GALESBURG — The Carl Sandburg College volleyball team came away victorious in a battle of Arrowhead Conference unbeatens Tuesday night, beating Illinois Valley 25-17, 25-16, 21-25, 25-22 at John M. Lewis Gymnasium.
With the victory, the Chargers (10-4, 3-0) move into sole possession of first place in the conference, a half-game ahead of Black Hawk (2-0).
Sophomores Hannah Thompson (West Prairie) and Josalyn Owens (Lincoln) turned in strong all-around efforts to lead the Chargers. Thompson had 13 kills to match Jordan Price (Fulton) for the team lead, and she added 16 digs and two aces. Owens totaled 12 kills, 11 digs and a team-high three aces.
Freshman setter Cora Vyhnanek (West Prairie) posted season highs of 47 assists and 19 digs for Sandburg. Sophomore libero Haley Stevenson (Galesburg) added 18 digs, and Price’s three blocks led the team.
The Chargers looked like they would cruise to their third straight conference sweep before the Eagles (4-3, 2-1) took the third set. Tied at 18, IVCC won six of the next seven to set up set point, and Anna Murray’s kill sent the teams to a fourth.
The fourth set was another tight affair as back-to-back kills pulled the Eagles into a tie at 19. The Chargers took control after that, though, as a Peyton Bowman (West Prairie) kill ignited a 5-1 Sandburg push. During the stretch, Thompson had two kills and served an ace to set up match point. Owens closed out the victory three points later on a kill down the line off Vyhnanek’s assist.
“We weren’t our sharpest, especially in the last two sets, but we’d been off for a week so that might have been a factor,” Chargers coach Todd Winkler said. “They gave us a good test, but I was glad to see us come together when we really need to find a way to get a point.”
The Chargers are in action again at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Lincoln in a nonconference matchup.