Here are the weekly Belleville News-Democrat Volleyball Game Balls given to area players for some recent top performances:
- Red Bud junior Morgan Cowell has more kills (283) than any metro-east player except Edwardsville junior Rachel Pranger (288) and helped lead the Musketeers to the second straight championship at their own tournament last weekend. Along with averaging 5.05 kills per game, Cowell also has a team-leading 21 service aces and is second with 324 digs. Also making the all-tournament team for Red Bud were Sophie Richards (12 kills, six blocks, two aces) and Mackenzie Harbaugh, who had 59 assists including 24 against Roxana, plus four service aces.
- New Athens has won its last nine matches and junior Taylor Junge and freshman setter and middle hitter Danika White are key reasons why. White made the all-tournament team at the Sparta Tournament as New Athens won the championship and leads the Yellow Jackets in blocks (72) and is second with 199 assists. Junge made the all-tournament team at the Herrin Tournament and is second on the team in digs (285) and serve receive.
- Althoff’s Addie Burris had the Crusaders’ second double-double of the season on Tuesday in a three-set loss to Mater Dei with 12 kills and 13 digs. Both totals are season and career highs for Burris, who ranks second on the team in kills (96).
- O’Fallon senior Alison Fournie remains one of the area’s top setters and continues to drive the Panthers’ success. She is among the St. Louis area leaders with 555 assists and also has 115 digs this season along with 17 service aces.
- Roxana setter Niah Bevolo broke the Shells’ single-season assist record with 602 so far this season.
- Highland seniors Alex LaPorta and Madison Wellen helped spur the Bulldogs’ 5-0 run to win their own seventh annual Highland Bulldogs Invitational last weeekend. LaPorta had 45 kills, 29 digs, 22 service points, three aces ad eight blocks at the tourney, while Wellen had 21 kills, 42 digs, 38 service points, 10 aces and three blocks. Highland senior Megan Frey had a team-high 51 setting assists and 38 service points.
- Central junior outside hitter Kim Hall helped the Cougars to a second-place finish at the Highland Invitational, leading the team with 32 kills and 13 service aces. Central’s Abbie Horstmann also made the all-tournament team.
- Waterloo’s Hannah Cope had nine points and five service aces in a win over Gibault and 23 assists against Civic Memorial. Teammate Sam Kruse had 10 kills against Civic Memorial and totaled 13 points and four aces in the Civic Memorial and Gibault matches.
- Wesclin’s Olivia Krebs helped the Warriors to a 3-1 record and second-place finish at the Red Bud Tournament, earning all-tourney honors. She had 23 kills and four aces at the tournament. Teammate Ellie Wessel also made the all-tournament team as she racked up 59 assists at the event while Julia Friederich had 21 kills and Kaitlyn Hagarty had 53 digs.
- Gibault freshman setter Mary Wessel had 16 assists and three aces in the first two games of a three-set match against Marquette. Senior outside hitter Kelly Dooley had nine kills and 17 digs in the same match for the Hawks.
- Alton senior middle hitter and six-rotation player Savannah Fisher made the all-tournament team at the Highland Invitational, leading her team with 28 kills in five matches and also recording the second highest digs total.
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 (25-1), Mater Dei (13-11-2), Freeburg (17-6), Waterloo (16-6), Central (13-15)
Small school rankings (Class 1A-2A)
Also receiving votes: Carlyle (12-11), Roxana (18-9), Nashville (10-17), Metro-East Lutheran (8-18)