Basketball Can Wait, IB Plays for Volleyball Title Saturday

Local Sports

GLASFORD, Ill. — Hanna Hicks has been here before.

This time she’s hoping for a different ending in a state championship game.

“Getting second is the worst feeling ever,” the Illini Bluffs senior said. “So we’re going to leave everything on the floor and hopefully come out on top.”

Hicks and Illini Bluffs finished runner-up in the state softball tournament in June. Saturday morning, the Tigers get another crack at a championship when they play in the state volleyball title match.

“We didn’t come out and play as well as we thought we would,” senior Peyton Pollman said after a straight set win over Norris City in the class 1A state semifinal. “The first set we had a rally but then we toned it down a little bit. I think tomorrow we will definitely come out and we are excited.”

Illini Bluffs (40-1) faces defending state champ Newark (40-2) for the title Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Redbird Arena.

The best season in IB volleyball history is delaying start of the basketball season. The entire starting five for the Tigers’ basketball team is still playing volleyball.

“(All our basketball) starters are volleyball players,” said junior Emma Hicks. “We don’t have anyone on the basketball team right now.”

Ironically, the basketball team has its season opener Monday night but the team hasn’t had a practice yet, thanks to volleyball.

“We got to a small school with low (participation) numbers in all sports,” said senior Hannah Alvey. “So all of us have to play everything. Makes me a little nervous for basketball season to start.”

Basketball season will have to wait. Those five starters have their eyes on a state volleyball championship Saturday.

And if the Tiger win, it will be the school’s first ever team state championship.

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