EDWARDSVILLE - Senior right-side setter Claire Dunivan has played an important part of the success of the Edwardsville High girls' volleyball team so far this season and has helped the team bounce back in their two matches after the Tigers' 58-match Southwestern Conference winning streak ended Sept. 27 in a loss at O'Fallon.
In the Tigers' 25-10, 25-12 in over Collinsville on Oct. 4 at Lucco-Jackson Gym, Dunivan contributed two kills and a block in helping the Tigers go on to their win. For the season, Dunivan has 76 kills with 15 blocks, 16 assists and 12 digs in helping Edwardsville to a 16-4 record as the IHSA Class 4A playoffs are right around the corner.
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"It feels great," Dunivan said after the win over the Kahoks. "I think we really deserved this win. We work really hard in practice and I think it was good to see that out on the court."
Claire is an iCAN Clinic Female Athlete of the Month for the Tigers.
The Tigers have overcome the disappointment felt after the loss at O'Fallon to take a big five-set win over St. Louis power Cor Jesu Academy the next night before taking the win over Collinsville. Against the Kahoks, Edwardsville was clicking on all cylinders, overcoming very early deficits to win going away.
"Yeah, I think we learn from each loss," Dunivan said, "and I think we, as a team, work really hard in practice to get it back and I think we fixed whatever was missing during the O'Fallon game and I think it came together really well."
The win over the Kahoks was also the team's annual Volley For The Cure match, which raises money for breast cancer research as well as salutes and honors those who have survived, are still fighting or have died from breast cancer. Dunivan dedicated the match to her grandmother and knows what the meaning behind the annual match is to her.
"I think for me, it represents the strength that women have, coming together to fight for such an important cause," Dunivan said. "I think it's just celebrating that and it's recognizing the women that survived it. It's just really an important thing."
Although the Kahoks did have some very good moments during the match, it was full steam ahead for the Tigers as they got back on track and played their game in the win.
"Yeah, looking forward to an excellent season," Dunivan said with a smile.
The Tigers will again face top competition as the playoffs approach. Dunivan has some simple goals in mind during the stretch run.
"Well, I think I just want to continue getting better as a starting right side," Dunivan said. "It's my job to hold up a block on the right side and as the season's nearing the end, I hopefully take conference champs, then move on to the sectionals and hopefully, postseason goes well."
It's a chance for the Tigers to possibly match their fourth-place finish at the 2021 state finals or even better it. It's an important goal for the team and Dunivan is ready for the stretch drive.
"Yeah, I'm looking forward," Dunivan said. "I think as a team, we're really playing well right now and I think we haven't peaked yet. I think we still have it, so I think the season's going to go great and it's only going to get better from here. I love this team. I think we're really gelling this year and I think we're really going to be successful if we keep it up."
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