NORMAL — The first set of Saturday’s Class 2A third-place match had an all-too-familiar feel for Watseka. The Warriors struggled against Dakota’s outside hitters in their semifinal loss and were in the same boat against Edwards County.
NORMAL — Woodlawn’s Annie Wehrheim had 11 kills and a pair of aces by the time the Cardinals won the first set of Saturday’s Class 1A third-place match against Cissna Park.
The Timberwolves didn’t panic. They knew the 6-foot-1 middle hitter would be the focal point of Woodlawn’s attack.
NORMAL — It wasn’t so much what Watseka did wrong. It was more about what Dakota did right.
“We had a hard time stopping their outside hitters,” Watseka coach Krista Pufahl said after the Warriors lost a Class 2A semifinal 25-21, 25-18 in their state volleyball tournament debut Friday at Illinois State’s Redbird Arena.
NORMAL — They came to win, but more important, they came to play.
Cissna Park showed it belonged in volleyball’s Final Four for Class 1A.
“We played a fantastic match,” coach Josh Landon said. “I don’t know if we could have given anything else.”
The Timberwolves gave two-time defending state champion Rockford Keith everything it wanted.
WATSEKA — The Class 2A semifinal bracket of the 41st IHSA volleyball state tournament is filled with three schools that have played for state championships during the past three seasons.
And then, there is Watseka.
“We can use that as motivation that we belong,” Watseka coach Krista Pufahl said.
CISSNA PARK — Josh Landon is embracing the challenge facing his Cissna Park volleyball team this week.
In the school’s IHSA state tournament debut Friday, the Timberwolves draw two-time defending Class 1A state champion Rockford Keith Country Day.
“They are expected to win the whole thing,” Landon said. “We have nothing to lose. We’ve accomplished the goal of getting to state.
11-12-14 News-Gazette Prep Sports Podcast: Play now!
11-12-14 News-Gazette Prep Sports Podcast. Fred Kroner, Matt Daniels, and Scott Richey take a look at the high school football playoffs going in to week 3. High School Volleyball and Cross Country.
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TEAM (PREVIOUS) RECORD
1. Watseka (1) 35-3 School season record for wins
2. Cissna Park (6) 33-4 Second straight 20-win season
3. Schlarman (2) 29-6-1 Third straight sectional crown
Coach Mark Dodd’s team (10-1) put on a defensive clinic, holding visiting Casey-Westfield to minus-48 yards rushing in a game in which only four of the Warriors’ running plays gained yards, the longest for 4 yards.
Why he was chosen: The Warriors’ senior linebacker/offensive lineman was instrumental in bottling up Lawrenceville’s run-game offense and helped anchor Tuscola’s offensive line in Saturday’s 28-21 victory in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs. “He really did grade out well,” Tuscola coach Rick Reinhart said.