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Staunton and Bunker Hill seventh grade volleyball teams punch ticket to state

The Staunton seventh grade volleyball team defeated Pana to win the IESA Class 3A Vandalia sectional Mar. 4. The Terriers are headed to state against Paris-Mayo at Warrensburg-Latham Mar. 8. Photo courtesy of the Staunton Elementary/Jr. High School Facebook page.

 

The Bunker Hill Wolf Ridge seventh grade volleyball team defeated Liberty to win the IESA Class 2A Hardin sectional Mar. 4. The Minutemaids are headed to state against Mt. Pulaski at Brimfield Mar. 8. Photo courtesy of the Bunker Hill CUSD #8 Facebook page.

 

By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter

The Staunton and Bunker Hill seventh grade volleyball teams entered their respective regionals and sectionals as favorites to win. They both lived up to expectations and ,in doing so, earned the right to perform on the Illinois Elementary School Association’s biggest stage.

The Terriers and Minutemaids are headed to state and are one win away from ensuring themselves one final piece of hardware for their trophy cases. A victory in the do-or-die ‘Elite Eight’ would guarantee two more matches and the honor of being amongst four of the best teams in Illinois, regardless of the end results.

Staunton hosted a 3A regional and took out two county rivals en route to sectionals. The Terriers straight set Southwestern (25-12, 25-9) and Gillespie (25-21, 25-10) then beat Pana to punch their ticket to Warrensburg-Latham. Staunton (22-1-3) takes on Paris-Mayo (24-1) Fri., Mar. 8 at 5:45 p.m.

In 2A action, Bunker Hill dismantled Mt. Olive (25-14, 25-10) and Calhoun (25-7, 25-7) to win the Mt. Olive regional, then defeated Liberty at the Hardin sectional. The Minutemaids are 13-1 entering their state quarterfinal match versus Mt. Pulaski (14-5), which will be played Fri., Mar. 8 at Brimfield High School. Game time is 7 p.m.

The state finals conclude Sat., Mar. 9 at both venues. The semifinals are at 11 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. The losers play for third place at 2 p.m. The championship is at 3:15 p.m.

Other action

In other action, Mt. Olive, Gillespie, North Mac and Southwestern all earned a postseason victory prior to bowing out of regionals.

Mt. Olive beat East Alton, 25-9, 25-16.

Regional runner-up Gillespie swept Roxana, 25-12, 25-8 and Wood River 25-23, 25-15.

Southwestern held off East St. Louis Lincoln in a three-set thriller. The Birds took the opening dual, 25-20, then rebounded from a 12-25 hiccup to take the rubber showdown, 25-22.

In another three-set nailbiter, North Mac rallied past Carlinville, 24-26, 25-14, 26-24 in the opening round of the Auburn regional. The Panthers went on to lose the semifinal against top seed and eventual championship winner Pana 17-25, 6-25.

Eighth grade

The IESA eighth grade regionals got underway last weekend. Coverage will be featured in next week’s issue.