IVC volleyball places third in Pekin Invitational Tournament

Justin Miller
Hannah Scherer sets as Delaney Coats looks for on the lady Grey Ghosts against Manual.

The Lady Ghost volleyball team continues to impress as the regular season winds to an end.

Illinois Valley Central hosted Manual Sept. 25 and won, 25-6, 25-5.

"It was a good game for the girls," coach Hillary Haen said. "We just came out and played the way we know that we can. It was a nice win."

Erika Koch crushed the ball to rack up six kills for IVC.

The team took to the road Thursday and returned home with a 25-10, 25-22 win over Rock Island.

"That was a good game," Haen said. "They are a talented team. They have some good hitters. I think, in that game, we started out really well in the first set, which is something we do, and then in the second set we struggled a little bit in scoring points.

"We fell into a little bit of a lull but were then able to get out of it."

Laura Hedden literally killed the opposition when she racked up nine kills for the match.

Brooke Ratcliff fired the ball too fast for the Rock Island defenders and added six kills and 11 assists during the game.

Tina Batek dug deep for the Ghosts and led the squad with 17 digs.

The team finished third in the Pekin Invitational tournament Saturday.

To start the tournament, IVC beat Hartsburg-Emden, 22-25, 25-20, 15-6.

"That was a fun game for me as a coach because the girls made a big push and came back," Haen said. "Our middles were very good in that game. In the third set, we just took off. We were able to start off slow but come back and fight hard in the second set and then dominate in the third set."

Hannah Scherer led the squad with 10 kills during the game.

The Ghosts, led by Libby Rutan's seven kills, then beat Eureka, 25-17, 25-13.

IVC closed play in the white pool with a 25-19, 25-14 win over Springfield Southeast.

In the semi-finals, IVC lost to Springfield Sacred Heart, 25-23, 25-20.

"I think it was frustrating for the girls because they wanted to bring their all but were not doing it," Haen said. "I think it was the result of a long day.

"It was really hard to come back in the second set after the defeat in the first. I think when the girls are playing a team that has a good reputation, they get nervous and think they have to end it right away and that definitely happened in that game."

After the loss, the Lady Ghosts regrouped and won another game against Eureka, 25-23, 25-23, to take third place.

"Eureka is a tough team that does not like to give up points," Haen said. "It was a brutal game and an exciting win.

"We got third and that was only a one-loss day out of five games. It was definitely not a bad day."

The team was scheduled to play Tuesday at Spring Valley Hall.

The Ghosts next play at 7 p.m. Thursday at North Central Illinois Conference rival Princeton.

"I think the girls are much smarter at this point in the year," Haen said. "They are learning how to make gutsy shots, which is exciting. Our blocking has really come around, too, and we are doing a good job of taking away a good portion of the court."