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CHS girls volleyball: Even with first loss, Lady Jackets running away with season

  • CHS head volleyball coach Colleen Runge with her husband Aaron and daughter Piper after the Lady Jackets beat the Valmeyer Pirates.

    CHS head volleyball coach Colleen Runge with her husband Aaron and daughter Piper after the Lady Jackets beat the Valmeyer Pirates.
    Jim Beers photo

  • Josie Kattenbraker (16), a senior middle blocker, had 11 kills and 15 digs in four games.

    Josie Kattenbraker (16), a senior middle blocker, had 11 kills and 15 digs in four games.
    Jim Beers photo

By Jim Beers
Contributing writer
updated: 4/14/2021 2:26 PM

The Lady Jackets from Chester High School played four matches the week of April 5-8, winning three of them and losing their first game of 2021 to improve to a record of 12-1 overall. They remained undefeated in the Black Diamond Conference at 8-0.

"We had a lot of volleyball this week and some great competition," said Head Coach Colleen Runge. "Overall it was a somewhat challenging week, but I know these girls are better for it."

CHS over Valmeyer

Chester hosted Valmeyer in a nonconference match Monday April 5. The Jackets had to work hard for the victory, but won the match in three sets. Chester won the opening set, 26-24. The Lady Jackets roared to a solid, 11-4 lead behind the serving of Kendall Williams, Reese Chandler, Mabry Wingerter, Paige Vasquez and Josie Kattenbraker.

Valmeyer did not go away, however, as Lady Pirates Markee Voelker, Brook Maus, Kierstin Miller, Mia McSchooler and Brooke Miller served the Eagles within one point, 18-17 late in the set, and tied the game, 24-24 behind the efforts of Kierstin Miller and Mia McSchooler.

With the score tied, 24-24, Chester's Kendall Williams, a senior setter, came into to serve and gave the Jackets a lead, 25-25, and then proceeded to the win the set, 26-24.

The second set was equally challenging with seven ties and four lead changes. Late in the set, Chester edged out to a seven-point 22-15 lead and appeared to have the set in hand.

Valmeyer's Jayna Krekel then came to serve and suddenly the Lady Pirates were within one point, 24-23.

Pirate Kierstin Miller tied the game at 24-24, and served the final two points to win the set, 24-26, to force a third, tiebreaking set.

In the tiebreaker, Chester's Kendall Williams got the Lady Jackets off to a 4-1 start and Mabry Wingerter, Paige Vasquez and Josie Kattenbraker took CHS on a 9-6 run to lead, 13-7. Leading, 15-12, Reese Chandler served CHS a nice 4-0 run to give the Jackets a 19-13 advantage.

Down the stretch, Mabry Wingerter served a 6-2 run to close the game and give Chester a 25-15 win.

"The girls were very aggressive at the net tonight against a good Valmeyer team," said Assistant Coach Alyssa Keith.

CHS over Okawville

The Lady Jackets hosted the Okawville Lady Rockets April 6 in a match that had nine ties and eight lead changes. The Jackets prevailed for 25-29 and 25-21 wins.

CHS got out to a 7-2 lead before Okawville bounced back to tie the set at 7-7. The score would seesaw throughout the first set until the Lady Jackets finally secured the lead 19-18 for a final time. Then Mabry Wingerter took charge and served a 6-1 run as Chester won, 25-19.

Kendall Williams began serving the second set with a 3-0 Chester run. Reese Chandler and Mabry Wingerter guided the Jackets on a 7-4 run to extend Chester's lead to 10-4.

Okawville's Shaye Sawicki, Sydney Tebbe, and Sevanah Hackstadt then battled the Rockets back to a 12-12 tie. The remainder of the match would feature five more ties and six more lead changes.

Tied, 18-18, Mabry Wingerter closed out the set and match with a 7-3 run to win the game, 25-21.

"Our defense was key in this game," Runge said. Okawville has a good hitter who hit different angles, she added, but middle blockers Josie Kattenbraker and Lauren Soellner worked hard at shutting her down.

Gibault beats Jackets

Chester traveled to Waterloo to challenge a very good Gibault Lady Hawks team on April 7. CHS won the first set, 25-20 and looked as if they might be able to escape Waterloo with a great win.

But in the second set a stingy Lady Hawks defense stifled the Yellow Jackets 9-25.

The tiebreaker set was more of the same. The Lady Hawks dominated the Jackets 8-25, to win both the set and the match.

"The crowd energy was high and it was such a fun game," Runge said. "Unfortunately that brought us our first loss on the season, but the girls worked hard and should be proud of themselves. It isn't every day that we see teams like that!"

CHS over Vienna

The Lady Jackets closed out the week April 8 at Vienna. The Jackets went to work and beat the Eagles in two sets, 25-11 and 25-12.

In the win both Paige Vasquez and Josie Kattenbraker each recorded 5 kills apiece. Reese Chandler and Kendall Williams played great defense recording 9 digs each. Peyton Clendenin and Reese Chandler had three aces apiece and Lauren Soellner recorded a pair of blocks. Lady Jacket setter, Kendall Williams, had 15 assists for the night.