COACH OF THE YEAR: Cook teaches Pittsfield how to win again
Prep Volleyball

COACH OF THE YEAR: Cook teaches Pittsfield how to win again

Jill Cook hated to see the season end for the Pittsfield volleyball team. The Saukees lost 12-25, 25-21, 25-21 to Auburn in the semifinals of the Class 2A Pittsfield Regional, and their season ended with a 21-12-2 record. It's the first winning record for the Saukees since the 2005 season, and it's the reason why Cook has been chosen as The Herald-Whig's Coach of the Year.

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PLAYER OF THE YEAR: For Hummert, the best is yet to come
Prep Volleyball

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: For Hummert, the best is yet to come

Watching Quincy Notre Dame's Sydney Hummert play volleyball could be compared to watching fireworks explode during the Fourth of July. Fans would oooh and ahhh they watched Hummert soar through the air to repeatedly pound spike after spike. Anyone who saw her graceful leaping ability and powerful swing this fall would understand why she has been named The Herald-Whig's Player of the Year. When Raiders first-year coach Courtney Kvitle looks at Hummert, she too appreciates her talent and production. However, she also sees untapped potential.

All-Area Volleyball: First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention
Prep Volleyball

All-Area Volleyball: First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention

FIRST TEAM PROFILES Hope Cheney Southeastern º 5-foot-9 º Senior º Hitter Cheney carried a young Southeastern team, with 379 kills comprising 47 percent of the Suns' total. She also led the team in aces (59) and blocks (50), and she was second in digs. "I

Defending Class 1A champions fall in three sets
Prep Volleyball

Defending Class 1A champions fall in three sets

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. -- The energy the Payson Seymour volleyball team spent trying to win a lengthy first set was taxing. A scrappy Jacksonville Routt club magnified it. Payson Seymour led 17-16 in the third set of Monday night's Class 1A Routt Sectional sem

Raiders blocked on match point, eliminated in three-set thriller
Prep Volleyball

Raiders blocked on match point, eliminated in three-set thriller

Sydney Hummert had dominated the match, so there was no reason to set the ball to anyone else on match point. Quincy Notre Dame was leading 24-23 in the third set of Monday's semifinal in the Class 3A Chillicothe Sectional, and after libero Izzie Anderson passed the serve by LaSalle-Peru's Marisa Guisti, setter Lauren Roberts set the ball to Hummert on the left side of the floor. The set was a little farther off the net than Hummert would have liked, but she took a mighty cross-court swing at it for what would have been her 20th kill.

Slow start dooms Mustangs in sectional semifinal
Prep Volleyball

Slow start dooms Mustangs in sectional semifinal

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. -- Alese Speckhart saw contrasting qualities in her Unity volleyball team and Mount Pulaski. One team looked like it had played in a sectional tournament. The other one didn't. Unfortunately, the Mustangs were the latter in a 25-14, 25-2

Mustangs finally break through regional roadblock
Prep Volleyball

Mustangs finally break through regional roadblock

MENDON, Ill. -- The Unity volleyball team had lost in the regional championship match in each of the past three years, but they were confident they would win Thursday night. They're also confident that they're not done winning. "We're planning on going to

Raiders impressive in regional rout of Macomb
Prep Volleyball

Raiders impressive in regional rout of Macomb

MACOMB, Ill. -- If it wasn't the best game the Quincy Notre Dame volleyball team has played this season, it almost was. "I think it was," junior hitter Sydney Hummert said after the Raiders' 25-14, 25-14 victory over Macomb in the Class 3A Macomb Regional

Prep Volleyball

Area roundup: Payson Seymour wins regional in straight sets

BARRY, Ill. Indians capture regional title The defending Class 1A state champions have their title defense off and running. The Payson Seymour volleyball team pulled away from an 8-all tie in the first set of Thursday night's Class 1A Western Regional...

Prep roundup: Payson Seymour gives up just four points in semifinal
Prep Volleyball

Prep roundup: Payson Seymour gives up just four points in semifinal

The Payson Seymour volleyball team allowed just four points in a 25-1, 25-3 victory over Pleasant Hill in the semifinals of the Class 1A Western Regional on Tuesday night in Barry. Abby Coonrod led the Indians with five kills, and Cassie Eidson added 15 a