IVC volleyball season ends

Justin Miller

Illinois Valley Central's stellar volleyball season came to a heartbreaking end in the Geneseo Regional.

"It was great season," coach Hillary Haen said. "We had a lot of fun. We had a lot of wins, which was great. For the returners, I think they will be able to build off this and I hope the seniors are always able to look back fondly at this year."

The team started the Regional Oct. 23 with a 25-21, 25-23 victory over Galesburg.

"I think that the scores were a lot closer than it felt for us," Haen said. "I felt it was a really great game and the girls came out ready to play. They had control the whole time. Galesburg had a great middle but we did good controlling the runs she went on."

The team achieved the victory by working as a team and using communication to make sure everyone knew who was prepared to make the next play.

Libby Rutan smacked nine kills at the opposition for the Ghosts as well as two aces during the match.

Brooke Ratcliff racked up three dominant blocks and 26 assists for the match.

Tina Batek led the team in digs with 13 and also fired two aces across the net.

The team then fell against Dunlap, 25-20, 25-10 to end the season.

"That was a little bit rougher," Haen said. "It was one of those nights where what could have gone wrong did go wrong. We made a bit of a comeback in the first game but couldn't get up there. There was a lot of frustration."

The win was Dunlap's second Regional victory in three seasons.

Dunlap built an early advantage in the opening game but IVC was able to battle back and kept the Eagles from running away with the victory.

The Eagles were able to create more separation in the second game by frustrating IVC's defense and launching tough hits at the Ghosts.

The loss marks the end of Haen's first season as the coach of the Lady Ghosts and she said she hopes to build off the foundation the team put in place during the 2012 campaign.

"I hope that the girls build on maturity and also a mindset that when we get the chance to play against super competitive teams that we really need to take advantage of it," Haen said. "We need to seize the moment and not be scared."