EDWARDSVILLE - Senior Dallas Jenkins served up 10 consecutive points in the second set and it made a big difference as Edwardsville bounced back from dropping four of five in a tournament in Chicagoland this past weekend and defeated Alton 25-17, 25-10 in a Southwestern Conference girls volleyball match played Tuesday evening at Lucco-Jackson Gym.

After winning their opening match, the Tigers lost four in a row, with all the losses being very close and two of them going to a third set. Against the Redbirds, Edwardsville was in control the whole way, even dominating at times.

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"It's nice to be able to come back and get that confidence level back," said Edwardsville head coach Heather Ohlau, "and just know that we just have to move on from those tough losses. It was nice to have a variety of players being able to get some court experience and we were able to mix it around and do some things that will help us out in the long run."

Although the Tigers had some tough sledding in St. Charles, the team was able to bounce back and show resiliency in their match against Alton.

"Yeah, it was nice to see that they came out with some fire tonight," Ohlau said. "Again, just get different looks and just experience."

That Edwardsville was able to bounce back so well and play very well is a good indication for the team, and Jenkins, a senior right side and outside hitter, showed her versatility and her ability to fit in anywhere in the Tigers' lineup.

"Yeah, as a senior, she stayed pretty level-headed," Ohlau said, "and she's the type of player that is able to fit into any position. So just keep getting that experience is, for her, going to help us coming down to the postseason."

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The opening set started out with both teams trading points to make the early score 4-4 before Edwardsville went on the first run, scoring three in a row to make it 7-4. The Redbirds came back to tie the set at 8-8 and after that, a Clare Dunivan kill gave the Tigers the lead back at 9-8 and Vyla Hupp served up three points in a row to bring the score to 12-8. A long exchange of points brought the score to 18-14 for Edwardsville. after which the Tigers scored three straight, with Sara Gouy serving for two and an Addie Reader kill making it 21-14. Edwardsville then scored four of the set's final seven points, ending the set with a pair of service points from Hanna Matarelli to take the first set 25-17 and a 1-0 lead in the match.

The second set started off with an exchange that made the score 3-3 before Jenkins took over. serving up 10 points in a row, a string that saw Megan Knobeloch and Hupp hit key shots that helped bring the Tigers to a 13-3 lead, with Payton Olney ending the string with a nice shot that made it 13-4. The Redbirds rallied from there to make the score 14-8 before another Tiger rally, led by Olivia Johnes' service, increased the Tigers' lead to 23-9. Edwardsville then scored two of the last three points to make the final 25-10 and take the match 2-0.

Reader had eight kills for the Tigers, while Hupp and five and Ciera Cunningham had four, Gouy had 16 assists and Knobeloch two, Jenkins served up 10 points, while Johnes, Knobeloch and Hupp all served up four points, Knobeloch, Jenkins and Johnes all had two aces each and both Matarelli and Hupp had six digs each, while Knobeloch and Sydney Davis had four each.

Plont came up with six kills for the Redbirds, while Ella Artis and Karen Lewis had two kills each, Plont had the team's only assist while serving up three points, with Grace Carter, Olney and Tayen Orr serving up two points each and both Orr and Plont had the only aces on the night for Alton.

The Tigers are now 18-8 and host East St. Louis on Thursday and Breese Mater Dei Catholic next Monday before ending the regular season on Oct. 20 at Belleville East, after which they'll host a Class 4A regional, going against Granite City in the semifinal. Ohlau is also looking ahead to the challenges coming up.

"Yeah, anytime that we get more game experience against local competition," Ohlau said, "it just helps us to become better."

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