Class 2A state volleyball: capsule glances

Class 2A state volleyball: capsule glances

Fearsome four

A quartet of teams remain in the fight for a Class 2A state volleyball championship, with semifinal bouts taking place today at Normal's Redbird Arena. A closer look at each qualifier:

FIRST SEMIFINAL: St. Thomas More Sabers (36-4) vs. Pleasant Plains Cardinals (32-6), noon today

How they got here: STM defeated Westville in a regional semifinal match, Tuscola in a regional final match, El Paso-Gridley in a sectional semifinal match, St. Joseph-Ogden in a sectional final match and Seneca in a super-sectional match; Pleasant Plains defeated Virden North Mac in a regional semifinal match, Rushville-Industry in a regional final match, Williamsville in a sectional semifinal match, Maroa-Forsyth in a sectional final match and Eureka in a super-sectional match.

Sabers' key players: Allie Trame (Jr., MB; 312 kills, 57 blocks); Kayla Brandon (Sr., OH; 241 kills, 230 digs, 47 aces); Haley Elam (Sr., LIB; 346 digs, 59 assists, 47 aces); Caroline Kerr (Fr., S; 824 assists, 192 digs, 46 aces); Anna McClure (Fr., OH; 175 kills, 258 digs, 47 aces).

Cardinals' key players: McKenzie Smith (Sr., OH; 306 kills, 336 digs); Emily Long (Jr., S; 430 assists, 199 digs, 39 aces); Allie Edwards (Sr., MH; 241 kills, 87 digs, 64 blocks, 31 aces); Anna Kanllakan (Jr., OH; 124 kills, 64 aces); Chloe Burt (Sr., S; 437 assists, 50 digs).

Last year's performances: STM defeated Quincy Notre Dame in three sets to win state title; Pleasant Plains lost to Quincy Notre Dame in two sets during a sectional final.

Worth noting: This is the Cardinals' first-ever appearance in a state semifinal match.

SECOND SEMIFINAL: Nashville Hornets (32-8) vs. Galena Pirates (35-5), 1:30 p.m. today

How they got here: Nashville defeated Anna-Jonesboro in a regional semifinal match, Campbell Hill Trico in a regional final match, Staunton in a sectional semifinal match, Carlyle in a sectional final match and Fairfield in a super-sectional match; Galena defeated Savanna West Carroll in a regional semifinal match, Fulton in a regional final match, Forreston in a sectional semifinal match, Lena-Winslow in a sectional final match and Harvest Christian in a super-sectional match.

Hornets' key players: Delaney Varel (Jr., MH/OH; 217 kills, 85 blocks); Abby Grabowski (Jr., S; 360 assists, 159 digs); Emily Schnitker (Fr., S; 293 assists, 127 digs); Sydney Schnitker (Jr., S; 138 kills, 441 digs); Hazel Konkel (Fr., MH; 140 kills, 86 blocks).

Pirates' key players: Morgan Wills (Sr., OH; 337 kills, 400 digs, 49 aces); Drew Wasson (Sr., S; 804 assists, 202 digs, 53 aces); Sami Wasmund (Jr., MB; 208 kills, 422 digs, 87 blocks); McKenna Curran (Jr., OH; 195 kills, 350 digs); Mackenzie Muehleip (Jr., MB; 164 kills, 111 blocks).

Last year's performances: Nashville lost to Trenton Wesclin in a three-set regional semifinal; Galena lost to Harvest Christian in two sets in a super-sectional.

Worth noting: All but one of Galena's losses came in a two-day October tournament at Chicago Latin.

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