CHAMPAIGN — Lakimya Wade knows her Rantoul girls weren’t familiar with
postseason volleyball success.
The last time the Eagles captured a playoff victory in the sport was 2014, when they knocked off Urbana in a three-set regional quarterfinal.
Turns out the current Rantoul athletes didn’t even need that long of a match to end the drought.
Mye’Joi Williams turned in eight kills and Tanaya Young added seven kills as the seventh-seeded Eagles held off ninth-seeded Danville 25-22, 25-21 in Monday’s Class 3A St. Thomas More Regional quarterfinal.
“It meant a lot to them. You should’ve seen their faces at the end,” first-year Rantoul coach Wade said. “It was really great. ... After the first game, I told them, ‘This is a goal you guys can accomplish.’”
It wasn’t exactly easy for the Eagles (16-14) to dispatch the Vikings, as Rantoul was hampered by a slow start.
“They came in with the mental (block) of knowing they’ve lost every regional game in the past for a while,” Wade said. “It was a different reset (of) you guys have a chance to go ahead and show them who you are.”
That meant interrupting the Danville passing game, and once the Eagles were able to accomplish that, the result became a matter of Rantoul capitalizing on Viking errors.
Next up for Rantoul is a familiar opponent, at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, in top-seeded St. Thomas More (33-2), which defeated the Eagles in two sets on Oct. 10.
“Anything’s possible,” Wade said. “We played pretty well against St. Thomas More the last game.”
Class 2A Oakwood Regional
Comets cruise. Aaliyah Denius bashed eight kills and Alyssa Romito completed another seven kills as eighth-seeded Oakwood rushed past 10th-seeded Westville 25-10, 25-14 in a quarterfinal. The Comets (22-12) also were aided by Katelyn Young’s 17 assists, and they will face top-seeded St. Joseph-Ogden (31-4) in Tuesday’s 5:30 p.m. semifinal.
The Tigers finish at 7-16.
Warriors thrive. Maddie Green’s 21-assist output propelled seventh-seeded Tuscola past 11th-seeded Georgetown-Ridge Farm 25-15, 27-25 in another quarterfinal.
“Maddie Green went on a real serving run in the first set,” Warriors coach Lydia Miller said. “She was back there for 10 points in a row. And Karli Dean managed to come up with some pretty big kills.”
Dean collected a team-best nine of them for Tuscola (17-12), which draws fourth-seeded Monticello (17-12) in Tuesday’s 6:30 p.m. semifinal.
“We’re going to do a little better job playing them this time than last time,” said Miller, referencing a two-set defeat at Monticello on Oct. 1. “We know what they have out there to offer.”
The Buffaloes end their campaign at 9-18.
Class 2A PBL Regional
Falcons rally. After stumbling 25-16 in the opening set, sixth-seeded Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley pushed past ninth-seeded Watseka 25-22, 25-18 in the final two games to advance from the quarterfinal.
The Falcons (19-13) notched 12 kills and 11 digs from Jessica Freehill as well as 31 assists and 12 digs from Mady Schutte. GCMS will take on second-seeded Unity (30-5) in Tuesday’s 5:30 p.m. semifinal.
The Warriors completed their year at 19-13-1.
Blue Devils advance. Coach Susan Kentner wasn’t thrilled with the process, but her fifth-seeded Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin club held off No. 12 Hoopeston Area 25-20, 25-23 in another quarterfinal.
“This is the fourth time we’ve played them this year,” Kentner said. “When you play a team for the fourth time, they’re super dangerous.”
The Blue Devils (21-8) received 14 kills, 11 digs and five blocks from Emily Meidel, as well as 14 assists from Ashlynn Griffin. BHRA next plays third-seeded Paxton-Buckley-Loda (28-5) in Tuesday’s 6:30 p.m. semifinal.
“I’m hoping (Monday) was a good lesson learned,” Kentner said. “We’ve got come in prepared and ready.”
Hoopeston Area’s final record this year is 4-28.
Class 2A Teutopolis Regional
Redskins dropped. Tenth-seeded Sullivan (9-21) was tripped up by sixth-seeded Teutopolis in quarterfinal play by a 25-13, 25-11 margin.
Class 2A Pontiac Regional
Hawks fall short. Eighth-seeded Prairie Central (7-21) suffered a 25-15, 18-25, 25-21 quarterfinal loss to seventh-seeded Eureka.
Class 2A Clinton Regional
Maroons ousted. Ninth-seeded Clinton was stumped by seventh-seeded Olympia — 24-26, 25-9, 25-11 — in quarterfinal action.Class 1A Tri-County Regional
Blue Devils persevere. A balanced offense — led by Madison Burwell (nine kills), Kyleigh Block (six kills) and Molly Mixell (four kills) — keyed eighth-seeded Villa Grove past 12th-seeded Arcola 25-21, 25-15 in quarterfinal play. The Blue Devils (12-13) also garnered 13 assists from Reagan Cheely and will match up with second-seeded Okaw Valley (22-10) in Tuesday’s 5:30 p.m. semifinal.
The Purple Riders (7-19) gained eight kills from Hallee Gauna.
Cardinals hold strong. Sixth-seeded Chrisman (17-16) moved on from a quarterfinal via a 25-22, 25-17 victory over 13th-seeded Neoga. The Cardinals must take on third-seeded Tri-County (20-8) in Tuesday’s 6:30 p.m. semifinal.
Class 1A Blue Ridge Regional
Storm rolls. Eighth-seeded Salt Fork (11-20) ended the season of 10th-seeded Fisher (3-26) with a 25-13, 25-18 quarterfinal outcome. The Storm will meet top-seeded Blue Ridge (27-8) in Wednesday’s 5:30 p.m. semifinal.
Class 1A Woodland Regional
Mustangs still kicking. Seventh-seeded Ridgeview (14-16) worked around eighth-seeded Woodland 25-23, 25-17 in a quarterfinal tilt, earning a 5:30 p.m. Wednesday date with top-seeded Milford (26-4-1).