By: Gracie Hart, Journalism staff editor
Some people say change is a good thing, and that’s definitely the case for the girls’ volleyball team. Switching from the Cornbelt Conference to the Heart of Illinois Conference has proven to be one of the best changes in the program's history. Varsity coach, Tracy Heffren, commented that the switch has been great for the team. The girls entered Tuesday night’s contest with impressive records and ready to take on the Falcons of Flanagan.
Tuesday, Sept. 20 was the team’s Homecoming game, beginning with the freshmen team. Even though they battled hard, the girls were defeated by the Falcons. The freshmen team only has six girls. Each and every one of them has had to learn new positions and work hard to make their team of six successful. Coach Jamie Roth commented, “Having to learn more than one position is not a bad thing. Being able to play in more areas will only help them in their future volleyball career.”
Following the freshmen game, the junior varsity took the floor. Both teams looked strong to start, but the Hornets won the first set with a score of 25-20. Flanagan came back strong and stole the second set from the Hornets with a score of 13-25. Both teams, having won one set each, were determined to win the third set and seal the victory for the game.
The match went back and forth between the two teams until it was tied at 14. The Eureka fans were on the edge of their seats hoping that their team could pull off a win. Sophomore player Katie Morin said, “It was really stressful. We didn’t want to mess up or miss our hits.” After several nail-biting, action-filled plays, the Hornets were able to score two points and win the game with a final score of 16-14.
The crowd was hyped-up after the intense JV game and was ready to watch the varsity battle against Flanagan; however, before the two teams could take the floor, Athletic Director, Mr. Jason Greene, made an announcement about senior Lauren Rokey.
On Saturday, Sept. 17, Lauren recorded her one-thousandth kill, the first in EHS history to do so. After awarding her with a signed volleyball and a round of applause from the crowd, the game began.
The two teams both played strong, but the Falcons were no match for the Hornets who are undefeated in the HOI Conference. Their undefeated conference play is likely because of the eight seniors on the team. “By having so many seniors, there is a lot of experience and leadership. They have been good leaders which makes our team stronger,” explained Coach Heffren.
The undefeated team easily won the match with scores of 25-13 and 25-15. Junior Maddie McCunn recorded 14 assists, and senior Lauren Rokey added nine more kills to her ever-growing record.
Come out and support the Hornets as they take on state ranked Tri-Valley at home on Sept. 27. The freshmen game starts at 5:00 PM followed by JV and varsity. Go Hornets!