The slow start is long gone for the St. Joseph-Ogden High School volleyball team.
Now, the Spartans are racking up win. After win. After win. After win. After win. After win.
SJO is carrying a six-match win streak into Monday’s 7 p.m. home nonconference match against Marshall. The recent run of success is highlighted by a Mattoon Tournament championship on Sept. 3 and a sweep of reigning Class 1A state champion St. Thomas More on Sept. 15.
Here’s what the Spartans have been up to the last two-plus weeks:
Balanced efforts keys win against STM
The host Spartans beat St. Thomas More 25-22, 25-20 in their first Illini Prairie Conference match of the season.
Senior Taylor Hug distributed 12 assists, eight digs and three kills to spark SJO. Junior Peyton Williams supplied seven kills, while senior Shayne Immke contributed six kills, eight digs and three blocks.
Junior Addison Roesch added two kills, three blocks and four digs, while junior Helene Jones (five blocks), senior Emma Ward (three digs) and senior Josey Frerichs (two blocks) also chipped in.
Spartans sweep Vikings
SJO completed its third straight road match with its third straight road victory on Sept. 14, beating host Danville 25-16, 25-11 in a nonconference match.
Roesch delivered six aces from the service line to go along with six kills and three digs. Hug handed out 17 assists, made two digs and finished off one kill, while Immke (seven kills, three aces, two digs) and Williams (three kills, five digs, two aces) also contributed.
Williams, Immke key win against Cornjerkers
SJO had little trouble against Hoopeston Area in a Sept. 12 nonconference road match, sweeping the Cornjerkers 25-9, 25-17.
Williams and Immke each delivered eight kills to propel the offense, with each athlete also providing five digs. Roesch (six kills, four aces) and Hug (19 assists, three kills, four digs) also made vital plays for SJO.
Hug’s double-double lifts Spartans past Comets
SJO closed out a sweep of host Oakwood in a Sept. 7 nonconference match, winning 25-23, 25-17 in Fithian.
Hug produced a double-double of 15 assists and 10 digs, while Roesch landed seven kills and Immke came through with five kills, eight digs and two blocks.
SJO beats Mattoon for tournament title
The Spartans rallied nicely from a pool-play lost to Mattoon, eventually beating the Green Wave in the championship match of the eight-team Mattoon Tournament on Sept. 3.
The Spartans opened pool play by beating Pana 25-19, 25-21 and topping Mt. Vernon 25-9, 25-11 before losing a close 17-25, 25-18, 14-15 match to Mattoon.
But SJO responded, beating Taylorville 25-20, 15-25, 15-14 in the semifinals and then defeating Mattoon 25-10, 20-25, 15-12 in the championship match.
Throughout all five matches on the day, Immke delivered a team-best 44 kills to go along with 22 digs and six aces. Roesch (40 kills, 38 digs), Hug (107 assists, 29 digs, five aces), Williams (21 kills, 33 digs), senior Mikyla Haley (34 digs) and Ward (six aces) each had meaningful contributions for the Spartans.
SJO tops Wooden Shoes
The Spartans swept Teutopolis 25-16, 25-12 during a Sept. 1 home nonconference match against the Wooden Shoes.
Hug handed out 18 assists and had one ace, while Immke produced six kills and four aces and Roesch compiled six kills and five digs.
Bulldogs edge Spartans
SJO traveled to Mahomet on Aug. 30, but couldn’t come home with a win as Mahomet-Seymour won 25-22, 25-22 in nonconference action.
Immke had nine kills, five digs and three blocks for SJO, with Hug (14 assists, six digs), Roesch (four kills, three aces) and Haley (seven digs) each chipping in.
SJO defeats St. Teresa
The Spartans avoided a two-match losing streak by beating St. Teresa 25-20, 25-16 in a home nonconference match on Aug. 29.
Williams finished with 10 kills to spark the Spartans, while Hug handed out 18 assists, made six digs and had two aces. Immke (seven kills, two digs) and Haley (eight digs, one ace) also contributed.
After Monday’s home match with Marshall, the Spartans are set to resume Illini Prairie play with a 7 p.m. match at Unity on Tuesday. SJO is then scheduled to return home for a 7 p.m. match on Thursday against Illini Prairie foe Pontiac.