State Stories

05

2018 Girls Volleyball

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Illinois State University’s Redbird Arena will be the site of the 2018 IHSA Girls Volleyball State Finals on Friday and Saturday, November 9-10. All 16 matches will be broadcast live on the NFHS Network thanks in part to presenting sponsor Country Financial.

IHSA TV Veteran Scott Slocum will call all the action, while former ISU Redbird player and Laura Doornbos will serve as analyst on the state title matches.

The 2018 field features four programs (Grayville, Pleasant Plains, Galena, Sterling) making their first state final appearances in school history, while Class 1A is the lone class whose defending state champion did not return.

More on the teams below:

CLASS 1A
NEWARK LADY NORSEMEN (38-2)  vs.
GRAYVILLE BISON (27-9)

Newark got a taste of state last year, as Tonya Grayson’s group made the first state final appearance in school history en route to finishing fourth. With sophomore Madi Malone (474 kills) and senior Olivia Nelson (896 assists) back, the Lady Norsemen toppled Durand, who beat them in last year’s third-place match, in the Super-Sectional and have their eyes on the state championship trophy this time around.

Second-year coach Alyssa Schroeder has engineered an amazing turnaround at Grayville, going from nine wins in 2017 to the first state final appearance in school history this weekend. The young Bison appear to be ahead of schedule, as junior Sidney Foster (259 kills) and senior Carsyn Robinson (335 assists) lead a group with numerous freshmen and sophomore contributors.

HARTSBURG-EMDEN STAGS (35-4)  vs.
ST. TERESA BULLDOGS (28-10)

One of the premiere small-school programs in Illinois returns to the state finals after a three-year hiatus. Head coach Jennifer Hayes hopes to capture her second state title (2006) this weekend with her daughter, senior Anna Hayes (501 kills), leading the way. Grace Beekman (299 kills) has emerged as a strong second offensive option in her sophomore season.

St. Teresa has a pair of fourth-place finishes in Class 2A in the past decade and hopes to play for its first title on Saturday under first-year head coach Brad Dalton. But first, Lexie Huck (206 kills), Abby Robinson (193 kills) and company would need to avenge an October 19 thee-game loss to semifinal foe Hartsburg-Emden.


CLASS 2A
PLEASANT PLAINS LADY CARDINALS (32-6)  vs.
ST. THOMAS MORE SABERS (36-4)

Pleasant Plains and second-year head coach Denise Dufour are breaking new ground, as the Lady Cardinals will make their first state final appearance in school history this weekend. The senior tandem of McKenzie Smith (306 kills) and Allie Edwards (241 kills) have prepped for their historic run with a regular-season schedule that included a slew of Regional champs across multiple classes.

The defending champs are back, as Stan Bergman and St. Thomas More try to repeat as state champs. The Sabers return several players from last year’s team, including junior Allie Trame (312 kills) and senior Kayla Brandon (241 kills). St. Thomas More enters Redbird Arena on a 14-match win streak, with 13 of those wins having come in two games.

NASHVILLE HORNETTES (32-8)  vs.
GALENA PIRATES (35-5)

Nashville has made several trips to Redbird for state basketball, but this is just the second appearance (1989) in volleyball and will mark the program’s first trophy. Head coach Josh Konkel’s Hornettes use a balanced attack that includes five players with 133 kills or more, led by junior Delaney Varel (217 kills) and junior Abby Grabowski (360 assists).

After coming up one win short state last year, the Pirates punched their ticket to Redbird for the first time in school history with an exclamation point. With seniors Morgan Wills (337 kills) and Drew Wasson (804 assists) leading the way, Galena beat all five postseason opponents in two games, while holding their opponents to 21 points or less in nine of those ten games.


CLASS 3A
JOLIET CATHOLIC ACADEMY ANGELS (27-13)  vs.
STERLING GOLDEN WARRIORS (39-1)

Head coach Christine Scheibe has Joliet Catholic Academy back at state for the ninth time in the past 16 seasons and in search of the state championship #4. This edition of Angels is led by a trio of players with 200+ kills, including senior Emily Holbrook (261 kills) and junior Bella Ray (247 kills), who will try to avenge an August loss to Sterling on Friday.
In the midst of a fourth straight 30-plus win season, Dale Dykman’s Sterling squad flirted with a perfect regular-season en route to its first state final appearance in school history. Class 4A Sectional qualifier St. Charles North ultimately handed them a loss in mid-October, but the state title dream remains alive for the sister trio of senior Josi Borum (479 assists), and sophomores Brooklyn (431 kills) and Breelyn (261 kills) Borum.

ALTHOFF CATHOLIC CRUSADERS (36-4)  vs.
THE LATIN SCHOOL ROMANS (35-2)

Sara Thomas-Dietrich has moved on to coach at Missouri State University, but new head coach Tony Miner has Althoff Catholic back at state for the third consecutive year and ready to defend the Crusaders Class 3A crown. Karinna Gall (435 kills) continues to be a force, while fellow junior Mary Wessel has seamlessly taken on the setter role (808 assists) this season.

The Latin School has won 97 matches the past three years, and is making its second state trip in that timeframe. This is the first state trip under second-year head coach Bryn Kehoe, who has the Romans rolling behind the play of junior Julia Kinder (227 kills) and sophomore Ava Tortorello (772 assists). None of the Romans five postseason opponents have managed to tally more than 18 points in a game.


CLASS 4A
BENET ACADEMY REDWINGS (35-5)  vs.
MARIST REDHAWKS (37-3)

Benet is arguably the program of the past decade in IHSA volleyball, as the Redwings prepare for their sixth state final trip since 2008 under twelfth-year head coach Brad Baker, which includes three state titles (2011, 2012, 2014). Benet features five players with over 100 kills on the season, including sophomore Kyla Kenney (265 kills) and senior Valentina Tabares (202 kills).

Marist climbed the mountain last year under then second-year head coach Jordan Vidovic, winning the school’s first state championship. Senior standouts Camryn Hannah (351 kills) and Katie Mather (939 assists) have been the offensive catalysts throughout the title defense. Marist split with conference member Benet in the regular-season, meaning the rubber match will carry the opportunity to play for a state title.

DOWNERS GROVE NORTH TROJANS (29-11)   vs.
PRAIRIE RIDGE WOLVES (29-10)

Downers Grove North is back at state for the first time since a pair of appearances in the 1980’s. Head coach Mark Wasik’s team has been led by seniors Margaret Mahlke (404 kills) and Jade Casper (202 kills) in 2018. The Trojans avenged a pair of regular-season defeats to St. Charles East in the Super-Sectional round, and would have a chance for more payback ih they advance to championship after going 0-3 vs. Benet and Marist this year.

Stefanie Otto is the only coach in the history of the Prairie Ridge program (started in 1997) and led the Wolves to runner-up finishes in her two previous two state final appearances (2004 & 2005). The Wolves went 5-8 down the stretch in the 2018 regular-season, before turning it around in the State Series behind the play of seniors Samantha Lockwood (212 kills) and Olivia Annen (194 kills).

TOURNAMENT HISTORY
45th annual State Series
12th year of 4-Class Series
29th year at ISU


SITE

Redbird Arena (Normal)
Directions


HOST
ISU Athletics
Bloomington-Normal CVB
BN Sports Commission


SCHEDULE

Friday, November 9
Session 1 - 9:00 a.m.
Class 1A Semifinals

Newark vs. Grayville
after match 1:
Hartsburg-Emden vs. St. Teresa

Class 2A Semifinals

after match 2:
Pleasant Plains vs. St. Thomas More
after match 3:
Nashville vs. Galena
 
Session 2 - 4:00 p.m.
Class 3A Semifinals

4:00 p.m.
Joliet Catholic Academy vs. Sterling
after match 5:
Althoff Catholic vs. Latin

Class 4A Semifinals
after match 6:
Benet vs. Marist
after match 7:
Downers Grove North vs. Prairie Ridge


Saturday, November 10

Session 3 - 9:00 a.m.
Class 1A Finals
Third-Place
Championship - after 3rd place match

Class 2A Finals
Third-Place - after  1A championship match
Championship - after 3rd place match

Session 4
Class 3A Finals - 4:30 p.m.
Third-Place
Championship - after 3rd place match

Class 4A Finals
Third-Place - after  3A championship match
Championship - after 3rd place match


TICKETS

$8 per session at Redbird Arena


WATCH

All matches available live on NFHS Network via subscription


LISTEN

WLCN 96.3 FM (Atlanta)
Hartsburg-Emden only
Internet Broadcast

WSPY 107.1 FM (Plano)
Newark only
Internet Broadcast

WNSV 104.7 FM (Nashville)
Nashville only
Internet Broadcast

WPVL 1590 AM (Platteville, WI)
Galena only
Internet Broadcast

WSSQ 105.5 FM (Sterling)
Sterling only
Internet Broadcast

Sterling HS (Sterling)
Sterling only
Internet Broadcast only


RESULTS & LIVE STATS
IHSA Girls Volleyball Page


SOCIAL MEDIA
#IHSA on Twitter
Twitter - @IHSAstate

Instagram - @IHSA_IL

Facebook.com/IHSA.IL

Classic IHSA YouTube Video



OFFICIAL STATE FINAL
Gear from Minerva

Photos from VIP

Balls from Wilson

IHSA Program



STATE SUPPORTERS
Country Financial

Wilson Sporting Goods

Gatorade

MaxPreps

Biaggis

Busey Bank

US Marines

Gift of Hope



STUDENT SAFETY
Play Smart. Play Hard.

Take the PSPH pledge...



HISTORY & RECORDS
2018 IHSA State Series

Record Book & Past Champions