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home : local sports : local sports

10/9/2012 10:08:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
In tournament at Hutsonville
Red Hill spikers snap 10-year losing streak
HUTSONVILLE - For the first time in a decade, Red Hill High School's volleyball team is on a winning streak.

The Salukis snapped a losing streak that had grown to 203 matches Saturday by beating the host Hutsonville Tigers, 20-25, 25-19, 15-8 Saturday, in the fifth-place match of the Hutsonville Invitational.

"It feels amazing," said second-year Red Hill coach Sarah Will, after watching the Salukis and their fans storm the court. "I didn't think it would be quite this exciting. It's awesome. The girls really deserve this."

It was Red Hill's first win since Oct. 7, 2002 - a stretch of nine years, 364 days - when it scored a 7-15, 15-11, 15-12 victory at Grayville.

Entering the season the Salukis (1-17) had not even won a set since Oct. 4, 2004. However, they'd come tantalizingly close to snapping the losing streak on multiple occasions this season.

Five times this season the Salukis took a match to a decisive third set, before falling yet again. In Saturday's fifth-place match, Red Hill finally got over the hump.

"I just hope we can get some more wins," Will said. "The girls definitely deserved this."

In the fifth-place match, the Salukis bounced back against a team they'd lost to twice in three games this season.

Kenedee Whittaker led the team with seven assists and contributed two digs and five aces. McKenzie Wolfe contributed eight digs, with five aces, four blocks and three kills. Kelsi Perrott had a team-high seven blocks with six aces, four digs and three kills. Ashlyn Carr added three digs and two kills while Emilee Ellingsworth had four digs and two kills and Kara Davis and Samantha Earnst both had two digs.

The Salukis nearly stopped the streak in the opening game of the day, against rival Lawrenceville.

The Salukis won the first game, 28-26, with Whittaker serving the final two points, and built a 9-2 lead early in the second game, as Whittaker ripped off five straight service points.

Kourtney Osmon reeled off five consecutive service points for the Indians, though, and LHS went on to claim the second game, 25-16.

The third game - played to 15 per tournament rules - was never close as the Indians picked up their second win of the season - both against Red Hill - 15-10.

After beating the Salukis, the Indians fell to Noble (25-10, 25-16) and Dugger, Ind. in the third-place match (25-22, 22-25, 7-15).

"Our team played extremely well against Red Hill and a good game against (Dugger, Ind.), but struggled against Noble," said LHS first-year coach Trinity Britton, whose team snapped a 13-match losing streak of its own.

Heidi Litherland paced the Tribe (2-22) with five aces in the tournament. She also contributed a team-high 39 digs.

McKenzi Kelly topped the team with 16 assists and Osmon added 14. Osmon led the team with nine blocks, while Kelly added six.

Against Lawrenceville, Carr had four kills, three digs and two aces for the Salukis, while Ellingsworth had two assists, three kills, two digs and two blocks. Davis contributed four kills, two digs and two aces, while Perrott added four kills, seven digs and two blocks. Whittaker had a team-high 13 assists with three kills and three digs. Wolfe led the team with 10 digs while adding four blocks three aces and two kills. Baelee Holloway and Davis both compiled two digs.

Also in pool play, Noble decked the Salukis, 25-16, 25-21.

Perrott had seven blocks, four kills and six aces, while Whittaker added six assists and two digs. Wolfe was credited with four digs and three kills.

Both teams will play home matches Tuesday, against Little Illini Conference teams. While the Indians will host Marshall, the Salukis will entertain Olney.


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