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2012 Seventh Grade Volleyball State Tournaments Begin Saturday

For the sixth time in Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) history four champions will be crowned in the Seventh Grade Girls State Volleyball Tournament series. Competition in the Class 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A State Final Tournaments begins Saturday (March 10) and concludes Tuesday (March 13) at four sites.

Class 1A will be played at Auburn Junior High in Divernon. Class 2A will be played at Heyworth Jr./Sr. High School. Assumption Central A & M Junior High School will be the site of Class 3A. East Peoria Central 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 5:30 p.m. and the championship match scheduled for 6:45 p.m.

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 7th 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 two classes state series for both seventh grade and eighth grade. Beginning in 2007, the seventh 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 link at the top of the IESA Web Site Home Page.

Here is a look at each of the four 2012 Seventh Grade State Final Tournaments:

Class 1A @ Auburn JH @ Divernon

The Class 1A field will be highlight by the return of last year's state champion, Hartsburg-Emden. Chrisman Scottland and Lovejoy are also returning this year to improve on their performances last year.

Unbeaten Thornton Wolcott (17-0) meets Hardin St. Norbert (15-4) in the first quarterfinal match at 10:00 a.m. This will be the very first appearance for both Thornton Wolcott and Hardin St. Norbert in the Class 1A tournament. Streator St. Michael (11-6) faces Hartsburg-Emden (17-4) in the second match at 11:15 a.m. Streator St. Michael will also be making their first appearance in this tournament. Hartsburg-Emden will be looking to take home their fourth Class 1A state volleyball championship trophy this year. Not only are they the defending state champs, but they also took home back to back titles in 2007 and 2008. The winners of these matches meet in the first semifinal match at 1:00 p.m.

Chrisman Scottland (21-3) will meet Lowpoint-Washburn (18-3) in the third quarterfinal match at 2:15 p.m. This will be the second straight appearance for Chrisman Scottland in the Class 1A tournament. Lowpoint-Washburn will be making their first appearance in the Class 1A tournament this year. Lovejoy (14-3) plays Atwood-Hammond (11-1) at 3:30 p.m. This will be the third straight appearance for Lovejoy. There best finish came in 2010 when they took home fourth place honors. Atwood-Hammond will be the fifth team to be making their first trip to the Class 1A tournament. The winners of these matches meet in the second semifinal match at 5:15 p.m. The third place and title matches will be played Tuesday (March 13) at 5:30 and 6:45 p.m., respectively.

Class 2A @ Heyworth Jr./Sr. High School

Five of the eight teams in Class 2A are pretty familiar with this tournament. Augusta Southeastern (22-1), Champaign St. Matthew (20-5), Lewistown Central (18-7), Mason City Illini Central (20-2), and Oakland Tri-County (19-1), all have previously participated in the Class 2A tournament.

Lewistown Central (18-7) plays Oakland Tri-County (19-1) in the first quarterfinal match at 10:00 a.m. Oakland Tri-County last made appearances in 2008 and 2009 where they finished fourth and second, respectively. Lewistown Central is making their sixth straight appearance this year. Lewistown Central has continued to grow in this tournament over their last five appearances. After taking second and third place in 2008 and 2009, they have won back to back state titles since. They have a chance to complete the three-peat this year and make history. Mt. Olive (17-2) will meet Augusta Southeastern (22-1) at 11:15 a.m. Mt. Olive will be making their first appearance in this tournament. Augusta Southeastern participated in the 2010 tournament but lost in the first round. The winners of these matches meet in the first semifinal match at 1:00 p.m.

Gardner (16-5) meets Grand Ridge (9-11) in the third quarterfinal match at 2:15 p.m. Both of these teams will be making their first appearances in the Class 2A tournament. Grand Ridge took down a tough Normal Epiphany team to win the sectional and Gardner needed to go the distance with Grant Park to secure their spot at state. Mason City Illini Central (20-2) squares off against Champaign St. Matthew (20-5) at 3:30 p.m. Mason City Illini Central participated in the Class 3A tournament in 2009. They were able to capture the second place trophy that year. Champaign St. Matthew played in the Class 2A tournament in 2009 and is looking to improve on that performance. 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 13) at 5:30 and 6:45 p.m., respectively.

Class 3A @ Assumption Central A @ M JHS

It's a free-for-all for the Class 3A championship and it only features two teams that played in this tournament last year.

Pleasant Plains (21-1) meets Mackinaw Dee-Mack (19-6) in the first quarterfinal match at 10:00 a.m. These two teams are very familiar with each other. Just a year ago they met in the semifinals to decide who would get to play for the state championship. Mackinaw Dee-Mack is a two-time state champion in Class 3A (2008 & 2010). They are looking to take home a third trophy this year. Pleasant Plains is making their third straight appearance and has taken home the second place trophy in each of their previous Class 3A state tournaments. Eureka (20-2) battles Beecher (16-7) at 11:15 a.m. Both of these teams are making their first appearance in this tournament and both are looking to make some noise this year. The winners of these two matches play in the first semifinal at 1:00 p.m.

Mossville (18-4) plays Auburn JHS (13-5) in quarterfinal number three at 2:15 p.m. Mossville is making their first trip to the Class 3A tournament. It has been three years since the last appearance by Auburn. They were able to take home the fourth place trophy during the 2009 season. The match between Tolono Unity (20-4) and Shelbyville Moulton (21-3) follows at 3:30 p.m. Tolono Unity needed a hard fought victory over Watseka Glenn Raymond to secure their sectional championship. Shelbyville is making their first appearance since 2009 and they are looking to bring home some hardware this time around. The winners of these two matches play in the second semifinal at 5:15 p.m. The third place and title matches will be played Tuesday (March 13) at 5:30 and 6:45 p.m., respectively.

Class 4A @ East Peoria Central JHS

Only one of the eight Class 4A finalists returns from last year. Four of the schools come into the tournament with 20 or more wins this year.

Quincy (16-4) meets Mahomet-Seymour (13-11) in the first quarterfinal match at 10:00 a.m. Both Quincy and Mahomet-Seymour will be making their very first appearances in the Class 4A tournament this year. Normal Kingsley (21-0) will put their undefeated record on the line against Summit Heritage (10-7) in the second match at 11:15. Normal Kingsley took care of business against a great Morton JHS team to win the sectional in two games. Summit Heritage on the other hand went three games with Homewood Hart to secure their spot in the state tournament. The winners of these two matches play the first semifinal at 1:00 p.m.

New Lenox Liberty (18-4) battles Minooka (23-2) in quarterfinal match number three at 2:15 p.m. New Lenox Liberty will be making their first appearance in the Class 4A tournament. Minooka has been here before (2008 & 2009), but this time they want to take home the first place trophy. Then undefeated Edwardsville Liberty (24-0) and Manteno (24-0) square off at 3:30 p.m. Edwardsville Liberty is the lone returning team from last year and took home the fourth place trophy. Manteno is also one of the newcomers to this state tournament this year. The winners of these two matches play in the second semifinal at 5:15 p.m. The third place and title matches will be played Tuesday (March 13) at 5:30 and 6:45 p.m., respectively.



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