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2010 Eighth Grade Volleyball State Tournaments Begin Saturday

Four champions will be crowned in the Illinois Elementary School association (IESA) Eighth Grade Girls State Volleyball Tournament series. Competition in the Class 1A, Class 2A, Class 3A and Class 4A State Final Tournaments begins Saturday (March 20) and concludes Tuesday (March 23) at four sites.

Class 1A will be hosted by Hartsburg-Emden. Class 2A will be played at Mt. Pulaski High School. Riverton High School will be the site of Class 3A. Clinton Junior High School will host Class 4A.

The time schedule for all four tournaments will be the same. Upper bracket quarterfinals and semifinals will be played in the morning. Lower bracket quarterfinals and semifinals will be played beginning Saturday afternoon. The upper bracket quarterfinals are scheduled for 10:00 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. The winners meet in the semifinal at 1:00 p.m. The lower bracket quarterfinals are scheduled for 2:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The winners meet in the semifinal at 5:15 p.m. Third place and championship matches will be played Tuesday with the third place match set for 6:00 p.m. and the championship match scheduled for 7:30.

Any changes in the playing status of each of the four tournaments will be posted on the IESA Web Site at www.iesa.org as each tournament progresses.

The price of admission Saturday is $7.00 for adults and $3.00 for seniors (62 and over) and students (K-8) and is good for all games Saturday. Children younger than kindergarten are admitted free. Fans attending the games Saturday will receive a wristband that is to be worn all day and will be used for entry into that respective state final site only throughout the day. It will not be honored at any other 8th grade state final site. The price of admission for the third place and championship game session Thursday will be $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for seniors and students (K-8). Children younger than kindergarten again are admitted free.

IESA girls volleyball began in 1976. There was one-class competition from 1976-84, and in 1985 the state series was divided into Class A and Class AA by school size. From 1989-2006, there were Class A and Class AA state series for both seventh grade and eighth grade. Since 2007, the seventh grade and eighth grade series have four classes each.

Complete pairings for each state final, plus the FanZone, can be found at www.iesa.org. Click on the Volleyball line in the orange box at the top of the IESA Web Site Home Page.

Here is a look at each of the four 2010 Eighth Grade State Final Tournaments:

Class 1A

Unbeaten Grayville (22-0) and once-beaten Oakland Tri-County (19-1) appear to be on a collision course that can end in the Class 1A championship match. They are in opposite brackets. In the meantime, a state champion other than perennial powerhouse Hartsburg-Emden is guaranteed. Three-time defending state champion Hartsburg-Emden, the No. 1 seed in the regional, lost to Lincoln West Lincoln-Broadwell, 25-19, 25-18, in the regional title match.

Every team in the Class 1A field but Lincoln West Lincoln-Broadwell has won at least 18 matches. Augusta Southeastern (18-5) plays Franklin (18-4) in the first quarterfinal match Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Then Mazon-Verona-Kinsman (23-2) battles Oakland Tri-County at 11:15 a.m. The winners of those quarterfinal matches meet in the upper bracket semifinal match at 1:00 p.m. Saturday. Grayville and Lincoln West Lincoln-Broadwell (15-8) square off in the third quarterfinal match at 2:15 p.m. Streator Woodland (19-2) meets perennial contender Peoria Limestone Walters (19-4) in the last quarterfinal match at 3:30 p.m. The winners of those two quarterfinal matches meet in the lower bracket semifinal match at 5:15 p.m. The third place and title matches will be played Tuesday (March 23) at 6:00 and 7:30 p.m., respectively.

Augusta Southeastern has a trio of players 5-6 or taller on its roster of 15. They are 5-8 middle hitter Mackenzie Miller, 5-6 middle hitter Kara Twaddell and 5-6 seventh grader Megan Dobbins, a middle hitter. Setters are 5-4 Kassie Henry and 4-10 Ali Kerr. Top-seeded in the regional, the Suns beat Jacksonville Our Savior 25-22 in the first game of their first regional match and then have outscored their three state series foes 125-59 over the past five games.

Despite having only two players taller than 5-3 on its roster of 11 players, Franklin has handled three state series opponents in two games each match. The tallest players on the team are Cheryl Wood and Kellie Bergschneider, both 5-5 and both are seventh graders.

Mazon-Verona-Kinsman won third place in the seventh grade Class 1A state final Tuesday night. Three members of that team are on the eighth grade roster -- 5-1 setter Madison Wyss, 5-6 outside hitter Neeka Garcia and 5-8 middle hitter Lexi Wilkinson, the tallest player on the roster. The Mavericks' other setter is 5-3 Mallory Misener. A trio of outside hitters are eighth graders each 5-6. They are Mackenzie Granby, Taylor Greed and Danielle Hauch.

Oakland Tri-County, a co-op between Oakland Lake Crest and Kansas, placed second in the 2009 seventh grade Class 2A state tournament and fourth in the 2009 eighth grade Class 2A state tournament. The Titans lost last Saturday (March 13) in the 2010 seventh grade Class 2A quarterfinals. Four of the players on this year's seventh grade team are on the eighth grade roster. They are setter Chelsea Fidler, setter Alex Hudson, outside hitter Kayla McKinney and middle hitter Heidi Dague. Hudson served for 14 points in the quarterfinal match.

Six of the Tri-County players on this year's eighth grade roster served for points in last year's seventh grade state tournament. They are (with ace serves-total points served): 5-3 outside hitter, Madelyn Cottle (14-21), 5-4 middle hitter Alex Edwards (11-21), 5-10 middle hitter Abby Smith (13-23), 5-4 setter Lizzy Barnard (8-17), 5-6 outside hitter Megan Humphres (4-5) and 5-3 setter Alex Hudson (2-5).

Tri-County was seeded No. 3 in the regional and beat No. 6 seed Hume Shiloh 19-25, 25-8, 25-15 in the first regional game, then No. 2 seed Philo St. Thomas 25-23, 25-10 in the semifinal match and top-seed Danville St. Paul 25-21, 25-12 in the title match. The Titans faced 15-1 Gifford in the sectional and won 25-22, 25-19.

Grayville has dominated Class 1A in both the seventh and eighth grade state series the past two years. In the seventh grade series the Bison went 23-0 and won the 2009 title and finished 22-2 in taking second Tuesday night (March 16). In the eighth grade series Grayville was second in 2009 at 24-2 and is 22-0 coming into the 2010 state tournament.

Eight of the 12 players on this year's Grayville eighth grade roster are representing their school for the third straight year at the state tournament, in the seventh grade state final in 2008 and 2009 and in the eighth grade state final in 2010. They are 5-2 setter Taylor Knight, 5-3 setter Kelsey Buckman, 5-3 setter Kerri Mitchell, 5-11 middle hitter Whitney Beck, 5-10 middle hitter Shelby McGarvey, 5-5 outside hitter Kyla Harms, 5-1 outside hitter Morgan Rhinehart and 5-11 outside hitter Kassi Linnemann. Buckman and Mitchell are two of four seventh graders on this year's eighth grade roster. The others are 5-1 setter Kodi Knight and 5-7 middle hitter Taylor Woodward.

In three eighth grade state series matches this year, Grayville has won each in two games and has outscored its opponents 50-11, 50-31 and 50-19.

Upstart Lincoln West Lincoln-Broadwell has only four eighth graders on the roster. They are 5-5 outside hitter Lexee Klockenga, 5-8 setter Michelle Paulus, 5-8 middle hitter Livvie Muck and 5-5 outside hitter Alex Turner. The Wolverines got by Decatur Holy Family 26-24, 25-16 in the sectional.

Streator Woodland has only two players on its roster taller that 5-4. They are 5-7 middle hitter Madeline Gillman and 5-6 outside hitter Olivia Ruff. The setter is 5-4 Megan Beutke. The Warriors beat Flanagan 25-19, 25-19 and then Odell 13-25, 25-16, 25-19 in the regional before beating Peru Catholic 25-22, 25-12 in the sectional.

Appearing for the third time in four years in the Class 1A state final, Peoria Limestone Walters is another team with only two players 5-6 or taller. One is 5-6 outside hitter Kelly Scharp, but the other is 6-1 middle hitter Delaney Grafelman, the tallest player in the tournament. Both are eighth graders. Only seven of the 15 players on the roster are eighth graders. The other five are 5-1 setter Marissa Boyer, 5-4 outside hitter Maddie Morse, 5-2 defensive specialist Jennifer Calicotte, 5-5 outside hitter Laura Kemper and 5-5 outside hitter Rebekah Schultz. The Rockets rolled into the state tournament with three state series wins by margins of 50-14, 50-24 and 50-25.

The combined won-loss record of the eight finalists is 153-26, a winning percentage of .855.

Of the 107 players listed on the rosters of the finalists, 2 are fifth graders, 9 are sixth graders, 30 are seventh graders and 66 are eighth graders.

In IESA competition, school enrollments are determined by the students in seventh and eighth grade. Class 1A is the smallest class. The combined enrollment of the eight finalists is 438. Enrollments of the eight finalists are: Lincoln West-Lincoln Broadwell 43, Peoria Limestone Walters 44, Grayville 47, Franklin 52, Mazon-Verona-Kinsman 57, Streator Woodland 61, Oakland Tri-County 66 and Augusta Southeastern 68.

Class 2A

There is no clear cut favorite among the eight finalists in Class 2A where only two of them have won 20 or more matches. Those two are Colchester West Prairie (23-2) and Decatur Our Lady of Lourdes (23-1). They are in opposite brackets.

Tourney-savvy Lexington (19-2) meets Colchester West Prairie in the first quarterfinal match Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Then Elwood GS (12-10) faces perennial contender Stewardson-Strasburg (17-1) at 11:15 a.m. The winners of those two quarterfinal matches play the first semifinal match at 1:00 p.m. Decatur Our Lady of Lourdes faces Girard (17-3) in the third quarterfinal match at 2:15 p.m. Arthur (12-6) and Princeville (13-5) play at 3:30 p.m. The winners of those two matches play the second semifinal match at 5:15 p.m. The third place and title matches will be played Tuesday (March 23) at 6:00 and 7:30 p.m., respectively.

Lexington was seeded second in the regional but put away Normal Epiphany 25-14, 25-18 in the semifinals and No. 1 seed Bloomington Holy Trinity 25-23, 25-16 in the finals before stopping Ottawa Wallace 25-12, 25-11 in the sectional. Lexington has five players 5-7 or taller. They are 5-7 Sydney Billingsley, 5-8 Tessa Walcott, 5-9 Erica Davis, 5-9 Darcie Sharrow and 5-9 Libby Hunt. Setter is 5-4 Dakota Hartley. Lexington's seventh grade team took third in Class 2A Tuesday night (March 16) and no player from that team moves up. Lexington won eighth grade Class 2A in 2008.

Colchester West Prairie will match Lexington in height. The Cyclones have 5-7 Tabatha Bilderback, 5-8 Rachel Mencel and 5-7 Taylor Lovitt, all eighth graders, joined by 5-9 Hannah Debois and 5-7 Kaylen Peterson, both seventh graders. All are middle hitters except Peterson who is one of three setters on the roster. Colchester West Prairie was seeded No. 1 in the regional and beat Lewistown Central 25-23, 25-18 in the title match before stopping Mendon Unity 25-15, 25-12 in the sectional.

Elwood GS has 5-9 Brittney Lange and 5-8 Nicole Bartos at middle hitter with 5-8 Kelsey Frain at outside hitter. Setters for the Tigers are 5-6 Emily Eichholzer and 5-4 Jessica Weiss. Elwood GS was seeded No. 1 in the regional but struggled in the title match with a 25-22, 13-25, 25-23 win over Grant Park.

Stewardson-Strasburg's tallest player is 5-9 setter Haylee Mathis. Middle hitters are 5-8 Kennedy Ferris and 5-7 Lindsay Burton. Outside hitter Brittani Tabbert is 5-7. The Satellites were seeded No. 1 in the regional, outscored St. Elmo in the semifinals 50-26 and then stopped Altamont 25-23, 25-20 in the finals. An epic 24-26, 26-24, 25-16 sectional win over perennial contender Effingham St. Anthony followed.

The tallest team in the field is Decatur Our Lady of Lourdes with a roster of 13 and seven 5-6 or taller. Tallest is 6-0 middle hitter Alexa Tucker. Joining Tucker are 5-9 outside hitter Rosie Waite and 5-9 middle hitter Marie Less. At 5-7 is middle hitter Kaitlyn Crawford. Outside hitter Audri Brinkoetter is 5-6 as is defensive specialist Adrianna Taylor. Setter is 5-3 Caroline Forster.

Only three of 13 players on the roster for Girard are 5-6 or taller. They are 5-8 middle hitter Mariya Jones, 5-7 middle hitter Brooke Bearden and 5-6 middle hitter Becky Klaus. The Redbirds got by a close game in each of their two regional matches and then held off Carrollton GS 22-15, 25-23, 25-18 in the sectional.

Arthur is perhaps the shortest team in the field. The Pages have only three players taller than 5-5. They are 5-7 Karly Goodman, 5-7 Hannah Schrock and 5-6 Emily Kauffman, all middle hitters. Setters are 5-4 Sherelle Coller and 5-1 seventh grader Emily Seegmiller. Arthur hopped past Fisher 24-26, 26-24, 25-11 in the sectional. Arthur was seeded No. 3 in the regional and beat No. 2 Arcola in the semifinals 10-25, 25-23, 25-18 and No. 1 Catlin 26-24, 25-12 in the finals.

Princeville is also short with only three of 14 players 5-5 or taller. They are 5-7 middle hitter Devan Birdson, 5-6 middle hitter Mackenzie Call and 5-5 middle hitter Laura Sandall. Princeville was seeded No. 3 in the regional and took 3 games to beat No. 2 seed Brimfield in the semifinals before topping No. 4 seed Sparland Midland 25-17, 25-11 in the finals.

The combined won-loss record of the eight finalists is 1136-30, a winning percentage of .819.

Of the 107 players listed on the rosters of the finalists, 1 is a sixth grader, 10 are seventh graders and 96 are eighth graders.

In IESA competition, school enrollments are determined by the students in seventh and eighth grade. Class 2A is the second smallest class. Enrollments of the eight finalists are: Lexington 78, Stewardson-Strasburg 79, Arthur 80, Colchester West Prairie 83, Elwood GS 86, Girard 97, Princeville 100 and Decatur Our Lady of Lourdes 105.

Class 3A

Unbeaten Chillicothe (25-0), last year's seventh grade champion, is one of only three teams with 20 or more wins in the Class 3A field. The others are Peru Parkside (21-4) and Pleasant Plains (20-3).

Chillicothe meets Paxton-Buckley-Loda (17-6) in the first quarterfinal match at 10:00 a.m. Then defending eighth grade Class 3A champion Downs Tri-Valley (10-11) battles Shelbyville Moulton (17-5) at 11:15 a.m. The winners of these two matches meet in the first semifinal match at 1:00 p.m. Carlinville (16-5) faces Peru Parkside in quarterfinal match No. 3 at 2:15 p.m. Herscher Limestone (19-6) plays Pleasant Plains at 3:30 p.m. The winners of these two matches meet in the second semifinal match at 5:15 p.m. The third place and title matches will be played Tuesday (March 23) at 6:00 and 7:30 p.m., respectively.

The Chillicothe volleyball program has been on a roll since the advent of the 4-class system. The Mustangs have been hard to corral in recent state tournament competition. The seventh grade team in 2008 finished third at 27-1 and was state champion at 29-0 in 2009. This year Chillicothe lost to eventual seventh grade Class 3A champion Mackinaw Dee-Mack 25-12, 25-20 in the sectional for its only loss in 15 matches. The eighth grade team was second in Class 3A in 2009 at 24-4.

There are 15 players on Chillicothe's eighth grade roster and 14 of them were on last year's seventh grade team. Setter Erika Koch (5-9) and middle hitter Brooke Ratcliff (5-9) were on last year's eighth grade roster, too. Joining them this year are 5-9 middle hitter Hannah Scherer and 5-8 outside hitter Delaney Coats. Five others are 5-6 or 5-7. The Mustangs beat Dee-Mack 25-7, 25-17 in the sectional after stopping two regional foes by a combined 100-44 count.

Paxton-Buckley-Loda has a tall team. Middle hitters Kailey Kleinert and Elizabeth Stephens are 5-11. Outside hitters Brittany Heyen and Haley Stagen are 5-9. At 5-7 are outside hitters Janel Flanigan and Ariel Flessner. Setters are 5-2 Jori Maynard and 5-5 Asti Hastings. The Panthers were sluggish against No. 4 seed Gibson City GCMS in the regional semifinals winning 23-25, 25-9, 25-16. But they have outscored the next two state series opponents by a combined 100-71.

The road to the Class 3A state tournament for defending champion Downs Tri-Valley has been anything but smooth. The Vikings were seeded No. 3 in the regional and opened with a 25-23, 25-14 win over No. 2 seed Mansfield Blue Ridge in the semifinals. Then they beat No. 4 seed Lincoln JHS 28-26, 25-23 in the regional finals. In the sectional, Downs Tri-Valley held off rugged Warrensburg-Latham 25-21, 25-21. Only two of the 15 players on the roster are taller than 5-6. They are 5-8 middle hitters Stormy Plunk and Anna Ramsey. Setters are 5-5 Alley Wombles and 5-2 Liz Boll.

Shelbyville Moulton has 5-10 middle hitter Brandy Smith and a quartet of 5-6 hitters in Morgan Voyles, Amanda Sprague, Monica Griesemer and Morgan Lawrence. The Rams were seeded No. 2 in the regional and went 3 games to beat No. 3 seed Pana in the semifinals before stopping No. 4 seed Toledo Cumberland 25-23, 25-18 in the regional finals. They beat Newton Jasper County 25-21, 25-6 in the sectional.

Carlinville can bring height to the net. Four of the Warriors' five tallest players are seventh graders. They are 5-11 middle hitter Kathleen Kelly, 5-10 middle hitter Megan Stayton, 5-8 setter Carley Kulenkamp and 5-8 outside hitter Talesha Scott. Joining them is 5-8 eighth grader Emma Hicks at middle hitter. Carlinville was seeded No. 2 in the regional and beat No. 1 Auburn JHS at Diveron by a combined 50-39 in the title match. Then Carlinville beat Greenville 17-25, 25-6, 25-17 in the sectional.

Peru Parkside beat rugged El Paso-Gridley 26-24, 25-22 in the sectional. In the regional, the Raiders were seeded No. 2 and beat Seneca 24-26, 25-19, 25-11 in the semifinals and McNabb Putnam County 25-20, 26-24 in the finals. The Raiders have 5-9 Jardyn Ferrari at outside hitter and 5-9 Callie Schmidt at middle hitter. Also in the middle is 5-8 Rachel Hunt. Marisa Fraga is a 5-7 outside hitter and 5-7 Haley Duncan is a defensive specialist. Setters are 5-6 Katie Olson and 5-5 Josie Kampwerth.

Herscher Limestone's middle hitters include 5-8 Briana Fisher, 5-8 Tori Wenzelman and 5-7 Alexi Mathews. Setters are 5-4 Caitlyn Bradbury and 5-1 Mikayla Fisher. Another team seeded No. 2 in the regional, the Lightning stopped No. 1 seed Morris Saratoga 25-17, 25-13 in the finals. Then they bolted by Lockport Kelvin Grove 25-20, 21-25, 25-23 in the sectional.

Pleasant Plains has 12 players on the roster and nine are 5-5 or taller. Middle hitters are 5-8 Helena Miller, Jenae Moore and Kendell Shultz. Outside hitter Samantha Clemens is 5-7. Setters are 5-1 Allie McNamara and 5-6 Maddie Savage. Pleasant Plains has outscored three state series foes 53-34, 50-29 and 50-35. The school's seventh grade team finished second in Class 3A Tuesday (March 16) and none of those players are on the eighth grade team.

The combined won-loss record of the eight finalists is 145-40, a winning percentage of .784.

Of the 109 players listed on the rosters of the finalists, 8 are seventh graders and 101 are eighth graders.

In IESA competition, school enrollments are determined by the students in seventh and eighth grade. Class 3A is the second largest class. Enrollments of the eight finalists are: Downs Tri-Valley 168, Shelbyville Moulton 171, Chillicothe 174, Herscher Limestone 200, Carlinville 220, Peru Parkside 214, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 230 and Pleasant Plains 244.

Class 4A

Four of the eight teams played in last year's eighth grade Class 4A state tournament, and six of the eight teams in this year's field come into the state tournament with at least 21 wins. Returning from last year are fourth place finisher Frankfort Summit Hill and quarterfinalists Edwardsville Liberty, Lansing Memorial and Homer Glen Homer. The only teams not to have at least 21 wins are Jacksonville Turner and Normal Kingsley, which was eighth grade Class 4A state champion in 2007 and 2008.

Edwardsville Liberty (22-4) meets Frankfort Summit Hill (21-4) in the first quarterfinal match at 10:00 a.m. Saturday. Then Mendota Northbrook (22-1) battles Lansing Memorial (22-3) at 11:15 a.m. The winners of those two matches play in the first semifinal match at 1:00 p.m. Jacksonville Turner (19-4) plays Normal Kingsley (16-6) in the third quarterfinal match at 2:15 p.m. Homer Glen Homer (23-2) and Mattoon (22-1) square off at 3:30 p.m. The winners of those two matches play in the second semifinal match at 5:15 p.m. The third place and title matches will be played Tuesday (March 23) at 6:00 and 7:30 p.m., respectively.

Seeded No. 4 in the regional, Edwardsville Liberty stopped No. 1 seed Edwardsville Lincoln 25-16, 25-18 in the regional semifinals before beating East St. Louis Clark 26-24, 18-25, 25-13 in the finals. The Panthers pawed with Piasa Southwestern 25-15, 25-10 in the sectional. Middle hitters for Edwardsville Liberty are 5-9 Lynsey Wright and 5-9 Sarah Wilkening, 5-8 Hannah McLaughlin and 5-8 Carly Weimer. Setters are 5-5 Haley Birker and Rachel Goff.

Frankfort Summit Hill has 5-11 Brittany Pappas at middle hitter, 5-9 Amy Voss at middle hitter and 5-10 Shannon Murphy at setter. The Spartans rolled past a pair of regional foes by combined scores of 50-12 and 50-26 before stopping Bourbonnais UGC 25-22, 8-25, 25-13 in the sectional.

Mendota Northbrook handled Shorewood Troy 25-8, 25-12 in the sectional after beating a pair of regional opponents by combined scoring of 50-21 and 50-34. Middle hitter Halie Donahue is the tallest on the team at 5-10. She is joined by 5-9 outside hitter Kassandra Guerra and 5-8 Madison Myers. Setters are 5-5, Sylvia Escatel and 5-3 Elivia Amber.

Appearing in the Class 4A state tournament for the fourth straight year, Lansing Memorial is looking for its second team trophy. The Mustangs finished fourth in the first Class 4A state final in 2007 and lost in the quarterfinals the past two years. Coach Barb Maricich has 5-10 outside hitters Leah Lagestee and Deja Williams with 5-8 Cameron Crosby and 5-7 Cori Reynolds. Lansing Memorial beat two regional foes by combined scores of 50-25 and 50-27 before posting a 25-21, 25-15 win over Chicago Heights Washington in the sectional.

Jacksonville Turner can throw some "tallness" at its state tournament opponents. Coach Paula Belobrajdic-Stewart has a roster of 15 players and 11 of them are 5-6 or taller. Middle hitter Jaelyn Keene and outside hitter Maggie McNeal are 6-1. Outside hitter Maddy Albers is 5-9 and outside hitter Sami Suttles is 5-8. Setter is 5-6 Sarah Thornley. The Titans were seeded No. 4 in the regional and stopped No. 1 seed Quincy 25-18, 19-25, 26-24 in the semifinals. They beat No. 2 seed Springfield Franklin 25-20, 25-11 in the regional final and then Taylorville 25-12, 25-10 in the sectional.

Normal Kingsley was seeded No. 3 in the regional and has scratched its way to the state tournament getting past No. 6 seed Clinton then No. 2 seed Forrest Prairie Central with a close game in both matches. That set up the Cavaliers' epic win over No. 1 seed Bloomington JHS in the regional final 29-27, 21-25, 27-25. In the sectional, Normal Kingsley handled Pekin Edison 25-19, 25-13. Coach Keith Rice has 5-10 Destiny Ramsey and 5-7 middle hitters Madeline Morris and Alex Knuckey with 5-8 Hope Brasseur at outside hitter. Setter is 5-2 Sami Steach.

Homer Glen Homer can put a gigantic set of six players on the floor at any given time. Coach Connie Smyder has 13 players on the roster and six of them are 5-7 or taller. Leading the way is 5-11 middle hitter Jenna Jablonski. At 5-10 are middle hitters Mackenzie Wasowicz and Lauren Seggebruch. Outside hitters Sara Hillebold, Kalyn Putman and Sarah Kurzawski are 5-8. Setters are 5-7 Kayla Pfeiffer and 5-6 Gabby Voulgaris.

Mattoon is another tall team. Of the 15 players on the roster, nine are 5-7 or taller. Middle hitters Hannah Pruden and Carley Leitch are 5-10 and middle hitters Shelby Cox and Leah Buck are 5-9. Outside hitters at 5-8 are Kaitlyn Bath and Riley Phipps, and at 5-7 are Katlyn Gordon and Jaden Patterson. Setter Emma Diltz is 5-7. Mattoon had to go three games to get by Champaign Edison 23-25, 25-20, 25-14 in the sectional. The Wildcats were seeded No. 1 in the regional and beat Mt. Zion in the semifinals 25-14, 25-22 before stopping Effingham JHS 25-18, 24-26, 25-10 in the finals.

The combined won-loss record of the eight finalists is 167-25, a winning percentage of .870.

Of the 113 players listed on the rosters of the finalists, 0 are seventh graders and all 113 are eighth graders.

In IESA competition, school enrollments are determined by the students in seventh and eighth grade. Class 4A is the largest class. Enrollments of the eight finalists are: Mendota Northbrook 272, Mattoon 512, Jacksonville Turner 536, Lansing Memorial 592, Edwardsville Liberty 626, Normal Kingsley 679, Homer Glen Homer 821 and Frankfort Summit Hill 879.



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