Breese Journal staff report

VBKnightsWood River champs — Pictured is the 2019 Class 2A Wood River Regional champion Mater Dei Lady Knights after they blew away Columbia last Thursday and Roxana last Tuesday. The Lady Knights then defeated Freeburg in the Wesclin Sectional semifinal on Monday. They played rival Central on Wednesday for the sectional title. (Photo by Bruce Hixon)    If volleyball teams needed any reminder why Mater Dei received the No. 1 seed in Sub-Sectional A of the Wesclin Sectional, they got that reinforcement with the domination the Lady Knights used to claim the championship of the Class 2A Wood River Regional last week. 
    It marked the seventh regional title in nine seasons for Lady Knights coach Chad Rakers since he took over the volleyball program’s reins from his father, Fred Rakers, prior to the start of the 2011 season.
    Not only did Mater Dei win both of its contests at Wood River in straight sets, but the Lady Knights won each set by double digits. Mater Dei began its postseason path last Tuesday when it disposed of Roxana in the semifinal round. The Lady Knights completed their romp through the field at Wood River on Thursday when they rolled past Columbia in the championship match.
    The Lady Knights (28-9) then took down Freeburg in two games on Monday in the Class 2A Wesclin Sectional. Pinckneyville took down Central in the other semifinal to set up the championship on Wednesday at 6 p.m. with the winner moving on to Friday’s Vandalia Super-sectional to play the Salem Sectional champion.
    Mater Dei 28-25, Freeburg 26-13:  The Lady Knights avoided a scare in the first game on Monday in Trenton.
    Freeburg gave the Lady Knights everything they wanted as the game went back and forth throughout with 14 ties.
    Mater Dei took an early lead with two Freeburg errors and a block from junior Jessie Timmermann as they led 3-1.  Kills from Caroline Gagen got the game even at 3-3.

by Bruce Hixon
for the Breese Journal

localrunners2    Kristen Ess had not even started kindergarten the last time the Breese Central cross country program had a representative at the state cross country meet, but the Lady Cougars junior changed that when she qualified for the Class 1A state meet as an individual at Saturday’s Benton Sectional. 
    Ess will not be the only area representative as the Mater Dei Lady Knights are also headed to state as they grabbed the fifth and final qualifying position at Benton. It marks the fourth trip to state in the last five seasons for the Lady Knights.
    Prior to Ess, the last time Central had a state qualifier was in 2007 when the Lady Cougars advanced as a team. Ess punched her ticket thanks to an 11th place finish in a time of 18:42 as she was one of seven individuals from non-qualifying teams to move on to state.
    While the season continues for Ess, it came to an end for the other members of the Lady Cougars as Central finished seventh at the sectional with a team score of 243 points. Alyssa Santel followed Ess in the No. 2 position and was 50th overall in a time of 20:21. Haley Huelsmann was 62nd at 20:38, Elizabeth Detmer was 66th at 20:42 and Regan Albers was the fifth and final counter in 68th place at 20:47. 
    Other runners for the Lady Cougars were Marissa Markus in 85th place at 21:42 and Emma Wesselmann in 86th place at 21:50.
    The Lady Knights advanced with their fifth place team score of 157 points. Benton defended its home turf and claimed the girls team title with 71 points. Only one point separated the other three qualifiers as DuQuoin finished runner-up with 97 points, while third place Freeburg and fourth place Roxana had an identical score of 98.
    Freshman Avery Rahden led Mater Dei with a 19th place finish in a time of 19:14, while Faith Rackers was 27th at 19:37. Alexis Kampwerth was 34th at 19:43, Gretta Stark was 37th at 19:54 and Alyse Monken was the fifth and final counter in 47th place at 20:11. 
    Other runners for the Lady Knights were Julia Korte in 61st place at 20:37 and Mailee Toennies in 77th place at 21:04.
    Benton’s Amelia McLain was the girls individual champion with a time of 16:46.
    On the boys side the season came to a close for the Mater Dei Knights along with Central’s Will Detmer.
    The Knights finished eighth with a team score of 216 points. Christ Our Rock Lutheran and Benton tied for first with 96 points, but CORL claimed the sectional championship based on a higher finish by its No. 6 runner. 
    Other team qualifiers were third place Freeburg with 113 points, fourth place Father McGivney with 138 and fifth place Steeleville with 156.
    Ryan Clancy led Mater Dei with a 19th place finish in a time of 15:52. Clancy fell one spot  shy of qualifying for state as an individual. Tommy Marron was 43rd at 16:39, Nick Hummert was 44th at 16:39, John Venhaus was 61st at 16:51 and Matt Fuehne was the fifth and final counter in 76th place at 17:06. 
    Other runners for Mater Dei were Andrew Stevenson in 83rd place at 17:17 and Ryan Gerdes in 120th place at 18:07.
    Central’s Detmer competed at the sectional as an individual and finished in 65th place in a time of 16:56.
    Benton’s Reece Johnson was the boys individual champion with a time of 14:39.
    The state meet will be held this Saturday at Detweiller Park in Peoria Heights.

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13 November 2019

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