BENTON - If there is one position a volleyball team one can call vital it's the setter, who by its very name means setting up the offensive play.
Last week, just 15 points into set one of the match at Centralia, the Rangerettes' senior setter Zoe Carlton was injured and will be lost from two-to-four weeks.
"I've been icing it (ankle) five or six times a day and added heat treatments over the weekend," Carlton said. "The swelling has gone down and I'm supposed to try to walk on it this week. I'm a little scared to walk on it because it still hurts, but we'll see. I'm anxious to get back, but I will listen to my doctors to make sure I'm at 100 percent before playing again."
The Rangerettes were leading 9-6 against the Annies when Carlton severely sprained her ankle. Up to that point, Carlton already had five assists on 13-of-13 sets.
"The girl came under the net and I stepped on her foot coming down and I knew something was wrong," Carlton said. "At first, I didn't know if it was sprained or broken because I never injured my ankle that bad before. It's a higher sprain with a bruise about five inches up my leg."
With Carlton on the bench, the Rangerettes' momentum was snapped as Centralia rallied, outscoring Benton 19-4 to win the first set, 25-13. The second set didn't go much better as the Rangerettes lost 25-16 and the match.
Senior Madi McLain took over for Carlton and finished the match with five assists on 43-of-44 sets. Kiley Carter led Benton with four kills on 15-of-19 shooting and Sheridan Campbell finished with 14 digs on defense.
Benton hosted Carterville two days later and came out strong winning the first set, 25-22. But the Lady Lions rallied to win the next two sets, 25-18, 25-16.
Makenna Mumbower led with seven kills on 19-of-24 shooting with Kaitlyn Kuchar adding five kills on 21-of-24. Campbell had 24 digs and McLain had eight assists.
After opening the season with wins over Carbondale and Marion from the South Seven, Benton went 2-3 at the SIRR Preview Tournament, and with the two losses last week, drop to 4-5 on the season.
This week, Benton hosts Harrisburg Thursday before hosting the Benton Rangerettes Classic Saturday with Pinckneyville, Nashville, and Fairfield leading the 12-team field. Action starts at 9 a.m.