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2012 Eighth Grade Volleyball State Tournaments Begin Saturday

For the sixth time in Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) history four champions will be crowned in the Eighth Grade Girls State Volleyball Tournament series. Competition in the Class 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A State Final Tournaments begins Saturday (March 17) and concludes Tuesday (March 20) at four sites.

Class 1A will be played at Hartsburg-Emden High School. Class 2A will be played at Lewistown High School. Tolono Unity Junior High School will be the site of Class 3A. Normal Kingsley 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 Eighth Grade State Final Tournaments:

Class 1A @ Hartsburg-Emden High School

Thornton Wolcott (18-1) meets Hardin St. Norbert (18-1) in the first quarterfinal match at 10:00 a.m. This will be the first appearance for both of these teams in the Class 8-1A tournament. Ironically, these two schools faced each other a week ago in the first round of the seventh grade tournament. Undefeated Cissna Park (24-0) faces Hartsburg-Emden (21-4) in the second match at 11:15 a.m. The winners of these matches meet in the first semifinal match at 1:00 p.m. Even though this will be the first appearance in Class 8-1A for Cissna Park, this group is no stranger to state tournaments. As seventh graders last year they took home the third place trophy. Hartsburg-Emden has had a lot of success in the Class 8-1A tournament. They completed a three-peat of state championships in 2009. Don't look past this group though; they also have a state championship from their seventh grade tournament last year.

Lovejoy (16-5) battles West Salem (18-4) in the third quarterfinal match at 2:15 p.m. These two schools met just one year ago in this same tournament. They met in the semifinals where West Salem defeated Lovejoy to move into the state championship. Lovejoy won the fourth place trophy and West Salem captured second place. This will be a great rematch from last year's tournament. Lexington (20-2) plays Bartonville Monroe (24-1) at 3:30 p.m. Lexington is making their fourth appearance in the last five years for Class 8-1A. They captured the state title in 2008 and they are looking to do it again this year. This Bartonville Monroe team placed fourth in last year's Class 1A seventh grade tournament. This will be the first appearance for them in the Class 8-1A tournament. The winners of these matches meet in the second semifinal match at 5:15 p.m.

Class 2A @ Lewistown HS

Liberty (22-2) plays Mt. Pulaski (16-10) in the first quarterfinal match at 10:00 a.m. This will be the first appearance for Liberty in the Class 2A tournament. The eighth graders on the team did compete in the Class 7-2A tournament last year and won fourth place. This will be the first appearance for Mt. Pulaski since 2009 in Class 2A. That was the year they captured the state championship. St. Elmo (18-6) battles Roanoke-Benson (17-2) at 11:15 a.m. Both of these squads will be making their first appearance in the Class 2A tournament. The winners of these matches meet in the first semifinal match at 1:00 p.m.

Lewistown Central (23-2) meets Grant Park (18-6) in the third quarterfinal match at 2:15 p.m. The eighth grade girls of Lewistown Central took home the Class 2A championship last year in seventh grade. They are back this year and looking to add another trophy. Grant Park made their last appearance in 2008 when they placed fourth. Hardin Calhoun (12-3) squares off against Decatur Our Lady of Lourdes (23-2) at 3:30 p.m. Hardin Calhoun went the distance with Bunker Hill Wolf Ridge at sectionals to secure their first appearance in the Class 8-2A state tournament. Decatur Our Lady of Lourdes finished runner-up to Lewistown Central in the seventh grade tournament last year. They will get a rematch in the semifinals of this tournament if they defeat Hardin Calhoun. The winners of these two matches meet in the second semifinal match at 5:15 p.m.

Class 3A @ Tolono Unity JHS

Glassford Illini Bluffs (10-13) meets Blue Mound Meridian (24-1) in the first quarterfinal match at 10:00 a.m. This will be the first appearance in the Class 3A tournament for Glassford Illini Bluffs since 2008. This will be the first appearance for Blue Mound Meridian. Undefeated Peru Parkside (24-0) battles Herscher Limestone (23-2) at 11:15 a.m. This will be a rematch from the Class 7-3A semifinals just a year ago. Peru Parkside went on to win that game and also take home the state championship trophy. Herscher Limestone finished with the fourth place trophy. The winners of these two matches play in the first semifinal at 1:00 p.m.

Bloomington Holy Trinity (24-1) plays Tuscola East Prairie (16-3) in quarterfinal number three at 2:15 p.m. This will be the first appearance for both schools in the Class 8-3A tournament. The match between Casey-Westfield (18-1) and undefeated Pleasant Plains (22-0) follows at 3:30 p.m. Casey-Westfield will also be making their first appearance in this tournament. Pleasant Plains will be making their third consecutive trip to the Class 8-3A tournament. They have also won two consecutive state championships. Pleasant Plains will be back this year to complete the three-peat. The winners of these two matches play in the second semifinal at 5:15 p.m.

Class 4A @ Normal Kingsley JHS

Bloomington JHS (23-2) meets Bourbonnais UGC (15-6) in the first quarterfinal match at 10:00 a.m. The eighth graders of Bloomington took the third place trophy last year in the seventh grade tournament. Bourbonnais UGC needed three sets to defeat a tough Coal City team at sectionals and advance to the state tournament. Chicago Heights Washington (20-3) plays Edwardsville Lincoln (21-4) in the second match at 11:15 a.m. The winners of these two matches play the first semifinal at 1:00 p.m. Chicago Heights Washington is making their first appearance in the Class 8-4A tournament. Edwardsville Lincoln is making their first appearance since 2008 in Class 4A when they won the fourth place trophy.

Champaign Edison (25-1) battles undefeated Frankfort Summit Hill (23-0) in quarterfinal match No. 3 at 2:15 p.m. Champaign Edison finished in second place in last year's Class 7-4A tournament. This will be the first time that they are participating in the Class 8-4A tournament. Frankfort Summit Hill had back-to-back appearances in 2009 and 2010 where they finished fourth and second, respectively. Then, Minooka (21-3) and Quincy (19-3) square off at 3:30 p.m. It was 2007 when both of these teams last qualified for the Class 8-4A tournament. Minooka grabbed the second place trophy that year. The winners of these two matches play in the second semifinal at 5:15 p.m.



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