CANTON – Playing its home opener Thursday night, the Canton High volleyball team had high hopes against Mid-Illini Conference rival East Peoria.

CANTON – Playing its home opener Thursday night, the Canton High volleyball team had high hopes against Mid-Illini Conference rival East Peoria.

 

The visiting Lady Raiders had other ideas however, as they controlled the match after the initial 14 points, rolling to a 25-14, 25-7 victory at the CHS South Gym.

 

East Peoria improved to 6-4 overall, 2-0 in Mid-Illini play. Canton dropped to 2-6 overall, 0-2 in conference contests.

 

“I liked the atmosphere in the gym... Everyone was excited for (the home opener),” said CHS coach Felicia Appell. “We had a lot of fans. We publicized to get people out here because this was a night that we wanted to make history.”

 

On this night however, it would be the visitors that would that write their own story ending.

 

“We just could put all the pieces of the puzzle together,” said Appell. “... We just have to piece it together the next time.”

 

The opening set had ties at 2-2 and 4-4 before Canton grabbed its biggest lead with three straight points for a 7-4 advantage.

 

The visitors answered however with five straight points in taking a 9-7 advantage. That was the beginning of a 12-1 run that saw the Lady Raiders build a 16-8 lead before Appell was forced to call a timeout.

 

During that stretch, Canton had its struggles with its serve-receive, along with hitting away on offense, using tips on its attack.

 

“We were struggling a little bit on the serve receiving. We tried a couple different options and tried to switch it up a few times,” said Appell.

 

“As far as the tipping goes, I think some of the girls got a little timid, a little scared,” she added. “(East Peoria) was either blocking them or they realized that they were not hitting where they needed to, so they were trying something different.”

 

The Lady Giants got no closer as an ace closed out the opening set for the visitors.

 

East Peoria continued its dominance in the second set, scoring the first seven points and never looking back as it build a double-digit lead it would never relinquish.

 

“We were playing reactive instead of proactive,” said Appell.

 

Carmon Abbadusky had three kills and two digs for Canton, while Cassidy Locke added two kills and two gigs for the Lady Giants. Gillian DeFrain finished with five set assists, while Cassidy Williams and Locke recorded one block each. Lorna Eaton also had two digs for the hosts.

 

“I think the drive was there,” said Appell. “There was some hustle. I think just being (on their game) just wasn’t there. They were making themselves work a little too hard because they weren’t breaking it down to the basics and the mechanics of being proactive.”

 

Brook Huff had seven kills and a block for East Peoria. Sarah Lahood added four kills, while Katie Popken had six set assists an four service aces.

 

Momi Noguchi also had six set assists, while Sam Despines also tallied four service aces and 12 digs. Skylar Bouillion chipped in 11 digs for the visitors.

 

The sophomore match saw Canton drop to 0-7 overall, 0-2 in league play with a 25-8, 25-23 loss.

 

Halle Bair had two set assists and two service aces, while Amelia Painter also recorded two service aces. Tori D’Amico added three digs and Issi Neville one block for the Lady Giants.

 

The freshman match saw Canton improve to 5-3 overall, 1-1 in Mid-Illini play as it defeated East Peoria 25-21, 25-15. 

 

Addi Postin had six set assists, while Jahni Harn added six digs and six service points that included four service aces. Devlin Dennis tallied four kills and Kaitlynn Taylor four blocks for the Lady Giants.

 

The Canton squads return to Mid-Illini play next week with matches at Pekin on Tuesday and at home against Limestone on Thursday. The fresh-soph squads will play today against Farmington, PORTA and host North Fulton in tournament action at Cuba starting at 9 a.m.