Join us in congratulating our Volleyball Lady Knights on earning second place at the IHSA Class 2A State Tournament!
On their journey to the state tournament, under the guidance of head coach Chad Rakers, the Lady Knights won the Marquette Regional, Wesclin Sectional, and Vandalia Super-Sectional. They ended their season with a record of 31-9.
We thank the players, coach Chad Rakers, the assistant coaches, and the parents for their dedication!
view additional photos, credited to Lewis Marien (www.stltoday.com), at the following link: Class 2A state championship: Decatur St. Teresa def. Mater Dei 25-22, 26-24
article below credited to Jeremy Chawgo, Breese Journal Sports Editor
The Mater Dei Lady Knights volleyball team saw their postseason magic run just short as they fell in the Class 2A State Championship match to Decatur-St. Teresa on Saturday afternoon at Redbird Arena in Normal.
It was the second time this season that Mater Dei fell to the Lady Bulldogs who beat MD in the Quincy Notre Dame Tournament title match in October.
The Lady Knights postseason run began with them winning the Alton Marquette Regional title before rolling through the field at the Wesclin Sectional. They then dominated Fairfield in the Vandalia Super-Sectional. Mater Dei did not lose a game thus far in the postseason.
The Lady Knights then needed three games to defeated St. Joseph-Ogden in the semifinal match on Friday before they fell to St. Teresa 24 hours later.
Mater Dei ended the season with a 31-9 record while St. Teresa ended at 36-5.
The Lady Knights had some players reach milestones, including junior setter Jessie Timmermann breaking her own school record for assists in a season with 951. She is second in career assists with 1,823. She trails Sam Bedard who finished her career at MD with 1,861 assists.
Sophomore Tori Mohesky had 22 kills in the state tournament, which moved her to second in a season with 335. Laura Thole holds the record with 340. Mohesky is eighth all-time in career kills with 538.
Mater Dei junior Audrey Lampe finished the season with 433 digs as the libero, which is the seventh most in school history for a season.
It was the 23rd trip to the state tournament for the Lady Knights who now have seven state titles, a pair of second-place finishes, five third-place efforts and a trio of fourth-place finishes.
Decatur St. Teresa 25-26, Mater Dei 22-24: The Lady Knights lost a competitive match in the Class 2A title match on Saturday afternoon in Normal.
Mater Dei never led in the first game before dropping a second game that was tied 14 times before St. Teresa prevailed.
“It was the fist-fight that we expected to be involved in,” Mater Dei head coach Chad Rakers said. “Back-and-forth, point-for-point. When it comes down to it, the ball is going to roll over the net one way for one team and not for the other.”
With the first game tied 2-2, St. Teresa scored the next four points on kills from Valerie Nutakor and Abby Robinson.
They never trailed from that point as Mater Dei hung tight.
A tip from junior Jessie Timmermann ended the St. Teresa run only before the Bulldogs scored the next four points on two kills from Lexie Huck and kills from Addison Newbon and Robinson as they led 10-3.
Mater Dei fought back with a kill from Tori Mohesky and three unforced errors by the Bulldogs as MD trailed 10-7.
Trailing 12-7, Mater Dei showed their heart with a 5-0 run highlighted by two kills and a block from Sally Albers. Gabby Jamruk added an ace as the Lady Knights got the game even at 12-12.
Both teams got a pair of sideouts to send the game to 14-14 before St. T. took the lead with two kills from Caliegh Craft.
Mater Dei hung within a couple of points down the stretch before getting it tied at 21-21 after kills from Albers and Myah Helmkamp.
St. Teresa ended the game on a 4-1 run with Craft adding two more kills that included the game winner. MD had six unforced errors while the Bulldogs had nine in the initial game.
“We played our hearts out in the first game,” added Rakers. “I think we just got off to a slow start and had to work so hard to get back that we never could get that lead.”
The second game was a classic battle between two great teams with 14 ties and no team leading by more than four points.
Craft sparked the Bulldogs early as they ran out to a 9-6 lead before they had back-to-back hitting errors to get MD back into the game.
An ace from Rylee Sudholt and three more errors from St. Teresa gave MD its fourth lead of the game at 11-10.
St. Teresa responded with a 5-point scoring run that included two kills from Huck, a kill from Robinson and an ace from Grace Buxton as they led 15-11.
“That was a big swing in the game, they just took it right at us there,” added Rakers. “But our kids hung tough and fought right back like they have done all season.”
Mohesky and Macie Beer smacked down kills as Mater Dei got back into the contest and tied things up at 16-16.
The teams battled back and forth until Mohesky smacked down another kill to tie the contest at 21-21.
Robinson and Helmkamp exchanged kills to move the game to 22-22 before another Robinson kill and a net call against St. Teresa moved the game to 23-23.
Albers came up with a huge block to give Mater Dei game point with a 24-23 lead.
After a St. Teresa timeout, Robinson stood tall again with a kill down the line to tie things up. Robinson followed that with an ace to set up match point.
After Rakers called a timeout, Huck smacked down the game-winning kill to end the match in favor of the Lady Bulldogs.
Mohesky led the Lady Knights with eight kills and five digs while Timmermann had 15 assists. Albers had six kills. Audrey Lampe led in the back row with nine digs.
Robinson and Nutakor each had eight kills for St. Teresa, who got 23 assists and six kills from Huck.
St. Teresa outhit the Lady Knights 32-20 while Mater Dei had 42 digs compared to 28 for the Bulldogs. St. Teresa had 24 unforced errors compared to 14 from MD.
“Breese battled us for every point,” said St. Teresa head coach Brad Dalton. “They hit the ball hard and they came right at us.”
Mater Dei 25-23-25, St. Joseph Ogden 20-25-22: The Lady Knights hung on for a gut-wrenching win over the Spartans on Friday in Normal.
Mater Dei controlled most of the initial game and enjoyed a lead of eight points and seven points in the second game only to see the Spartans force a third game in the Class 2A semifinal.
Mater Dei had nine unforced errors in the first game and 10 more in the second game as they finished the match with 26 errors compared to 21 from the Spartans.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first game, Mater Dei took charge with a 7-2 run behind two kills from sophomore Riley Kleber and single kills from Tori Mohesky and Macie Beer.
Later in the game Mater Dei took an 11-8 lead with the help of kills from Myah Helmkamp and Sally Albers.
The Spartans responded with a 3-point run on kills from Payton Valle and Lacey Kaiser before an ace from Kenly Taylor gave St. Jos. a 12-11 lead.
They extended the lead to 14-12 with a pair of errors from Mater Dei before the Lady Knights got back going with three kills from Mohesky.
With the game tied 20-20, Mater Dei scored the final five points of the tilt on a service run from Gabby Jamruk. Kenadi Barriger and Jessie Timmermann smacked down kills before Albers ended it with two kills of her own.
Mater Dei seemed to be on cruise control in the second game as they ran out to an 11-3 lead behind kills from Albers, Helmkamp, Mohesky and aces from Mohesky and Timmermann.
St. Joseph got two kills and two errors from MD to get within 11-7.
Mater Dei took charge again as they extended their lead to 18-11 after kills from Timmermann and Mohesky.
The Spartans once again responded with a 5-0 run of their own which was highlighted by kills from Rylee Stahl, Katelyn Berry and Kennedi Burnett as they trailed 18-16.
Mohesky ended the run with a cross-court smash before the teams exchanged sideouts with MD leading 20-19.
A net call against the Spartans and a kill from Helmkamp moved the MD lead to 22-19.
St. Joseph got within a point on an error from MD and a kill from Berry as they trailed 22-21. Helmkamp ended the run with another kill to get the MD lead to 23-21.
A kill from Kaiser set the Spartans up before three errors from MD moved the match to the third game, tied with each team having one win.
“The big floor can be scary at times,” said Mater Dei head coach Chad Rakers. “I think we felt that at times and we are very young. I think we learned a lot in these games today.”
The biggest lead in the third game was three points as the teams exchanged punches.
A kill from Beer and an ace from Jamruk gave MD their biggest lead of the third game at 7-5.
St. Joseph tied things up with a kill from Kaiser and an ace from Lindsey Aiden.
Mater Dei regained the lead with a 4-0 run on service from Audrey Lampe. Timmermann had a block and Kleber had two kills in the run as MD led 11-7.
Mater Dei maintained their lead with the help of four unforced errors from St. T. as they enjoyed an 18-15 lead.
After a hitting error from the Lady Knights, Kaiser smacked down three-straight kills to give the Spartans a 19-18 lead.
That was St. Joseph Ogden’s final lead as Mater Dei got kills from Albers and Timmermann along with an ace from Sudholt as they tied things up at 21-21.
“We wanted to use our outside hitters to hit over the setter and we just hit some balls too long,” added Rakers.
MD ended the match on a 4-1 run that was highlighted by a trio of kills from Kleber which included the match winner.
Mohesky led the Lady Knights with 14 kills and 13 digs. Timmermann added three kills, seven digs and 38 assists.
Kleber ended with nine kills and a pair of digs while Helmkamp had five kills. Lampe had 13 digs.
Mater Dei outhit the Spartans 42-37.
“That St. Joseph team is legit and they were a real deal defending and hats off to them,” added Rakers. “They made us fight for every point.”