Area volleyball teams start postseason competition next week

Urbana -- With regular season play ending today, four Sentinel area volleyball teams will compete for a regional volleyball title starting next week. St. Joseph-Ogden, Unity, Urbana and University High each have the opportunity to bring home a championship plaque.

PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Mikyla Haley pass the ball to the setter in St. Joseph-Ogden's home volleyball match against Teutopolis earlier this season. The Spartans are the #1 seed in their regional when the IHSA state series starts next Monday.

Earning a #9 seed, Urbana (3-21, 2-8) will open their postseason play against fellow Big 12 Conference foe Danville. The two teams will square off on Monday at Rantoul Township High School in the regional's solo quarterfinal match scheduled to start at 6pm.

The winner advances to face Normal University in the Class 3A regional semifinals. Earlier in the season, Tigers fell in straight sets on the road, 25-20, 25-21, to the Vikings (6-25, 3-7) in conference action on September 29.

U-High (5-19, 1-4) will take on Armstrong on Tuesday, October 25, at 7:00 pm to start their postseason run in the St. Thomas More regional. Should the #11 Illineks defeat the #5 seed Trojans, they will face the winner between LeRoy and Schlarman in the Class 1A bracket on Wednesday.

Unity (12-15-2), who finished 4-4 in the Illini Praire Conference, will also take the court in Arthur to face #7 seed St. Teresa. Earlier in the season, despite five kills from JJ LeFaivre, and six apiece from teammates Kaitlyn Schweighart and Emmalee Atkins, the Rockets dropped the regular season meeting between the two teams 2-1.

The winner advances to Tuesday's 6pm semifinal against the host Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond. The Lady Knights boast an impressive 23-4 record and won the Lincoln Prairie Conference title with a perfect 9-0 record.

Earning a bye into the semifinals in the Bismarck-Henning-Rossville-Alvin regional #1 seed St. Joseph-Ogden plays their first postseason match against the winner of Monday's contest between Hoopeston Area and Oakwood. The SJO program outscored both teams by a combined 100-65 points during the season.

A win on Tuesday, will then pit the Spartans against either Paris or BHRA in the regional title match.