The Nashville Hornettes volleyball team made school history this past weekend. The Hornettes brought the IHSA Class 2A 4th Place trophy back to Nashville. Nashville was defeated in both of their contests at Redbird Arena, but still came away with the fourth place trophy. The Hornettes were defeated by Galena and Champaign (St. Thomas More) at Redbird Arena. Nashville finished the season with a record of 32-10. It was the sixth season in NCHS history in which a volleyball team reached 30 wins.
In their first match of the State Tournament, the Hornettes struggled to find a rhythm as Galena took the win 25-14, 25-2.
It started off well for the Hornettes as Sydney Schnitker helped serve Nashville to a 6-1 lead early. It was all Galena from there on out. Galena battled back to tie the set at 10. The two teams would then trade point for point a few times before Galena took the lead for good at 14-13. In the blink of an eye a close contest turned into a blowout as Galena quickly pushed their lead to ten before the Hornettes were able to end the run. In the end, the Hornettes were in too deep of a hole as Galena prevailed in the first set 25-14.
The second set was just a continuation of the first. Galena used the momentum from the first set to rush out to a 9-0 lead before the Hornettes got their first point. Galena would continue the onslaught. The Pirates would lead 23-1 as they were in cruise control. Galena would close out the win 25-2.
After the match, Galena coach Dennis Wills was surprised his team got as big of a lead as they did. “Nashville didn’t get here by being a bad team. We have a lot of respect for them.” Wills went on to talk about preparing to face the Hornettes. “They have four solid hitters across the front. We were fortunate enough to play a couple teams down the stretch that we felt were pretty close to them, so we kind of put that same game plan into effect, and it worked out pretty well for us.
Nashville coach Josh Konkel talked about ball control being the big factor. “Biggest thing that I think happened was our ball control. They got on a good service run. When we got a good pass, we weren’t able to get the kill when we needed it. Their hitters stepped their game up, they got some nice kills. We had a hard time recovering from that long service run.”
Players from the Hornettes were proud of the many Nashville fans that made the two and a half hour drive up to Redbird Arena. Sydney Schnitker said, “We are really thankful for them. They made the low parts of the game better, as good as they possibly could be. Just seeing them over there supporting us was really cool.” Bailey Melton echoed the same sentiment, “Seeing how many people came out today and were supporting us, and how many people made signs and things like that, it really lifted us up and got us excited for the game. Even when we were down on ourselves, we still thought we could come back.”
Melton led the Hornettes with two kills. Abby Grabowski and Sydney Schnitker each finished with a kill apiece in the loss.
For more photos and information about the Hornettes’ historic run, check out this week’s Nashville News, on newsstands now.