Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

October 11, 2012

Bulldogs top seed in NTC tourney

Adam Spencer
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — With regionals right around the corner, St. Anthony and the rest of the National Trail Conference volleyball teams are gearing up for the NTC Tournament.

The Bulldogs snagged the No. 1 seed, with a record of 21-7 and a conference record of 8-0 and will be hosting the tournament, which starts tonight.

St. Anthony will be the top seed in Pool A, which includes No. 6 seed Neoga and No. 7 Dieterich.

Stew-Stras snagged the No. 2 seed and will play in Pool B, along with No. 5 Windsor, No. 8 Altamont and No. 11 Beecher City.

South Central earned the No. 3 seed and headlines Pool C, which also features No. 4 St. Elmo, No. 9 Cowden-Herrick and No. 10 Brownstown.

St. Anthony coach Kristie Bailey said earning the No. 1 seed in the tournament means a lot to the Bulldogs.

“It’s great,” she said. “We really worked hard this year to improve on a lot of things and it paid off.”

She added that being in Pool A, which only has three teams, is a big help.

“It’s a huge benefit,” she said. “With 11 teams, you really luck out by being the first team.”

St. Anthony, Neoga and Dieterich will play pool games on Friday only, while both Pool B and Pool C teams have to play on Thursday and Friday.

However, Bailey said, the Bulldogs will still have to play their best volleyball if they want to win the tournament.

“It doesn’t matter where you are seeded,” she said. “You still have to beat good teams.”

The NTC Tournament will provide a big challenge heading into a difficult regional tournament.

“Our regional is really rough,” Bailey said. “I think (the NTC Tournament) will be a really good challenge for us.”

Games will be played at the Enlow Center and in Goff Gym, starting at 5 p.m. tonight.

Pool play will occur tonight and Friday night. Then, teams will be ranked according to pool finish and divided into bronze, silver and gold flights for Saturday’s matches.