Stew-Stras vs. Tri-County (6 p.m., Arcola Sectional)
Stew-Stras head coach Ronda Schlechte was impressed by Tri-County’s defense after losing to them during sectionals last season, but this year is different – now, the Comets’ defense is getting rave reviews.
Neoga assistant coach Julie Fritcher said last week that Stew-Stras has a great defense and described it in a similar way to how Schlechte describes Tri-County’s defense.
“They’re really quick and they pull everything up,” Schlechte said. “I’m always talking to the girls about how there are things we can improve on and defense is one of those things.”
The Comets enter Tuesday’s Arcola Sectional against Tri-County on a two-game winning streak against the team that ended its season last year, beating them this summer and during September’s Crossroads Classic, 25-22 and 25-21.
Schlechte said the summer victory against Tri-County was a big momentum boost for her squad, knowing it could play against Tri-County, which lost to the eventual state champion last year, Keith Country Day School in Rockford.
Stew-Stras will look to beat Tri-County for a third time on Tuesday, which Schlechte said is a difficult to task because the teams are so familiar with each other.
However, the Comets advanced to Tuesday’s sectional by beating Neoga for the regional championship last week, which was the Comets’ third time beating the Indians this season.
“I hope the girls just come into the game, knowing it’s going to be intense,” Schlechte said. “(Tri-County) can play some volleyball. They’re a good team.”
The Comets play at 6 p.m. in Arcola on Tuesday, looking to win and advance to the sectional championship on Thursday, which will be against either Heritage or Arthur-Lovington.
St. Anthony vs. Robinson (7 p.m., Newton Sectional)
St. Anthony hasn’t played Robinson, who won its program’s first regional championship last week, and head coach Kristie Bailey said she doesn’t know much about about the Maroons.
Robinson won the Newton Regional as the third seed, beating Lawrenceville, Casey-Westfield and Newton en route to Tuesday’s matchup against St. Anthony.
Bailey said she’s confident in her team moving forward, even though she doesn’t know a lot about Robinson, because of the way the Bulldogs played in regionals.
“It’s hard because we’ve never played them,” Bailey said. “We did really good things in practice and came out and played almost flawless.”
The Bulldogs beat Pana and Shelbyville to advance to tonight’s game. They made quick work of Shelbyville to win the regional championship, 25-18 and 25-10.
Bailey said her team is going to have to come out on top of its game Tuesday to keep its season alive. The Bulldogs and Maroon start at 7 p.m. in Newton. The other semifinal will be played at 6 p.m. between Edwardsville Metro East Lutheran and Carlinville.
South Central vs. Cisne (7 p.m., Lebanon Sectional)
South Central will see Cisne for the first time this season on Tuesday, but got their with its share of challenges in two regional games last week.
The Cougars beat Patoka in two sets, but by two points in each set, and won the regional championship against North Clay in three sets, winning the first and third sets.
South Central head coach Mary Brimberry said her team in playing with a lot of confidence, as the Cougars look for their second sectional championship in three years, winning it two years ago.
Even so, Brimberry said she doesn’t know much about the Cisne squad the Cougars will be up against, besides that they have a good record and a good middle block, headed up by Chynna Byars.
Tuesday’s game is at 7 p.m. in Lebanon and the winner will play in the sectional championship against either Woodlawn or Lebanon on Thursday.
Stew-Stras vs. Tri-County (6 p.m., Arcola Sectional)
Ziegler's choice an easy one
Lake Land College’s Grace Ziegler had a choice after her two years playing were up.
The Altamont alumna basically whittled her options down to this: continue to play basketball collegiately at a four-year institution, or transfer to a four-year institution to have a traditional college student experience.
Vonderheide, W/SS win at Charleston 12-0
Christian Vonderheide had the luxury of choosing which was better.
It was either the grand slam, or a complete game shutout thrown by the right hander.
“They are both pretty equal,” Vonderheide said. “Pitching is more of my thing. The grand slam I got lucky. I swung hard, and I was lucky enough for it to go over the fence."
The win could be more important as Windsor/Stew-Stras pounded a 12-0 win over Charleston at CHS Field.
Czachorski: Time to catch Cup fever
I woke up early Friday morning and did something I never do these days -- I flipped on SportsCenter.
It was the top of the 7 a.m. hour, and unshockingly, ESPN led with discussion of the playoffs.
What left me flabbergasted was they were leading with the NHL playoffs, as I was truly unaware ESPN remembered that hockey was a sport.
Indians' bats too much for Eagles
An 11 a.m. start on Good Friday wasn't too early for Altamont, as the Indians pushed 10 across in the first frame and bested Newton 16-1 in five innings.
Power surge: Homers help Shoes beat Comets 8-4
Teutopolis broke open a close game with four home runs and remained undefeated with an 8-4 win over Stew-Stras/Windsor Thursday afternoon.
Cutts carries Cumberland to 4-3 win
His first three hits were no doubters, but Blayke Cutts’ fourth hit on Thursday was a high bouncer over the glove of Olney third baseman Peyton Billington to win in a walk-off.
McNamee: Questions about EIU's Jimmy G
The typical phrase used in situations like this, I think, is: “He shows potential.” I may not have believed anything I was saying, but at least he was in line to be a four-year starter; at least, he had that.
Pirates push past Flaming Hearts 10-2
It took a bit for the bats to warm up, but Cumberland made the necessary adjustments at the plate and took down Effingham 10-2 Wednesday afternoon.
Newton walks off against Dieterich
For the second straight game, Newton earned a win via the walkoff, this time as Caleb Chesnut drove in the game-winning run with two outs to down Dieterich 5-4.
Walsh, Bulldogs fend off Newton 17-8
Makayla Walsh played the role of starter and stopper.
She relieved St. Anthony pitcher Jenna Woltman, who was struggling to locate her pitches, and stopped the bleeding during a four-run fourth inning.
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