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Unbeaten Teams Could Meet For Class 8A Girls State Volleyball Tournament

Unbeatens Oakland Lake Crest (22-0) and Peoria Limestone Walters (24-0) are in opposite halves of the bracket and could meet for the championship in the 2005 Illinois Elementary School Association (IESA) Class 8A girls State Volleyball Tournament that gets under way Saturday at Hartsburg-Emden School.

Peoria Limestone Walters, last year's fourth place finisher, meets Cissna Park (18-6) in the 3:00 p.m. match of Saturday's eight first round games. Oakland Lake Crest runs into perennial powerhouse Mt. Pulaski (19-5) in the second match of the day at 10:45 a.m. Mt. Pulaski is making its 11th appearance in the Class 8A State Tournament. Mt. Pulaski has won four Class 8A state titles. Mt. Pulaski won in 1994-98-2001-02. Only other team in this year's field to earn a championship in the 17 years of Class 8A competition is Stewardson-Strasburg in 1992.

There will be eight first round matches Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Winners Saturday advance to the quarterfinals Monday (March 21) starting at 3:30 p.m. The semifinals will be played starting at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday (March 22) with the third place and championship matches to follow the semifinals Tuesday. Third place match is set to begin at 6:00 p.m. and the title battle is scheduled to begin at 7:15.

Oakland Lake Crest is a co-op involving host school Oakland and Kansas, which was prominent in Class 7A and Class 8A competition prior to the formation of the cooperative team in 2004.

This year's Class 7A field includes only four first time qualifiers. They are Effingham St. Anthony (13-11), Lincoln Carroll Catholic (17-7), Champaign St. Matthew (13-10) and Bloomington Holy Trinity (22-1). Five of the 16 qualifiers have won 20 or more matches, and four of them are in the lower bracket. After Peoria Limestone Walters battles Cissna Park, 23-2 Greenfield meets Champaign St. Matthew at 4:15 p.m. then Bloomington Holy Trinity faces Lincoln Carroll Catholic at 5:30. Saturday's nightcap at 6:45 p.m. matches La Harpe (22-2) against Metamora St. Mary's (18-4).

Only six of the 16 state qualifiers have seventh-eighth grade enrollments or greater than 100. Bunker Hill Meissner is the largest at 130. Smallest school in the field is Lincoln Carroll Catholic with an enrollment of 28 seventh-eighth graders. The combined total enrollment of the 16 qualifiers is 1,294, an average of 80.8.

Eleven of the 16 qualifiers can put a player at 5-foot-9 or taller on the court. Stewardson-Strasburg's lineup can include 5-10 middle hitter Kassaundra Vonderheide, 5-10 middle hitter Alyssa Cooper and 5-9 middle hitter Kiley Mettendorf. Effingham St. Anthony lists four players 5-9 or taller, including 5-10 middle hitter Amy Goeckner. Oakland Lake Crest has 5-11 middle hitter Ashley Stark.

The combined won-loss record of the field is 282-81, a winning percentage of .776.

Here are the 2005 Class 8a State Tournament pairings:

Saturday (First Round)
Match 1 9:30 a.m. Roseville (18-6) vs. Pawnee (16-5)
Match 2 10:45 a.m. Mt. Pulaski (19-5) vs. Oakland Lake Crest (22-0)
Match 3 12:00 noon Stewardson-Strasburg (14-9) vs. Mazon-Verona-Kinsman (11-9)
Match 4 1:15 p.m. Effingham St. Anthony (13-11) vs. Bunker Hill Meissner (10-6)
Match 5 3:00 p.m. Cissna Park (18-6) vs. Peoria Limestone Walters (24-0)
Match 6 4:15 p.m. Greenfield (23-2) vs. Champaign St. Matthew (13-10)
Match 7 5:30 p.m. Lincoln Carroll Catholic (17-7) vs. Bloomington Holy Trinity (22-1)
Match 8 6:45 p.m. La Harpe (22-2) vs. Metamora St. Mary's (18-4)

Monday (March 21) (Quarterfinals)
Match 9- 3:30 p.m. Winners of Matches 1 and 2
Match 10- 4:45 p.m. Winners of Matches 3 and 4
Match 11- 6:00 p.m. Winners of Matches 5 and 6
Match 12- 7:15 p.m. Winners of Matches 7 and 8

Tuesday (March 22) (Semifinals & Finals)
Match 13- 3:30 p.m. Winners of Matches 9 and 10
Match 14- 4:45 p.m. Winners of Matches 11 and 12
Match 15- 6:00 p.m. Losers of Matches 13 and 14 (Third Place)
Match 16- 7:15 p.m. Winners of Matches 13 and 14 (State Championship)

Rosters for all of the 16 teams and the pairings chart are included on the volleyball page.

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