Mid-Illini Conference volleyball coaches predicted the race for this year’s conference championship would involve several teams.

Nearly halfway through the conference season, that’s certainly the case.

After Thursday’s Mid-Illini matches, Morton led the conference with a 6-1 record with Pekin and Limestone on the Potters’ heels at 5-1. Limestone will visit Pekin next Tuesday, so the tie for second place will be broken.

Pekin (13-3-1) rebounded from a disappointing Mid-Illini loss Tuesday at home to Metamora by beating East Peoria 25-18, 25-20 on the road Thursday. Metamora hadn’t won a conference match this season before upsetting Pekin.

“We played much better than we did against Metamora and followed our game plan. East Peoria is an improved team,” Pekin coach Yvonne Thompson said about her team’s win over East Peoria.

“After losing to Metamora, we talked about how we should react to our first conference loss, what kind of team we want to be and what kind of team we don’t want to be,” Thompson said.

Pekin’s Emma Clark filled the stat sheet against East Peoria with eight kills, 10 digs and four aces. Logan Finneran had 16 assists for the Dragons.

Morton (18-5) moved into first place in the Mid-Illini on Thursday with a 20-25, 25-18, 25-13 win at Limestone (14-6). 

Metamora finished off a great week in the conference Thursday with a 25-6, 29-27 win over Washington.

Pekin handed Morton its lone conference loss.

Steve Stein can be reached at stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.