Effingham cruised by Paris Tuesday night in Apollo Conference action, getting stronger as the game went on in a 25-14, 25-6 win over the Tigers.
The Flaming Hearts started out hot, rolling to an 11-3 lead over Paris in the first set. The Tigers would answer with a 6-0 run of their own to briefly tighten the score, but would only score 10 more points all night.
Things just kept getting smoother and more efficient for the Hearts as they worked out the kinks in the first set.
"We served well," said Hearts coach Laurie Bohnhoff. "The first game, I actually thought our setters and hitters were a little off on their timing. We kept the pressure on, which is what you want to do."
After the lead was cut to two, the Hearts got their hitting going with a strong combination of Bethany Donaldson, Stephanie Robb and Chandler Ramey.
Bohnhoff pointed out the strong effort of Donaldson up front, as she finished with seven kills and two aces.
"Bethany had a really good night hitting," she said. "Even the balls that weren't good sets, she still would get a good hard hit on."
The second set was barely beginning when Felicia Totten stepped to the service line up 2-1, and she wouldn't leave it until the Hearts had pushed the lead to 12-1.
She wasn't the only one who got in on the long runs in the second set, as Carly Glaspy keyed a 6-0 run of her own and the set ended on a 9-0 run with Jennifer Fred at the service line.
The Hearts' serving improved, but the Tigers also struggled in the receive game.
"They served aggressively, but smart," Bohnhoff said. "Definitely took them out of their game. We didn't have to do too much in that second game for a while besides serve well."
Robb led the team in aces with three, taking advantage of the Paris defense. Donaldson and Totten each had two, while Fred and Josie Zerrusen added one apiece. Ramey had nine kills to lead the team.
Totten had 15 assists and six digs, both team highs, while Fred and Donaldson each had five kills. Robb had two blocks, with Zerrusen, Donaldson and Brittany Beals each recording one.
The win pushes Effingham to 8-8 and 3-1 in the Apollo, with the Hearts' only loss coming to Mattoon.
Effingham will look to notch another conference win Thursday when they host the Salem Wildcats.
Paris 14 6
Effingham 25 25
Effingham: Donaldson (5 digs, 7 kills, 2 aces, 1 block); Bloemker (1 kill); Beals (3 kills, 1 block); Zerrusen (1 dig, 4 assists, 1 ace, 1 block); Ramey (9 kills); Totten (6 digs, 15 assists, 2 aces); Robb (2 kills, 3 aces, 2 blocks); Fred (5 digs, 1 assist, 1 ace)