COBDEN — Du Quoin was able to get back into the win column Monday with a two-set road victory over Cobden, 25-18, 25-17.
The Indians (25-9) lost in three sets to Nashville last Thursday to snap a three-game winning streak. Head coach Isaac Miller decided to give his team the weekend off from practice to recover and reset before Monday’s match.
“We were lacking gym time and I didn’t think we played very well tonight actually, but we’re going to clean up some of those unforced areas at practice tomorrow,” Miller said. “That’s on me as a coach for giving them a break, but we got the job done. You’d rather win ugly than not win at all.”
Du Quoin showed some rust early on by overshooting some kill shots, but cleaned those errors up enough to record their 25th win of the season.
The win for Miller records his third consecutive season with at least 25 wins.
“Way too many unforced errors tonight,” Miller said. “We’ll clean that up before heading into regionals and get playing some postseason volleyball.”
Du Quoin and Cobden played its first match of the season back on Sept. 21, when the Indians won in two sets. The Indians held Cobden under 20 points in both sets of that game, and did it again on Monday.
The Indians started out the first set with a few kill shots that went beyond the back line. Du Quoin’s serving helped settle things down, as senior captain Elizabath Bird served twice to record five points in clutch situations.
Bird’s second time serving helped put the Indians ahead 22-16 with momentum heavily on the Indians side after a back-and-forth match.
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Junior Delaynie Dearmond had a chance to clinch the set, serving with the Indians ahead 24-17, but after her serve went out of bounds, the Appleknockers followed with a serve out of bounds to end the first set.
Du Quoin opened the second set with a 5-2 lead off the serving of sophomore Lauren Heape, forcing Cobden to use an early timeout.
The score tied back up at 11 midway through the set before the Indians ran away with things. A six-point serving effort from sophomore Lexi Cobin set the Indians up for game-point.
The final point of the second set came when sophomore setter Sophie Miller setup fellow sophomore Ayanna Dunklin for a spike that deflected off Appleknockers' Hannah Stillman.
“This is a long season,” Miller said. “We’ll start preparing for Herrin tomorrow and go for our 26th win on Wednesday.”
Du Quoin will play its last regular season game on the road Wednesday against the Herrin Tigers (16-12). The Class 2A Regionals begin next Monday at Pinckneyville, but the Indians won’t have to play until Tuesday after clinching a first-round bye.
Du Quoin will face the winner of Carterville and Sesser-Valier’s game on Monday.
Cobden will play Saturday at the Fairfield Tournament. The Appleknockers are scheduled to face Carterville at 11 a.m., East Richmond/West Richmond at noon and Woodlawn at 1 p.m.