Here are the weekly Belleville News-Democrat Volleyball Game Balls given to area players for some recent top performances:
- Columbia senior outside hitter Colene Hamilton was named Most Valuable Player at the Belleville East Metro Classic on Saturday after leading the Eagles (25-0) to the tournament championship. In five tourney games, the Central Arkansas sand volleyball recruit had 48 kills, 48 digs and four blocks.
- Belleville West sophomore Katherine Koch earned all-tournament honors last weekend at the Belleville East Metro Classic, collecting 36 kills and 70 assists at the tourney. In a three-set win over Mascoutah on Monday, Koch had 12 kills, two aces and 20 assists. Kaylee Hanger leads the Maroons in kills (221) while Koch has 133 and Nikki Gaskill has 131. Gaskill leads West with 61 blocks.
- O’Fallon junior outside hitter Elise Smith helped lead her team to a first-place finish in the Silver Division at the Metro Classic with a strong performance. Smith leads O’Fallon in kills with 163 and also has 20 service aces.
- Edwardsville junior Rachel Pranger had 13 kills Tuesday as the Tigers remained unbeaten in the Southwestern Conference with a three-set victory over O’Fallon. The talented two-sport star leads Edwardsville in kills (214, 5.22 per game) and has reached double-figures in kills 13 times in 19 matches. Kate Martin added eight kills and three blocks against O’Fallon and setter Rachel Verdun had 26 assists.
- It was a productive weekend for Columbia, which won the Metro Classic. Senior middle hitter Alyssa Yochum had 30 kills and 10 blocks in five games, senior middle hitter Jordan Hausmann had 37 kills and 12 blocks.
- Miami (Ohio) recruit Louise Comerford, a junior setter, had Althoff’s first double-double this season with 11 digs and 37 assists Tuesday in a three-set win over Belleville East. Senior Emily Myatt had 11 kills against Belleville East and leads the Crusaders with 129. Senior Katie Allard had a season-high 19 digs against East and freshman Karinna Gall had a season-high 10 kills.
- Mater Dei setters/right-side hitters Mikaela Kuess and Jenna Ratermann each had strong showings for the Knights at the Metro Classic. Kues had 31 kills and Ratermann had 26 kills.
- Belleville East pushed Althoff to three sets Tuesday and several Lancers had big nights. The list included Holly Badgley (six kills, 11 digs, three blocks), Janae Mosby (five kills, six digs, 20 assists) and Claire Randle (12 digs, seven service points).
- Freeburg outside hitter Hannah Bouas led the Midgets in kills during three games last week, all Cahokia Conference victories. Bouas had a season-high 16 kills against Wesclin and eight kills in the next two matches.
- Wesclin libero Kaitlyn Hagarty helped the Warriors push Freeburg to three games with 22 digs, six service points, two aces and 20 serve-receive passes. She also had 17 digs in a two-set Cahokia Conference victory over Red Bud. Wesclin setter Ellie Wessel had 21 assists in matches against Freeburg and Red Bud.
- Waterloo’s Sam Kruse had 13 kills, 12 service points and three aces last week for the Bulldogs. Waterloo teammate Grace Amann had 13 points, two aces and six kills on seven attempts against Jerseyville.
- Marissa Meteors senior Hannah Harris leads the St. Louis area with 121 blocks and ranks third in average blocks per game at 2.05.
BND Girls Volleyball Rankings
Rankings for metro-east teams; voting by area coaches and News-Democrat staff. First-place votes are in parentheses.
Large school rankings (Class 3A-4A)
Also receiving votes: Highland (18-1), Freeburg (17-4), Mater Dei (11-11-2), Waterloo (15-5), Belleville East (6-10-1), Central (8-14)
Small school rankings (Class 1A-2A)
Also receiving votes: Red Bud (6-13-2), Nashville (10-15), Carlyle (12-9), Roxana (13-6), Metro-East Lutheran (8-16)