High School Sports

Indians punch their ticket to state with defeat of Taylorville

The Mascoutah Indians volleyball team’s magical season continues with a 25-21, 25-17 defeat of the Taylorville Tornadoes in the 3A Effingham Super-Sectional Saturday.

Mascoutah’s journey in the post season has not been an easy one, but upsetting Columbia in the sectional championship was a clear indication that the Indians had it in them to advance to the state tournament for the second year in a row.

Size, experience, and pure skill ultimately lead them past a very young Taylorville squad.

“Our blocking was on. We knew after Thursday's match this was going to be tough. I was impressed with the adjustments we made after being stressed in the first set,” said Indians head coach Todd Gober.

Taylorville opened up the scoring, but never matched up well with the more seasoned Indians.

“I thought it was clear that Mascoutah had more experience,” said Tornadoes head coach Kim Peabody. “We faced a very strong blocking unit. We made too many errors and they just capitalized on them. We are a scrappy team but that only gets you so far this deep in the playoffs.”

In the first set, the sophomore-laden Tornadoes were able to counter shots that should have been uncontested. They trailed by a few points for much of the set.

It was the second set where Mascoutah started to separate itself. The Indians held a 10-point lead for almost the entire match.

“We gave it our all tonight that was the biggest thing. We just stayed focus and don't let anything get to us,” said Mascoutah senior and Murray State recruit Katriah Johnson.

“The fact that Mascoutah volleyball is going back to state is music to my ears. We have been training since August for this moment and once it finally came it was great. We didn't focus on the scoreboard, we just made adjustments when we needed to and played until the final whistle blew”, said Senior and Kentucky Wesleyen recruit Nilah Roy

Both Nilah Roy and Taylor Recuero were strong at the net defensively, while Katriah Johnson and Tieghan Morio led a stout offensive attack.

Mascoutah (30-8) and will take on Marian Central Catholic (39-1) Friday in the IHSA 3A state semifinal match at Redbird Arena in Normal.