EUREKA – The Eureka volleyball team battled Fontbonne for three competitive sets at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena and Convocation Center on Wednesday evening.
The Red Devils kept it close, but the Griffins ultimately prevailed, 25-17, 25-19, 25-21.
Eureka junior middle hitter Corinne DeBoard (Centralia, Ill./Christ Our Rock Lutheran) racked up 11 kills on 29 attempts, had seven dig and landed two aces.
Junior outside hitter Emma Harris (Streator, Ill./Streator) followed with 18 kills on 28 attempts, while Regan Reed (Flanagan, Ill./Flanagan-Cornell) added four. Setter Faith Catour (Orion, Ill./Orion) distributed 24 assists. Megan Masching (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac) and Catour each had 14 digs. Rori Dosemagen (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) notched 11 digs.
The Red Devils largely stayed with the Griffins over the course of the evening, in competition level on the floor, if not the score.
The team started slow, but managed to get just outside of striking distance throughout the first set. Then, in the second set, the maroon and gold were right there.
EC and Fontbonne split the first 20 points evenly. When Fontbonne scored three in a row, Eureka scored four of the next five to take a 14-13 advantage. The Red Devils led again at 15-14 and after fall behind by two again, tied it at 17-17 on back-to-back kills by DeBoard.
The Griffins responded by winning the next four points to take a 21-17 lead. Eureka scored on a bad Fontbonne set and an ace by DeBoard to make it 21-19, but the visitors claimed the next four points to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
In third set, the Red Devils trailed by as many as eight, but the team got on a late roll to get back in the set. The home team went on an 8-1 run to make it 23-21.
In the first four, Reed delivered a kill and an ace and the team kept rallies alive long enough to benefit from Fontbonne mistakes. A kill by Fontbonne's Hannah Gallagher extended the lead back to five, but a rare kill by Catour, a Fontbonne hitting error and a kill by DeBoard made it 23-21.
However, before Eureka could go any farther, Fontbonne's Jadyn Fitzgerald and Lizzy Harvey finished the match with back-to-back kills.
Eureka held all Fontbonne hitters under 10 kills. Fitzgerald tallied a team-high nine, Kelly Herr added eight and Gallagher and Olivia Tallo each had six.
The Red Devils will next host Blackburn on Saturday at 12 p.m.