Prep Sports Notebook: Two volleyball teams advance, two fall in regional openers

Spartans blast past Blue Devils

Kennedi Burnett collected 11 kills and six digs in St. Joseph-Ogden's 2-0 win over Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin on Tuesday. The senior added a match-high five aces to her season stats and Shayne Immke pounded three of her own over the net in the two-setter.

Immke (5 kills, 1 block, 6 digs) and the Spartans advance to the regional title match against Decatur St. Teresa.

After nearly even play, SJO pulled away on the scoreboard in the first set with a six-point run reaching 10-5. BHRA, unable to sustain any momentum with Immke and Burnett on the other side of the net, lost the first set, 25-14.

"Our girls are playing confidently," said head coach Abby McDonald. "We're excited to be where we are at the end of October. Our goal was to be at our best at the end October."

The second set was much of the same with the Spartans jumping out to a 7-1 one lead. Taking their foot off the gas, SJO allowed the Blue Devils to erase a seven-point deficit to get within two at 11-9.

McDonald called timeout after the Blue Devils scored six unanswered points. When play resumed, Burnett notched another kill and rotated to the back line to serve. She promptly hit a well-placed ace to help her team go up 13-9 on the scoreboard. From that point on, the Spartans were firmly back in control of the reigns on their way to a 25-16 finish.

On a scale of 1-10, McDonald said the team's effort was a 7.

"I always think we can play better," she said. "We will work on what we need to in practice tomorrow."

St. Joseph-Ogden's Becca Steinback was credited with 21 assists, a block and four digs.

Rockets continue to soar with win over Sullivan

Macie Knudsen led the Unity volleyball team's effort in their 2-0 regional semifinal victory on Tuesday over the 5-26 Red Skins.

The Rockets took the first set 25-10 and delivered a similar effort to take the second one, 25-13.

Knudsen delivered 10 kills and eight digs and Emma Bleecher added six kills and six digs of her own for the #1 seeded Rockets. Maddie Reed served up four aces and distributed 14 assists in the two-setter. Bleecher served three aces of her own against Sullivan.

Now at 33-3, the Rockets will face #5 Monticello tomorrow night. In their first meeting of the season a month ago, UHS prevailed by way of a 25-19, 25-16 victory.

Urbana volleyball seasons are over

Both Urbana and University High volleyball seasons came to an end on Tuesday.

U-High dropped their postseason opener to Salt Fork in the Class 1A bracket, 25-10, 25-3.

Meanwhile in Class 3A, Urbana suffered a 2-0 loss in their postseason opener at the Mahomet-Seymour Regional. Normal University ended the Tigers' season after a 25-7, 25-10, loss.