Effingham Daily News
With volleyball regionals set to begin today, several area teams have high hopes of continuing to sectionals.
St. Anthony, winners of the National Trail Conference tournament, will play a familiar foe on Tuesday in the Class 2A Shelbyville Regional.
The Bulldogs will afce Cumberland, the team that eliminated them from last year’s tournament.
However, the second-seeded Bulldogs haven’t played Cumberland yet this year, so coach Kristie Bailey said the only thing her team can do to prepare is working on perfecting their style and technique.
“We’ve been working on cleaning up our game and making our game good,” she said.
Winning the regional has always been St. Anthony’s goal, and the Bulldogs won’t make excuses in a tough draw.
“There are less and less 2A schools,” Bailey said. “Pretty soon, we’re going to be playing these teams all the time. But, it’s always been our goal to win the regional. Your season record doesn’t matter; it’s how you do in the regional.”
Teutopolis, the fifth seed in the Shelbyville regional, will take on the hosts on Monday for the right to play top-seeded Pana.
Meanwhile, Effingham also is a No. 2 seed, and is gearing up for the 3A Olney Regional, where the Hearts will play the host team on Tuesday.
Effingham coach Laurie Bohnhoff hopes Olney’s home-court advantage doesn’t play a big role in the game.
“They get a little advantage being at home,” she said. “But I don’t think it will affect us. We’ve won several road games this year.”
In order to knock off Olney, a team the Hearts haven’t played yet this year, Bohnhoff said her squad will have to focus on stopping Olney’s middle hitters and focus on what they know they can do well.
“We’re kind of working on defending the middle and playing our game,” she said.
If the Hearts, the No. 2 seed, can get past Olney on Tuesday, a familiar foe would likely await them in the championship.
“Mattoon is the one seed,” Bohnhoff said. “They’ve had a really good season, but if we defend and keep the ball off the floor, we think we can beat them.”
Elsewhere, Stew-Stras, St. Elmo, Windsor, Newton and South Central are the top seeds in their regionals. All five No. 1 seeds will be in action on Tuesday night.