NORMAL – With Kyleigh Block and Lauren Anderson providing their team’s last three kills, Deer Creek-Mackinaw earned their very first State Volleyball Championship Saturday. The Lady Chiefs defeated Dakota, 25-23 and 25-21, coming from behind in the second match.

As fans of both teams watched the second match at Redbird Arena, the Lady Chiefs were down by as many as four, 19-15, before muscling their way back on one kill each by Kyleigh Block and Beth Mickna, and two kills from Lauren Anderson. Block led her team’s scoring, being credited with 10 points.

Deer Creek-Mackinaw (38-1) found themselves down early, 7-2, in game two, on the strength of a pair of serving aces by Jaycee Cleaver. During game two, Dakota marched to a 13-8 lead on the strength of a kill by Rachel Buck, aided by a Lady Chiefs serving error committed by Jessey Lee.

With the second game tied 20-all, the Lady Chiefs roared back for five of the next six points, on kills by Block and Anderson to claim victory.

Game one saw a Lady Chiefs squad that trailed Dakota (37-5) early on, but earn points on numerous Dakota attack errors made by Sarah Thompson and Eden Meier. Thompson scored a total of 17 points and committed a total of 10 attack errors during the contest. The Lady Chiefs pulled in front for good in the first game, 23-21, on one of those attack errors, with a kill by Block, giving her team the first win of the match.

Cayley Meiners had a game-high 19 assists in the contest, while defensively, Jessey Lee contributed 17 digs. Dakota got three serving aces from Jaycee Cleaver

Lady Chiefs head coach Mike Bohuis said there were “no words for the feeling I am experiencing. If anything, I have to give this team as much credit as I possibly can. This championship is a complete representation of the dedication, the selflessness, the teamwork – just every aspect of a good, quality athletic team. Give complete credit to them. They deserve it. They earned it. They did everything right this season that they could have done. It’s an unexplainable feeling.”

“This is just fantastic that we got the State title for our school,” Anderson said afterward at the post-game news conference. “It’s just fantastic. We came out and played our hearts out. We left in all out (on the court). It’s just a phenomenal feeling with this group of girls. We’ve grown so close together.”

“We’ve worked for this since day one,” Meiners added. “We wanted to put ourselves here. We’re just overjoyed. We’re overwhelmed. We couldn’t ask for a better team or a better group of girls.”

“It’s just so thrilling and it’s been a blessing to be on this team,” Block added. “A blessing of a win is awesome. It showed that our hard work really does pay off.”

“I definitely feel like we didn’t play our best game today,” Dakota head coach Shannon Williams told the media assembled afterward. “We played a very talented team. (Deer Creek-Mackinaw) was ready to go. They had good hitters and they were digging a lot of our balls, and they were blocking us quite a bit as well. They’re a very talented team and it’s too bad we didn’t come out on top today.”

Port Byron Riverdale, the team Deer Creek-Mackinaw defeated Friday to advance to the championship, took two of three matches from Albion-Edwards County to take third place, with scores of 25-15, 24-26, and 25-12.

NORMAL – Despite a first-game stumble, Deer Creek-Mackinaw roared back to defeat Riverdale, 20-25, 25-16, and 25-9 to win their semi-final games in the Illinois High School Association State Volleyball Tournament at Redbird Arena on Friday.

The Lady Chiefs will compete for the Class 2A Championship against Dakota in a match slated to begin at approximately 1:55p.m. at Redbird Arena. Dakota won two tight semi-final games over Albion-Edwards County, 25-20 and 25-21 earlier in the afternoon Friday.

Deer Creek-Mackinaw (36-2) took an early lead in the first game, 9-4, on the serves of Lauren Anderson and Jessey Lee before Riverdale regrouped enough to go on an 11-1 run behind the serves of Becca Horres, to give the Rams a 15-9 advantage which they rode to victory.

“I’m pretty proud of how my team came out in the first game,” said Riverdale head coach Lisa Black.

“It’s typical for us to come out and lose that first set,” said Lady Chiefs head coach Mike Bolhuis. “But they responded and bounced back and fought back after that. It was exciting to see.”

In Game 2, the teams battled to a 5-5 tie before the Lady Chiefs, behind serves by Lee, Paige Hasty, and Kyleigh Block proved Bolhuis right, scoring on three separate turns serving to give their team a 12-8 advantage en route to their first win against the Rams.

Riverdale (33-5) led Game 3 initially, with quick service points by Hannah Nimrick, but Riverdale turned over the ball early leaving Lady Chiefs Cayley Meiners, Lauren Anderson, and Block to serve their way into the championship game Saturday, decimating Riverdale, 25-9, in Game 3.

Meiners led the Lady Chiefs with 27 Aces, while Block and Anderson had 13 and 12 kills, respectfully, to lead all players. Nimrick had the lone double-digit stat for Riverdale by pocketing 15 service aces.

“Things go a lot easier for us when everyone is attacking the volleyball effectively,” Bolhuis said.

Anderson was the next-to-last server in the third game for the Lady Chiefs, putting her team five points closer toward the end of the final match. There were very little nerves for her though, she said, despite that challenge.

“Once I get a couple (serves) over at first, I’m fine,” she explained. “It was just a comfortable feeling out there.”

But Riverdale head coach Black almost looked uncomfortable as she told reporters her team “wanted to come here and get to the championship, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. We didn’t show up for the third game but I know my team is better than what we played.”

Hartem 7th Grade Volleyball Team Recognized: In-between the games played by the four teams on Friday, Hartsburg-Emden’s 7th grade Volleyball team took to the court at Redbird Arena and was recognized for having won their title game in Illinois Elementary School Association 2012 Class 7A.

NORMAL – Despite a first-game stumble, Deer Creek-Mackinaw roared back to defeat Riverdale, 20-25, 25-16, and 25-9 to win their semi-final games in the Illinois High School Association State Volleyball Tournament at Redbird Arena on Friday.

The Lady Chiefs will compete for the Class 2A Championship against Dakota in a match slated to begin at approximately 1:55p.m. at Redbird Arena. Dakota won two tight semi-final games over Albion-Edwards County, 25-20 and 25-21 earlier in the afternoon Friday.

Deer Creek-Mackinaw (36-2) took an early lead in the first game, 9-4, on the serves of Lauren Anderson and Jessey Lee before Riverdale regrouped enough to go on an 11-1 run behind the serves of Becca Horres, to give the Rams a 15-9 advantage which they rode to victory.

“I’m pretty proud of how my team came out in the first game,” said Riverdale head coach Lisa Black.

“It’s typical for us to come out and lose that first set,” said Lady Chiefs head coach Mike Bolhuis. “But they responded and bounced back and fought back after that. It was exciting to see.”

In Game 2, the teams battled to a 5-5 tie before the Lady Chiefs, behind serves by Lee, Paige Hasty, and Kyleigh Block proved Bolhuis right, scoring on three separate turns serving to give their team a 12-8 advantage en route to their first win against the Rams.

Riverdale (33-5) led Game 3 initially, with quick service points by Hannah Nimrick, but Riverdale turned over the ball early leaving Lady Chiefs Cayley Meiners, Lauren Anderson, and Block to serve their way into the championship game Saturday, decimating Riverdale, 25-9, in Game 3.

Meiners led the Lady Chiefs with 27 Aces, while Block and Anderson had 13 and 12 kills, respectfully, to lead all players. Nimrick had the lone double-digit stat for Riverdale by pocketing 15 service aces.

“Things go a lot easier for us when everyone is attacking the volleyball effectively,” Bolhuis said.

Anderson was the next-to-last server in the third game for the Lady Chiefs, putting her team five points closer toward the end of the final match. There were very little nerves for her though, she said, despite that challenge.

“Once I get a couple (serves) over at first, I’m fine,” she explained. “It was just a comfortable feeling out there.”

But Riverdale head coach Black almost looked uncomfortable as she told reporters her team “wanted to come here and get to the championship, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. We didn’t show up for the third game but I know my team is better than what we played.”

Hartem 7th Grade Volleyball Team Recognized: In-between the games played by the four teams on Friday, Hartsburg-Emden’s 7th grade Volleyball team took to the court at Redbird Arena and was recognized for having won their title game in Illinois Elementary School Association 2012 Class 7A.

By Steve Robinson | January 23, 2011 - 10:32 pm

Dee MackBLOOMINGTON – Deer Creek Mackinaw head coach Mitch Holmgren said he felt the Boys’ championship game of the 100th Annual McLean County Tournament would, in the end, be a defensive showdown, eventually coming down to one possession.

He was very nearly right. The difference, though, was that by the time Holmgren’s Chiefs got their hands on the ball for that one possession, it was too late for a comeback, as the El Paso Gridley Titans defeated Dee-Mack, 48-44, to claim their first championship at this event since McLean County schools and Heart of Illinois Conference teams began meeting at this event in 2006.

DeeMack (14-4) converted early EPG fouls into an early first quarter lead, with four free throws by Matt Krause, and two charity shot each from Brandon Stiers and Max Seibert, to give the Chiefs an 11-6 lead with 55.2 seconds in the quarter.

But back-to-back unanswered treys by Brian Ehresman and Bodee Schlipf – Schlipf’s coming from 27 feet, beyond half-court – gave EPG a 12-11 lead going into the second quarter. It was a lead EPG would hang onto for most of the contest. That included a narrow 21-20 edge going into halftime.

TitansThird quarter fouls would hamper Dee-Mack, allowing EPG (16-3) to send Codee Funk to the free throw line twice and Schlipf once, teaming for a combined 5-for-6 from the line, helping EPG own a 32-27 lead.

Two more free throws by Ehresman helped EPG go on a fourth quarter-opening 6-0 binge, putting the Titans up, 36-30. The closest Dee-Mack would get in the closing moments of the game would be to trail 44-43, after two free throws by Stiers with 1:15 left in the contest.

But Dee-Mack’s Stiers would foul Ehresman, who would sink two free throws with 34.9 seconds left in the contest, putting EPG up, 46-43. The Chiefs’ offense managed to get the ball to T. J. Schrader on the next play for try for a three-point play, but two EPG defenders double-teamed him, preventing a comeback.

Ehresman sank the game’s final two points from the free throw line with 4.6 seconds left, having been fouled by Dee-Mack’s Noah Webb.

EPG had three players in double-figures, as Schlipf led all scorers with 17 points, followed by 15 from Ehresman, and 12 from Funk.

Krause was the lone double-figures scorer for Dee-Mack, scoring 16 points, including going 10-for-11 from the free throw line.

trophy-mctourn.jpgStill on the hardwood surrounded by milling fans after the win, EPG head coach Nathaniel Meiss said about the victory, “It feels awesome. Winning any kind of championship is a tremendous feeling. But for these guys to win their first as a unit, it’s fantastic.

“We knew Dee-Mack had five guys on the floor that can score,” Meiss said regarding Dee-Mack’s offense. “We knew playing against them would take a great defensive effort and I’m proud of the way our kids dug in.”

Dee-Mack head coach Mitch Holmgren summed up the contest by saying, “I thought it was a defensive battle all the way through. It was two very good teams slugging it out, and (EPG) had a little more offense than we did.

“We didn’t finish the third quarter very (well), and then we played catch-up the rest of the fourth quarter,” Holmgren added. “We did get close, but we couldn’t quite get over the hump.

“Give EPG credit,” Holmgren said. “They did a great job defensively. They made it hard on us every possession, and they’re a very good defensive team.”

By Steve Robinson | November 11, 2007 - 9:19 am
Posted in Category: Deer Creek Mackinaw, Pekin Daily Times

VolleyballNORMAL – Haley Thurmond, Deer Creek-Mackinaw High’s senior outside hitter, most likely, summed up her teammates’ – and probably her community’s — feelings about getting to the State tournament and becoming the State’s fourth best team.

“This is going to be remembered for a long time,” she said. She added that the proof of the Lady Chiefs’ accomplishments is in the trophy and medals they earned.

As a result of being turned back by Albion (Edwards County), 25-19 and 25-17, Deer Creek-Mackinaw High School’s Volleyball team finished fourth at the IHSA State Volleyball tournament at Redbird Arena Saturday.

But an injury to a teammate perhaps readjusted the Lady Chiefs’ focus early in the second game. Having lost game one, and engrossed in a pitched battle tied 2-all in game two, junior outside hitter Ketra Hoffman missed a shot at a dig, hitting the floor.

But as the other girls helped lift Hoffman up off the floor, they each had frightened looks on their faces. That’s because they noticed that Hoffman’s left ring finger was bent 90 degrees in the wrong direction.

She exited the arena in tears and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Deer Creek Mackinaw“She’s a great player, (and without her on the court) we really lose a lot, so I think (Hoffman’s situation) just brought us down,” explained senior setter Kate Poorbaugh.

On the court, the Lady Chiefs tied the first game twice, but Edwards County took command for good once they achieved a 5-4 lead, and after breaking free of a 2-2 tie, the Lions were able to keep control in game two.

Lady Chiefs head coach Jennifer Mallicoat said she saw plenty of positives in her team’s play over how they had done against Mount Pulaski in a two-game loss to the Lady Toppers on Friday.

Despite the end result, Mallicoat said, “We were having fun out there. Defense was better…I think we still struggled with passing a little bit, too.”

IHSAHaving wrapped up her first season coaching by getting to State, Mallicoat summed up her feelings about the season by saying, “It was a fantastic season. I mean, I couldn’t ask for any more, especially as a first-time coach. I mean, this whole experience has been amazing.

“We definitely had so many positives this season…being able to come into State and being able to compete here was just icing on the cake.”

“They have some very good hitters,” said Edwards County head coach Linda Oxby Brown of the Lady Chiefs. “We blocked them (a little) better than Mount Pulaski did (on Friday), and that frustrated them.”

Oxby Brown acknowledged that the drama surrounding losing Hoffman as they did added to the situation.

Mount Pulaski, who defeated the Lady Chiefs on Friday, was crowned the first Class 1A Champ since IHSA reclassified schools, defeating Rockford-based Keith School in two games, 25-22 and 25-22.