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CHS volleyball team says goodbye to seniors

  • CHS senior Alyssa Seymour (24) and her parents, Shawn and Yvonne Seymour, at Senior Night.

    CHS senior Alyssa Seymour (24) and her parents, Shawn and Yvonne Seymour, at Senior Night.
    Jim Beers Photo

  • Kailyn Absher is celebrated on Senior Night with Kim Absher, Misty Parish and Ryan Medlin.

    Kailyn Absher is celebrated on Senior Night with Kim Absher, Misty Parish and Ryan Medlin.
    Jim Beers Photo

  • Hannah Blechle and her parents, Dane and Haley Williams

    Hannah Blechle and her parents, Dane and Haley Williams
    Jim Beers Photo

  • Chester senior Alyssa Seymour serves against Marion on Senior Night.

    Chester senior Alyssa Seymour serves against Marion on Senior Night.
    Jim Beers Photo

  • Chester's Hannah Blechle (21) dives on the floor for a kill against the Class 5A Marion Lady Wildcats in the last home game of the regular season.

    Chester's Hannah Blechle (21) dives on the floor for a kill against the Class 5A Marion Lady Wildcats in the last home game of the regular season.
    Jim Beers Photo

 
BY JIM BEERS
Contributing Writer
updated: 11/10/2021 10:02 AM

The Chester High School Lady Jacket volleyball team closed out its regular season with an overall record of 15-12 and a record of 5-5 in the inaugural season competing in the Cahokia Conference, Illinois Division.

In the final Week 9 of regular season competition, the Lady Jackets split with a 2-set win over Cahokia Conference foe Wesclin and a 2-set loss to Marion. Both games were at home on Rocky Bridges Court in Colbert Memorial Gymnasium at Chester High School.

Chester wins over Wesclin, 26-24, 25-20

The Lady Jackets beat the Wesclin Warriors in two rather quick sets, 26-24 and 25-20 at CHS. In the win Mabry Wingerter and Ellen McCormick both served 2 aces apiece. Wingerter also recorded 14 digs and had 28 assists to help her Lady Jackets win.

Kailyn Absher stepped up in the victory and led the team with 9 kills. Paige Vasquez recorded the only solo block of the match.

Lady Jacket fans say goodbye to Absher, Blechle and Seymour

Prior to the start of the varsity match against Marion, a large crowd at Colbert Gymnasium took time to say goodbye to three Lady Jackets who would be playing their final volleyball games on Rocky Bridges Court.

Seniors Kailyn Absher, Hannah Blechle and Alyssa Seymour were recognized and honored by YellowJacket fans, fellow players, coaches and a full and very lively student body on Senior Night.

Seniors and their parents were featured center court as their names and biographies were read and fans cheered loudly. Each senior received balloons, flowers and gifts as they were introduced and greeted by their fellow players.

The following narratives were read over the PA system as the seniors stood center court in front of YellowJacket fans:

• Kailyn Absher is the daughter of Kim Absher, Misty Parrish and Ryan Medlin. Kailyn's most unforgettable memory is Hannah Blechle slipping and almost breaking her hip during warmups, and Alyssa Seymour mixing it too hard and falling.

When asked for her favorite song to hear during warm-ups, Kailyn said, "Industry Baby," by Lil Nas X.

Kailyn's favorite quote is by Michael Jordan: "Athletes, don't take the sport you play for granted. Every chance you get to play, you should be so thankful that you get the chance to play something that you love!

"Don't show up to practice complaining about not wanting to be there. Instead, every single moment, if you're not working hard, you don't deserve to play.

"Play every game and practice like it's your last because it very well could be. When you finally reach the day that you can't play, and you can only watch, then you will finally know how much you love something that you once took for granted!"

• Hannah Blechle is the daughter of Dane and Haley Williams. Hannah's most unforgettable memory is gaining an amazing group of girls as a second family.

When asked her favorite song to warm up to, Hannah said. "It's a tie between Emma's rap about one of the volleyball teams, or 'Time of our lives' by Pitbull."

Hannah's favorite quote is, "Success is not final! Failure is not final! It is the courage to continue that counts!"

• Alyssa Seymour is the daughter of Shawn and Yvonne Seymour. Alyssa's most unforgettable memory is the bus ride home from the SWIC game.

When asked what her favorite song to warm up to, Alyssa said, "I like it" by Enrique Iglesias.

Alyssa's favorite quote is, "There is a past version of you that is proud of how far you have come."

Jackets lose close match to Marion, 24-26, 15-25

In the final regular season match, Chester hosted Class 5A Marion High School. Chester is one of the smaller schools in Class 2A. In spite of the school size disparity, the Lady Jackets played hard and gave the Lady Wildcats a run for their money.

"This was a good match to lead the girls into the Class 2A Regional Tournament," said Assistant Coach Alyssa Keith. "Marion is a solid team and the girls learned a lot from them."

Chester played well in the first set, losing by just two points, 24-26. There were eight lead changes and 13 ties in this set, and the Lady Jackets led 18-17 late in the set. The score was tied 18-18, 20-20, 22-22, and 23-23 until Chester took one final lead, 24-23, on Ellen McCormick's serve.

Marion's Gabby Shrum tied the game, 24-24, after the Lady Wildcats called a timely timeout. Shrum and company then held the Jackets scoreless in the two serves and secured the first set, 26-24.

The second set started out with Mabry Wingerter serving the first point of the set. Chester led, 1-0. Gabby Shrum tied the game 1-1 and proceeded to take the lead for Marion, 3-2 before giving up her serve.

Chester tied the score twice more, 4-4 and 5-5, but soon fell behind 10-17 before calling a timeout. The rest of the set, Marion outscored Chester, 8-5 to win the game, 25-15.

In the loss, Wingerter led the team in digs (9) and assists (8). Seymour led with one ace and the only solo block of the match. Wingerter and Absher both recorded 4 kills apiece.

"These girls have worked through a lot this year like playing positions they have never played, injuries, and playing some pretty tough competition," said Head Coach Colleen Runge.

"The girls played awesome defense. Kailyn Absher was especially rock solid at the net and Paige Vasquez had some spectacular digs.

"We moved into playing Marion for our final regular season game. I could not be more proud of the performance they put on against a very talented team. Marion is double our size and we hung right there with them."

Prior to the varsity match, the freshmen team won21-16 and 21-14. The JV team took three sets, but won the match, 14-25, 25-22, and 25-17.