TEUTOPOLIS – Teutopolis head coach Jessica Schackmann complemented Effingham for having “such a strong program” and it showed Monday night, as Effingham was the team to step up when it mattered.
At the end of a back-and-forth first set, during which Teutopolis trailed 9-5 and 18-12 only to come back and take the lead late, 21-20, Effingham stood strong at the end to win 25-22. Then, they dominated a 25-13 second set clincher.
“Effingham just has such a strong program and we're just trying to figure out how we're going to work together early this season,” Schackmann said of the first set. “They just finished (the set) before we could get there.”
For a while, it looked like Teutopolis might steal the first set, but it couldn't keep its scoring streaks going when it needed to.
Teutopolis climbed back into the set twice. Trailing 9-5, they battled to tie the set 10-10, but fell back 18-12 soon after; however, they scored seven consecutive points to take a 19-18 lead late in the set.
Effingham head coach Laurie Bohnoff said her team was frustrated in the first set by Teutopolis' “scrappy” play, coming up with digs to keep the ball alive during play.
“They did a great job keeping the ball alive and letting us make errors in that first game,” Bohnoff said. “We started tipping (balls) a little bit, and I don't think we needed to do that. We needed to continue hitting.”
Bohnoff said Teutopolis' aggressive serves caused problems for her team because it couldn't make good initial passes to set up its hitters, which Effingham improved on in the second set.
“We were giving them a little bit of hope,” Bohnoff said.
The competitive first set gave Teutopolis more than just hope, Schackmann said, it showed them that they could compete with tougher teams and bigger schools.
“It proved to the girls that we can do it,” Schackmann said. “They should be proud of themselves.”
But in the second set, Schackmann said Effingham just took control. Bohnoff said her team polished all of its shortcomings from set to set, led by junior Felicia Totten with 14 assists and senior Stephanie Robb with 8 kills.
Effingham took an 8-4 lead early in the second set, similar to the first set, but didn't stop there and led 16-4 before Teutopolis could do anything about it.
“I think we just intimidated them a little bit in the second game and we didn't do that in the first game because of our passing struggle,” Bohnoff said. “In the second set, we started passing better, which made our hitters look really good.”
The tides turned, as Teutopolis became the team making the errors in the second set and Effingham didn't allow Teutopolis any closer than nine points, 20-11.
“We get into errors where we just have errors,” Schackmann said. “Once the ywent on that run, when we gave them seven-plus errors, we couldn't recover and that was the game.”
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Effingham	25 25Teutopolis	22 13
Effingham: Donaldson (5 kills); Bloemker (2 kills); Beals (3 kills, 1 assist, 5 digs); Mitchell (1 assist, 3 digs); Ramey (7 kills, 2 assists, 4 digs); Zerrusen (2 kills, 2 assists, 1 ace, 3 digs); Totten (1 kill, 14 assists, 6 digs, 2 blocks); Robb (8 kills, 4 digs, 2 blocks); Fred (7 digs)Teutopolis: Ludwig (9 digs, 1 kill); Ruholl (6 digs, 6 assists, 1 kill); Wente (5 digs, 1 ace, 1 kill); Schmidt (3 blocks, 2 aces, 2 kills); Kroeger (2 blocks); Niemerg (3 kills); Westjohn (1 kill); Repking (1 kill)