Girls Volleyball: Wilmington stopped by Allhands, Watseka
FAIRBURY — Jessica Allhands nearly was a one-girl wrecking crew Thursday night as her 17 kills led Watseka past Wilmington 25-14, 25-21 for the Class 2A Prairie Central Sectional championship.
“I know my role and I am here to pick up the team whenever we need it,” Allhands said. “I know that every ball that comes to me, I need to put it down.”
Watseka (32-3) also received contributions from Kat Grimes (28 assists), Hayley Gray (5 kills, 3 aces) and Raychell Poplawski (13 digs). As a team Watseka totaled 35 kills.
“We are a strong offensive unit with a lot of offensive weapons,” Watseka coach Krista Pufahl said. “We just don’t have one girl, but Jessica stepped up tonight and she made sure that every ball she touched she killed.”
Wilmington (28-10) was led by Alexis Zouganelis (8 kills, 4 digs), Renee Enz (7 assists, kill, 2 aces) and Jaqueline Mann (16 digs).
Watseka got off to a hot start in Game 1. Allhands’ fifth kill put the Warriors up 16-4. Wilmington never seemed to be in sync early on the offensive side as it committed several unforced errors.
“Watseka is too good of a team to give them a game like that early, and they made minimal errors,” Wilmington coach Bethani Hincherick said.
The Wildcats made a brief surge late in the game as an Enz kill made it 24-11. However, that was too little, too late.
In Game 2, Wilmington grabbed the momentum as Zouganelis’ second kill of the match gave the Wildcats a 15-11 lead.
However, Watseka responded by winning the next four service points to tie the game, then took the lead for good at 21-19 on a kill by Allhands.
“We came out tight early and we just needed to loosen up in the second game,” Zouganelis said. “It just didn’t click tonight.”