September 21, 2019
(Goreville, Ill.) - Elverado dropped the first match at the Goreville Floater Volleyball Tournament on September 21, but bounced back to win the next three and claim the championship, knocking off the host Lady Blackcats 25-15, 25-13 in the finale.
“It took us three matches to play our game, but we took the 3-0 team down quite handily to win the tournament,” said Lady Falcons head coach Donette Wheatley. “All the kids did a great job sticking together and doing what we had to do to win our last three matches. It was a great day to be a Falcon.”
In that match, Kaity Lewis led EHS in kills (7), and Emma Yates led digs (5) and assists (8). Morgan Bernardini added 4 digs and 7 assists, as well as a team-high 3 service aces.
In the opening match against Vienna, Elverado stumbled in three sets, falling 25-22, 19-25, 16-14. Emma Funk had a strong game with 8 kills and 7 digs, leading both categories. Bernardini also had 7 digs, and led assists with 9. Lewis tallied 6 kills and a team-high 3 blocks.
“We did not play well first thing this morning,” Wheatley said. “We had way too many mistakes. We were up 14-10 in the third set and had 6 straight unforced errors to give the match away.”
In another three-setter, EHS came out on top against Zeigler-Royalton in match number two of the day, winning it 25-19, 18-25, 15-10. Lewis killed 9, and Bernardini racked up 14 of the Lady Falcons’ 41 digs. Funk chipped in with 6 kills and 9 digs. Bernardini also led assists with 7, and Hayli Havens had 3 aces.
“The girls got their heads up, came out strong the first set, then the mistakes started snowballing in the second set,” said Wheatley. “We pulled it together though to take the match. Berny did a great job on defense for us and Kat had a good match at the net.”
Playing three sets for the third time in as many matches, Elverado went the distance against Crab Orchard, dominating the third set to secure a 25-18, 23-25, 15-7 victory to set themselves up for a chance at the championship.
“Again, the second set tended to be our Achilles heel,” said Wheatley. “We started to get into tipping wars with the other teams and got away from hitting. All our kids can hit and we need to pound the ball more than we push the ball.”
Lewis again led the Falcons in kills with 11, followed by Havens with 8. Bernardini matched her 14-kill effort against Z-R with another against Crab Orchard. Yates led assists with 13, and Funk had a pair of blocks.
Funk and Havens were named to the all-tournament team for Elverado at Goreville.
“I’m proud of Emma Funk and Hayli Havens for making the all-tournament team. They both played consistent the whole tournament.”
EHS varsity volleyball improved to 11-7 overall on the season with a 3-1 showing at the tournament.