Oblong High School's volleyball team won the Little Okaw Valley Conference Tournament Saturday (Sept. 21) at Martinsville. The Lady Panthers went 3-0 in the four-team, round-robin event, picking up wins over Hutsonville-Palestine, Martinsville and Dugger, Ind.
Having the athleticism to gain the advantage over your opponents is one thing. Understanding how what to do in situations when things get tough is another.
Lincoln Trail College's women's basketball team appears to have the former, but is continuing to work on the latter.
The Lady Statesmen feature a very athletic and deep roster, but need to increase their basketball IQ, which head coach Scott Sparks hopes will come the more they get comfortable with the game at the junior college level.
"From the jump, this is the most athletic team 1-13 that I've had since I've been here," Sparks said. "They have talent and work hard, but our biggest problem is that we need to be more cerebral. We have been relying too much on our athleticism in the preseason."
Living on the edge can be an uncomfortable feeling, because you never know when you might fall.
Unfortunately, that moment came Thursday night (Oct. 31) for Hutsonville-Palestine's volleyball team in the championship match of the IHSA Class 1A Casey-Westfield Regional.
After narrowly winning matches in three sets the previous two nights, the Lady Tigers could not turn the trick a third time, as they fell short to Cumberland in two sets, 15-25, 19-25.
"I don't feel the score reflected the effort the girls gave tonight," HHS-PHS head coach Shandy Matthews said. "The girls played well and played hard. Cumberland just found our holes and weakness. Our passing was off, so we didn't get our hitters set up like we needed to, but the girls didn't give up."
Continuing the climb is the goal for Lincoln Trail College's men's basketball team this season.
The Statesmen have improved their win total every season during head coach Luke Stuckey's tenure and they want that trend to continue this season.
And if they do, the Statesmen will have a chance to be regarded as one of the best teams in the country.
"I think we have a chance to be really good this year," Stuckey said. "From a talent standpoint and from a depth standpoint, this is the best we've looked in the preseason in my tenure here. There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic."
Another night of volleyball, another round of drama for Hutsonville-Palestine's volleyball team.
The Lady Tigers went all the way to the brink yet again, but came out on top for the second straight night at the IHSA Class 1A Cassey-Westfield Regional.
Following a three-set win over Effingham St. Anthony to avoid a first-round upset, Hutsonville-Palestine again needed three sets to hold off a pesky Casey-Westfield team that was looking for its second consecutive upset. The Lady Warriors were coming off an upset over fellow Crawford County school Oblong, but Hutsonville-Palestine was able to prevent a repeat, as they rallied to win in three sets, 23-25, 25-17, 28-26 (Oct. 30).
"Tonight was another good game," HHS-PHS head coach Shandy Matthews said. "I am so proud of the girls and how they didn't give up. There were some bad momentum changes, but they didn't let it get to them. They kept playing one point at a time and stuck with it to earn the win. They showed how resilient they are tonight."
Survive and advance is the name of the game in the postseason and that's exactly what Hutsonville-Palestine's volleyball team did Tuesday night (Oct. 29).
The Lady Tigers fended off a stern challenge from Effingham St. Anthony and held on late to win their first round match at the IHSA Class 1A Casey-Westfield Regional in three sets, 25-21, 24-26, 27-25.
"Tonight was a nail biter," HHS-PHS head coach Shandy Matthews said. "It was a good game. St. Anthony is a good team."
A chance for a bit of revenge and to move one step closer to a Regional championship slipped through the fingers of Oblong High School's volleyball team Tuesday night (Oct. 29).
The Lady Panthers, seeded third in their Sub-Sectional, were upset in the first round of the IHSA Class 1A Casey-Westfield Regional by the host and 14th-seed, Casey-Westfield, in three sets, 25-19, 24-26, 22-25.
For the second time this season, Robinson High School's volleyball team shook off a slow start against an improving Lawrenceville team and rallied for a win.
After outlasting the Lady Indians for a three-set win in their Little Illini Conference match Oct. 8 (26-28, 25-21, 25-11), the Lady Maroons repeated that same formula, although the scores were a little tighter and the stakes were a little higher.
Robinson, the seventh-seed in the 12-team Sub-Sectional, came from behind to beat 12th-seeded Lawrenceville in their first round match at the IHSA Class 2A Robinson Regional Monday (Oct. 28), 17-25, 25-22, 25-20.
"Survive and advance," RHS head coach Eric Dean said. "We talked about that before the game and that is exactly what we did. We didn't play well in a lot of areas, but I have to give Lawrenceville some credit for that. The first set they didn't make mistakes and we did. We got up on them in both the second and third, but could not pull away. It was a fight all night."
Conditions were nowhere near favorable to run a race Saturday (Oct. 26), but that did not seem to affect Robinson High School's cross country teams.
The Maroons and Lady Maroons ran very well despite a heavy downpour that ran throughout their races, as they finished first and third, respectively at the IHSA Class 1A Robinson Regional.
Due to the poor conditions, the race was changed to a road race, which started on the track at RHS, went down through the parking lot of Nuttall Middle School to Rustic Street, then over to Allen and back to end where it began.
"It was a very interesting day to say the least," RHS head coach Tony Cork said. "We are very appreciative to the police, volunteers, coaches and the teams for all their cooperation to help pull that off on a terrible weather day."
The regular season did not end the way Lincoln Trail College's volleyball team had hoped.
The Lady Statesmen hosted a triangular match Friday (Oct. 25) and lost both contests, falling to Spoon River in three sets, 19-25, 15-25, 21-25 and to Frontier in five sets, 25-19, 22-25, 21-25, 25-18, 12-15.