It was a perfect Senior Night on Tuesday for the Pekin volleyball team.
The Dragons defeated East Peoria 25-16, 25-16 in a Mid-Illini Conference match in Hawkins Gym and celebrated the dedication of six seniors: Anna McGovern, Lauren Juergens, Olivia Evans, Brooke Sherwood, Kerrigan Link and Olivia Driskell.
Each senior has been in the Pekin volleyball program for four years. McGovern and Sherwood will graduate in December and head to Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. Sherwood will play volleyball there.
“Our seniors are a great group of girls. They’re very supportive of their teammates, they have good character ... their parents raised them right,” said Pekin coach Yvonne Thompson. “We don’t have any cliques or drama on our team. The seniors are a big reason for that.
“Senior Night was a fun night and an emotional night,” Thompson said. “There was a good atmosphere in the gym.”
A post-match reception for the Pekin team featuring cake and cookies topped off the night.
As for the match against East Peoria, Thompson was happy to give everyone on her roster playing time, some playing different roles.
Pekin (20-12-1, 8-5) will finish regular-season play Thursday at conference opponent Limestone.
Next week the Dragons will be on the road at the Class 4A Danville Regional. No. 4 seed Pekin will meet No. 5 seed Normal Community at 6:30 p.m. in a regional semifinal.
No. 1 seed Bloomington looms as a probable regional championship foe next Thursday.
Here are Pekin’s statistical leaders vs. East Peoria:
Kills — Briona Beckham 6.
Assists — Brooke Sherwood 11.
Digs — Beckham 8.
Blocks — None.
Aces — Kerrigan Link 2.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.