This tournament featured many of the top volleyball programs in the region including Waterloo, Salem, Mt. Vernon, Mt. Carmel, Nashville and the eventual tournament champion, O’Fallon.
Despite the competition, the Massac Lady Patriots (10-2) were able to bring home the third place trophy, finishing with a record of 4-1.
In Massac’s first match of the day, they matched up against the Carbondale Terriers, a team boasting nine seniors on their roster.
In the first set, it was the host Terriers who came out firing on all cylinders, putting Massac’s defense back on their heels as the Terriers cruised to a 25-19 first set win.
With a few minor adjustments, Massac responded to win the second set 25-14 behind tough serving from Madison Stephens and Jordan Willmes, who combined for 16/16 serving and 14 points.
Slowing down the Terrier attack were McKenzie Dorris, Karsen Smith and Lauren Bunting, who amassed 18 blocks in the match.
Massac went on to win the third set 15-13.
In the Lady Pats second match of pool play, they would knock off the Mt. Carmel team in straight sets 25-24, 25-19.
Massac’s Kristina Henley filled up the stat sheet serving a perfect 15/15 while picking up a team high 7 kills and 6 digs.
The final roadblock for the Lady Patriots advancing to the finals was the Salem Wildcats.
Middle hitter McKenzie Dorris provided a game changing performance for Massac as she picked up 12 kills in the match, four coming in the third set, to help Massac overcome the Wildcats 25-19, 22-25, 15-13.
In the finals, Massac would fall to the eventual tournament champion Panthers of O’Fallon losing 10-25, 13-25.
“Having never competed in this tournament before, I did not realize just how good these teams were,” noted Massac Coach Zach Miller. “I give a lot of credit to our girls. They did not back down, and as a team, I feel we are continuing to grow and develop with each game.”
Massac finished the day by defeating the Herrin Lady Tigers in straight sets 25-24, 25-20 to earn the third place trophy.
Massac’s Dorris was named to the All Tournament team.
Statistical leaders for the Lady Pats include: McFall, 32/34 serving; Hoard, 11 kills; Leek, 10 digs; Stunsun, 7 digs; McGinnis, 17/19 serving; Chapman, 4 digs; and Weatherbee, 19/22 serving.
The Lady Patriots begin conference play on Thursday night at Harrisburg before hosting West Frankfort on Tuesday.