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Chatham Glenwood Set To Defend IESA Class 8AA Girls Volleyball Title

Chatham Glenwood returns to defend its IESA Class 8AA Girls State Volleyball Tournament title as competition gets under way Saturday at Stephen Decatur Middle School with eight first round games. Five other schools that qualified for last year's tournament also return . Homer Glen Homer, Champaign Jefferson, Herscher Limestone, Lansing Memorial and Mattoon . for the last tournament under the two-class system. Next year there will be four classes in IESA Girls Volleyball.

First round games will be played Saturday beginning at 9:30 a.m. The eight winners advance to the quarterfinals Monday (March 20) with the first of four matches starting at 3:30 p.m. The semifinals will be played Tuesday (March 21) starting at 3:30 p.m. The third place match is set for Tuesday at 6:00 and the championship match follows at 7:15.

Four of the qualifiers have posted 20 or more wins coming into the tournament. Pana JHS (23-1) leads the way and meets Chatham Glenwood (12-1) in the tournament's first match Saturday at 9:30 a.m. The other 20-win teams are in the lower bracket. Herscher Limestone (22-3) meets Lansing Memorial (17-5) at 4:15 p.m. Then Mendota Northbrook (22-1) battles Quincy (16-2) at 5:30 p.m. In the nightcap at 6:45 p.m. it's Normal Chiddix (20-4) vs. Mattoon (19-5). Champaign Jefferson (19-3) battles Easton Illini Central (17-6) in the first lower bracket match at 3:00 p.m. Normal Chiddix, Homer Glen Homer and Champaign Jefferson also are returnees from the 2005 8AA field.

Other upper bracket openers include: Pleasant Plains (17-6) vs. Homer Glen Homer (16-9) at 10:45 a.m.; East St. Louis Clark (19-4) vs. Dunlap MS (18-2) at noon and Arlington Hts. South (15-2) vs. Paxton-Buckley-Loda (17-4) at 1:15 p.m.

The combined win-loss record of the 16 finalists is 284-64, a winning percentage of .816. Three of the finalists are making their first appearance in the State Final. They are Pana JHS, Arlington Hts. South and Mendota Northbrook. Schools with the most appearances are Homer Glen Homer and Normal Chiddix with seven each.

Only three of the final 16 teams have seventh-eighth grade enrollments of less than 200. Smallest school in this year's field is Easton Illini Central at 156. Illini Central's 7AA team played Chillicothe Tuesday (March 15) for the state championship. Next smallest is Herscher Limestone at 182 and Pleasant Plains at 199. Largest school in the field is Quincy at 1,079. Seven schools in this year's field have seventh-eighth grade enrollments of more than 500.

Eighty-one of the 221 players listed on the rosters for the 16 finalists are 5-foot-7 or taller. Homer Glen Homer, East St. Louis Clark and Arlington Hts. South can throw the tallest front lines on the floor, but Quincy has the potential to field a lineup of six players at 5-9.

Homer Glen Homer has the potential of 5-10 Emily Klinga, 5-9 Brianne Johnson and 5-9 Allie Gritzman at the net at the same time. East St. Louis Clark can put a line at the net featuring 5-10 Chelsey Robinson, 5-9 Raven Campbell and 5-9 Catina Willis. Then there's this front line for Arlington Hts. South: 6-0 Lindsey Pickle, 5-11 Rachel Hunt and 5-10 Cally Hutton. Easton Illini Central has 5-10 setter Kelsey Laugel, with middle hitters Haylie Stone at 5-9 and Stephanie Nekirk at 5-8.

Ten of Quincy's 15 players are 5-7 or taller. The Comets have seven players listed at 5-9. They are middle hitters Nikita Cheadle, Maddy Barnes, Mariah Irvine and Taylor Holtmeyer and outside hitters Kaitlyn Hankins, Ashley Stollberg and Bethany Foster.

Pleasant Plains has 6-0 Kelsey Owens in the middle while Paxton-Buckley-Loda has 6-0 Kasey Sanders in the middle.

Following is a team-by-team breakdown of players 5-7 or taller: Quincy 10, Arlington Hts. South 8, East St. Louis Clark 8, Mattoon 8, Champaign Jefferson 7, Normal Chiddix 7, Chatham Glenwood 5, Dunlap 4, Herscher Limestone 4, Homer Glen Homer 4, Pana JHS 4, Easton Illini Central 3, Lansing Memorial 3, Mendota 2, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 2 and Pleasant Plains 2.

Here are the Class 8AA State Final Tournament pairings:

Saturday (First Round)
Match 1 9:30 a.m. Pana JHS (23-1) vs. Chatham Glenwood (12-1)
Match 2 10:45 a.m. Pleasant Plains (17-6) vs. Homer Glen Homer (16-9)
Match 3 12:00 noon East St. Louis Clark (19-4) vs. Dunlap MS (18-2)
Match 4 1:15 p.m. Arlington Hts. South (15-2) vs. Paxton-Buckley-Loda (17-4)
Match 5 3:00 p.m. Champaign Jefferson (19-3) vs. Easton Illini Central (17-6)
Match 6 4:15 p.m. Herscher Limestone (22-3) vs. Lansing Memorial (17-5)
Match 7 5:30 p.m. Quincy (16-2) vs. Mendota Northbrook (22-1)
Match 8 6:45 p.m. Mattoon (19-5) vs. Normal Chiddix (20-4)

Monday (March 20) (Quarterfinals)
Match 9- 3:30 p.m. Winners of Match 1 and 2
Match 10- 4:45 p.m. Winners of Match 3 and 4
Match 11- 6:00 p.m. Winners of Match 5 and 6
Match 12- 7:15 p.m. Winners of Match 7 and 8

Tuesday (March 21) (Semifinals & Finals)
Match 13- 3:30 p.m. Winners of Match 9 and 10
Match 14- 4:45 p.m. Winners of Match 11 and 12
Match 15- 6:00 p.m. Losers of Match 13 and 14 (Third Place)
Match 16- 7:15 p.m. Winners of Match 13 and 14 (State Championship)

Visit www.iesa.org for additional information regarding this, and all other, IESA state final events. Click on the Volleyball link at the top of the Web Site front page.



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