The Nashville Hornettes’ run in the Rangerette Classic fell just short of the Championship as they fell to Pinckneyville. Back Row: Head Coach Josh Konkel, JV Coach Nick Ramsay, Volunteer Coach Dale Flick, and Freshmen Coach Lori Schnitker. Second Row: Delaney Varel, Jenna Harris, Taylor Rapp, Bailey Melton, and Addi Gale. Third Row: Abby Wesselmann, Abby Grabowski, Bailey Schuette, Sydney Schnitker, and Elise Spencer. Front Row: Mackenzie McFeron, Abby Kempfer, Sydney Brinkmann, and Paige Kasten.
By Brent Huelsmann
The Nashville Hornettes impressive run through the Rangerette Classic came to a halt with a two game loss to Pinckneyville in the Championship game. The Hornettes defeated Woodlawn, Sesser Valier, and Fairfield in pool play before defeating Carlyle for the second time in less than a week in their first game of the gold division. The Hornettes also defeated Carlyle on September 7.
On September 7, the Hornettes traveled to Carlyle and defeated the Lady Indians in two games. The Hornettes won the first game 25-14 before taking a closely contested game two 25-23. The JV also defeated Carlyle in two games, both by the score of 25-11. There was no freshmen contest.
In the first game against Carlyle on September 7, the Hornettes grabbed the lead early and would not give it up. After the Lady Indians took a 1-0 lead, the Hornettes quickly bounced back to take a 3-1 advantage and would lead the rest of the way. Nashville built most of their lead in game one behind the serve of senior Paige Kasten. Kasten stepped behind the service line with 16-11 lead, and quickly extended the lead to eleven points over Carlyle. Nashville would score 10 of the final 13 points in game one to take the 25-14 win.
Game two was a much closer contest as neither team gained an advantage early on. A back and forth match, neither team led by more than four throughout the match. The Hornettes would lead by as many as three early on, but Carlyle would come back to take the lead. Carlyle would hold their biggest lead of the game at 20-16 late in game two, but Nashville would keep chipping away before tying the game at 22. The Hornettes would then put away the Lady Indians and take the game 25-23 and the match.
After the game, coach Josh Konkel talked about getting the win. “Always good for a win. Clinton County always has tough teams up here. Carlyle is no different. They always play hard, they play smart, they make you earn your points and they definitely did tonight.”
Jenna Harris and Mackenzie McFeron each finished with five kills apiece to lead the Hornettes. Abby Kempfer and Bailey Melton each added four kills apiece in the win. Taylor Rapp finished with three kills and Kasten had two kills on the night. Kasten led the team with 22 assists, while Abby Wesselmann finished with 12 digs to lead the way. Sydney Brinkman finished with 11 digs in the win.
The Hornettes then moved on to play in the Rangerette Classic. Nashville was placed in Pool B with Fairfield, Woodlawn, and Sesser-Valier. The winner of the pool would play in the gold division.
Nashville got pool play off to a good start with a 25-15, 25-21 win over Woodlawn. The Hornettes continued their winning ways in their second match with another two set victory over Sesser-Valier. Nashville won game one 25-18 before taking game two 25-17. In their final match of pool play the Hornettes took game one 25-19, and a hard fought game two 26-24, which made them the winners of Pool B.
The winner of Pool A, Pinckneyville, and winner of Pool C, Carlyle, were the first to face off in the Gold Division. Pinckneyville took the win.
For the second time in three days, the Hornettes came out on top against the Lady Indians with a 25-14, 25-23 victory. Nashville would then go up against conference rival Pinckneyville to see who would walk away with the championship.
In the final match, the Hornettes fought hard but could not get past the Lady Panthers as Pinckneyville won both games by a score of 25-22.
Overall for the tournament the Hornettes were led by McFeron who finished the tournament with 36 kills. Harris finished the tournament with 24 kills. Abby Kempfer finished with 14 kills, and Kasten finished with ten kills. Rapp and Melton both finished with eight kills apiece. Kasten led the team with 100 assists in the tournament
Melton led the team with 11 blocks in the tournament, while Wesselman finished with 56 digs. Brinkman finished with 28 digs, followed by McFeron with 29 digs. Abby Grabowski, Kempfer, and Kasten each finished with 14 digs in the tournament.
Both Kasten and McFeron were named to the All-Tournament team.