EDWARDSVILLE - Hanna Matarelli, a senior libero for the Edwardsville High girls' volleyball team, was one of the team's top players during the just-completed 2023 campaign that saw the Tigers go 23-11 on the season and the number one seed in their half-of the IHSA Class 4A Pekin sectional complex, where Edwardsville will play against Quincy in the first semifinal of the Alton regional on Oct 24.
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Matarelli and her six fellow seniors were honored on Oct. 19 in the annual Senior Night match, where the Tigers defeated Belleville West 25-19, 25-20 to complete a perfect Southwestern Conference season at 12-0 as the Tigers played exceptionally well in defeating the Maroons to finish the regular season.
Matarelli is a Johnston Law Firm Female Athlete Of The Month for the Tigers.
In her post-match interview, Matarelli was very grateful for her teammates and all of their contributions to the successful regular season.
"I'm feeling great," Matarelli said. "I'm just glad that we all played and we got the win. It's been pretty emotional, but we're all just so proud of each other and how far we came. And a lot of us have been playing together since we were like six. So, we're all happy for each other."
Needless to say, Matarelli will have very great memories of playing for the Tigers.
"It's been really great," Matarelli said. "We went to state my sophomore year (where Edwardsville finished fourth in 2021). It's just been a really long, but really exciting four years, and I'm going to miss it a lot."
Included among Matarelli's favorite memories of playing for Edwardsville includes the many road trips, where the Tigers bonded together as a team.
"Probably the bus rides," Matarelli said. "I loved the bus rides, and then also, the team dinners. Those are really fun to just connecting, team bond with all the teammates and girls. Even like the freshmen, sophomores and juniors."
The regular season is now complete, a very successful one for Edwardsville, and now, the playoffs begin. Matarelli has some very high hopes for the postseason matches.
"I'm just hoping that we keep playing clean," Matarelli said, "and we just play well as a team. And just keep improving, keep passing well, keep hitting well. Our blockers did really well tonight and I just hope it shows up like that on to state. The block just really won it for us tonight, I thought we got a lot of blocks and it made it so much easier for the defense to play around it."
Matarelli also thanked the Tiger coaching staff for their help and encouragement during all of her seasons with the club.
"I just want to thank the coaches for putting up with me all these years," Matarelli said with a hearty laugh. "But I just want to really thank the coaches: (Camilla) Eberling, (head coach Heather) Ohlau, (Lori) Blade, (Sarah) Scherer, Paul V, (Paul Vieth). They've done really well for us these past couple of years, and I'm just going to miss them a lot."
Again, congratulations to Hannah for her recognition as a Johnston Law Firm Female Athlete of the Month for the Tigers.
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