Netters falls to Dunlap

Justin Miller
Coach Lisa Miller tries to rally the troops one last time during the Dunlap Regional. Miller resigned as coach the day after the game.

After a year in which the team won 23 games, the Illinois Valley Central volleyball season came to an end when the Lady Ghosts fell to Dunlap in two sets Oct. 25 in the Dunlap Regional.

“It was obviously disappointing for everybody,” coach Lisa Miller said. “We had a big lead in the first set and then just watched it dwindle. We had talked a few weeks ago about playing to win the game and not playing to not lose the game. Unfortunately, we went back to playing like that Tuesday.”

The Ghosts began the opening set on a roll and,  thanks to eight kills from Laura Hedden, built an 18-11 lead.

The Eagles, however, could not be stopped and responded with a 12-1 run to gain a 23-19 advantage.

Dunlap’s senior middle hitter Jaeden Barlow dominated the net and her six blocks, six digs and five kills proved to be instrumental in the Eagles’ victory.

Dunlap won the opening set, 25-23.

The teams traded points in the second set, with neither side able to gain a comfortable lead.

Libby Rutan and Hannah Scherer helped the Ghosts stay in the game when each had two aces for the match.

The unselfish play of Brooke Ratcliff helped IVC find scoring opportunities as she led the squad with 23 assists.

Despite the great team play of IVC, the team fell, 25-18.

“I think the girls have discovered that a lot of it is a mental game,” Miller said. “They have the skills but they need to learn to rise to the occasion when it’s a tough situation.”

The Ghosts end the season with a record of 23-12.

“As a whole, it was a good season,” Miller said. “Most of these girls will be back next season and I think they got a lot of good experience this year.”

Miller resigned as volleyball coach Wednesday, but will remain on as a teacher at IVC.