By Steve Robinson | October 29, 2019 - 10:45 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite

As I write this column, I know for a fact Ridgeview is in. As I write this column, I know that fans of Normal Calvary Christian Academy and LeRoy High Schools are anxiously waiting to see if their teams will advance from the Sectional Finals to the SuperSectionals. I also know that Candy Dady is looking for volunteers to aid in making this year’s Illinois High School Association State Volleyball Tournament what everyone hopes will be a rousing success.

Dady is a volunteer who helps find volunteers to help keep the annual event, scheduled for Redbird Arena on Illinois State University’s campus running smoothly. This year’s State tournament is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15 and 16, starting each day with the first match on Friday slated for 9a.m.

Candy Dady and her late husband, Jim, began helping with the tournament at various posts in 1995, she explained. Currently, Candy Dady is one of a trio of volunteer coordinators, along with Marsha Funk and Amy Smith. Over the course of the two-day tourney, Dady said, it takes 90 to 100 volunteers to keep things running smoothly and doing it so that it looks like it’s effortless. She said she is looking for 50-60 folks of age 18 and out of high school to help out.

She said she gets folks who are either retired or work and start their weekend off by volunteering. The job doesn’t pay money, being a volunteer position anybody would sign up for, but those who do volunteer get a free t-shirt and a free pass to the tourney for the entire weekend.

“If you’re a volleyball buff and you plan to be here for the whole weekend and love watching volleyball, come volunteer for a couple hours and then you have two days in which to get into this tournament for free,” Dady coaxed.

Volunteer shifts run for two or three hours at a time depending on the assignment, Dady explained. They need volunteers in the hospitality room, at hall security, among others.

Dady said the tournament, in addition to making some money for the Town of Normal, “helps get people acquainted with ISU. IHSA does a fabulous job with this tournament.”

The Dadys volunteered in 1995 when their daughter, a member of University High’s Volleyball team at the time, and the Pioneers made it to State. Candy Dady said she was approached by a volunteer organizer about volunteering for that tournament. “I said, ‘sure,’” and the Dady’s association with the tournament found its foundation.

Dady said folks wanting to volunteer should contact Marsha Funk directly at (309) 376-6206.

As I wrap up this column, I can give you some details about quarterfinal games which happened Tuesday. In Class 1A, I see that Lexington High School has passed the first hurdle toward State, defeating Cullom Tri-Point, 25-16 and 25-13. Also in Class 1A, LeRoy beat Cornerstone Christian Academy, 25-6 and 25-10. In Class 2A regional semis, Downs Tri-Valley advanced by beating Stanford Olympia 25-18 and 25-18 while El Paso Gridley outpaced Eureka, 22-25, 25-22, and 25-15. Bloomington Central Catholic lost its regional semifinal to Pleasant Plains, 25-19 and 25-19. That loss means the cardboard cutout of the Pope some BCC students have toted around to past State Volleyball events will not be seen at Redbird Arena, coming from Bloomington, at least, this year.

In Class 3A regional semifinals, University High beat Lincoln, 25-8 and 25-16, while Bloomington High defeated Springfield High, 25-12 and 25-13. In Class 4A regional semifinal action, Bradley Bourbonnais sent Normal Community West home early, beating the Wildcats, 25-23 and 25-17. But Normal Community High School defeated Quincy in their regional semifinal, 25-11 and 25-19 to advance.

Judging from the scores, it appears our local teams are in fine form already as they vie to get to State. Here’s hoping volunteers become plentiful for Dady and we see some local competitors among the teams making it to State in a few weeks.

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