BY CHAD DARE email@example.com
---- — BISMARCK — An intra-squad scrimmage before Monday’s IHSA Class 2A regional helped get the Oakwood Comets off to a fast start.
But that extra half-hour practice almost become a negative, but the Comets held off the Hoopeston Area Cornjerkers 25-16, 25-19 to advance to tonight’s semifinal match against the top-seeded Salt Fork Storm.
“We were warmed up and ready to go,’’ said Oakwood coach Lynn Anderson, whose team knew about the 5:30 p.m. start. “Hoopeston got here at 5:30, and we had the coin toss. You could see in that second game, they were starting to warmup.’’
The Cornjerkers were operating under the original schedule on the IHSA Web site that their match started at 6 p.m. Match officials still gave both teams the customary warmup time, but Oakwood used its extra time to play a intra-squad scrimmage.
“We had almost played for a full half-hour before Hoopeston got here,’’ Anderson said. “I told them during the second set, that they better not lose this. I don’t know if we can go a third set.’’
Oakwood (8-18) didn’t have to worry about a third set as the Comets four of the final six points in the second set to get the victory.
“We haven’t been able to finish all season long,’’ Hoopeston Area coach Toni Duval said. “We have competed with a lot of teams, but finishing was our struggle all season long and it showed tonight.’’
The Cornjerkers (3-18) also had a problem with their service game. Hoopeston Area had seven service errors in the two-set match.
“Those errors always take a toll,’’ Duval said. “You have to find a way to get those points back, and we could do that tonight.
“Volleyball is a game of momentum, we have told them that all season long. If you can’t get the momentum, it’s hard to get a win. We couldn’t gain any momentum, and once we did, we would miss a serve. It was like we would gain it and then lose it.’’
Anderson admits that her team will have to play a lot better tonight against the Storm.
“If we play like that against Salt Fork, we won’t have to worry about coming back on Thursday for the regional championship,’’ Anderson said. “Our serving went down in the second game.
“I was pleased with the first set, but you just don’t miss serves in my opinion.’’
Oakwood’s Peyton Jones had a match-high nine kills, while Sadie Edwards had a team-high 12 assists for the Comets.
“There were some reactions that were good,’’ Anderson said. “Peyton did a few reaction touches that blew my mind, which is good. (Tonight) those reaction touches won’t be there. We have to be much quicker and we have to have better touches.’’
Tonight’s semifinal match with Salt Fork is set for 5:30 p.m. start at Bismarck-Henning. The second semifinal between Westville, a winner of Georgetown-Ridge Farm, and second-seeded Bismarck-Henning will follow at approximately 6:30 p.m.
IHSA Class 1A Regional
Chrisman 2, Hutsonville 0
HUME — Ashley Malone had a team-high four service aces and 10 assists to help lead the Cardinals past the Tigers 26-24, 25-19 in an IHSA Class 1A regional contest at Shiloh.
Chrisman (14-10) also got a team-high six kills from Shelby Warner, while Sarah Ellis had three kills and six digs.
Up next for Chrisman is a regional semifinal match against Martinsville at 7 p.m. tonight at Shiloh High Schol.