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Friday, Oct. 11
Super rematch with
By Rick Hobler
[OCT. 11, 2002]
What do you get
when you add 19-2 to 21-1? One. As in one terrific volleyball match,
with a not-so-great ending.
Last night, the
Lincoln Lady Railers volleyball squad (19-2) faced their longtime
nemesis and rival Normal Community (21-1) in a rematch of last
year’s IHSA super-sectional match at East Peoria. The Railers’
memories were clear. The sting of last year’s loss was still fresh.
As usual, the emotion was electric. As usual, more fans than ever
showed up for both sides. As usual, both teams battled to the very
last point. And, unfortunately, as usual, Normal Community won.
The final count —
Lady Railers lose 8-15, 14-16. But it was not without a fight.
In game one, the
Railers quickly jumped out to a 3-0 lead as the adrenaline was
flowing freely on both sides of the floor. But slowly and
methodically thereafter, the much taller overall Normal Community
Ironmen began to wear down the home team. Normal had a six-point
service run that left the score 3-6, and they never looked back from
there. The serving and setting of Normal’s Megan Trimpe was
excellent, while sophomore Breanna Leisner and senior Stephanie Roof
seemed to always be above the net to finish the matter. The Railers
went down hard, but down they went.
Game two was a
different matter. A determined Railer team, with some good noise
from their fans, both high school-aged and older, came out swinging
for round two. When the score reached 6-1 Lincoln, then 12-8 and
even at 14-12, I was confident that we were in for a three-game
contest. But it was not to be. On the initial stellar serving of
Kari McFadden, which included three aces, the Lady Railers were
rolling and led 6-1. Toward the end it was the same kind of great
serving from Samantha Conrady that got the Railers to 14 and almost
sent the match to game three. But the great serving could get us
only to 14, never 15.
The middle of the
match was a dogfight, with each team going all out to keep the ball
off their own side of the floor. The Railers had some great kills by
Samantha Conrady and Michelle McFadden, some great blocks by
Brooklyn Robbins and others, and there was no lack of effort on
defense. Missy Aper played very smart by not challenging the tall
Normal blockers but instead gently dinking it over their
outstretched finger tips for Railer points. Christina Xamis and
Maria Benitez spent a great deal of time diving across the floor to
keep the Railers alive.
But, in this second
game of the match, it seemed like LCHS was unable to get blockers in
place to stop the Normal quick sets. Give the ball to Normal’s
Stephanie Roof about a foot above the net, and everyone on the other
side better clear out. Several crucial kills and the final two
Normal points belonged to Roof, at the net, pounding the ball to the
floor. When the Lady Railers got to 14, they couldn’t finish Normal
off, and Normal came back to get the next four points for the game
and the match.
[to top of second column in this
The Railer stats
looked like this:
• Service points — Kari McFadden with seven points,
including four aces; Samantha Conrady with five points, four aces;
and Christina Xamis came through with five service points of her
• Digs — Christina Xamis and Missy Aper with nine each
and Samantha Conrady with eight.
• Assists — Brooklyn Robbins with 14.
• Kills — Five each for Missy Aper and Michelle
McFadden and three each for Brooklyn Robbins and Kari McFadden.
• Blocks — Brooklyn Robbins with three and the McFadden
duo with two each.
The Railers hurt
themselves several times throughout the match with first serves
going either into the net or long at the backcourt. The Railers also
never figured out a way to stop the Normal quick sets. But
everywhere else the Railers showed their toughness. The Railers were
diving and digging as evidenced by the large number of total digs
that show up on the stat sheet and the floor burns of our ladies.
They had some pretty blocks and some nicely placed tips — but in the
end Normal Community was just better (you know it pains me to write
that)… at least for last night (now I feel a little better).
I hate to lose. So do
the Lady Railers. Some areas that need improvement showed themselves
last night. And, as coach Howe put it after the game, "Better to
find out now, than in the postseason." Agreed. I have the feeling
the Railers will be working their way back to a return visit with
Normal Community somewhere along that postseason road. Having
learned a lesson tonight, maybe we can teach one later on.
The junior varsity
team won a hard fought three-game match last night against Normal
Community. After winning the first game on a great initial start,
the Railers dropped game two in a seesaw battle. In game three,
Melanie Boyer had a great early service run. Exceptional net play
from Kendal Paulus, Julie Fults and Megan Hoffert helped the Railers
pull out the game 15-13 to win the match.
The Lady Railers
depart today for a grueling 20-team weekend tournament at St.
Charles East in the Chicago area. Once they return, they will have
one thing on their mind: a conference victory over Jacksonville at
home on Tuesday night. A win over Jacksonville would put the Railers
in the driver’s seat for the CS-8 title, with only two conference
foes to face thereafter. Tuesday will again be required attendance
for all Railer fans, especially those fond of making noise.
High school volleyball
[OCT. 11, 2002]
Central Catholic def. Olympia 15-2, 15-7.
Olympia: Service points, Kristin Goebel 4; Kills, Goebel 3;
Blocks, Stacia Prater 2; Assists, Jaime Ahlers 25
Record: Olympia 16-9 overall, 3-3 in conference
Junior Varsity: Olympia def. Central Catholic 15-8, 15-11.
Freshmen: Olympia def. Central Catholic, 2-0.
High school cross country
[OCT. 11, 2002]
Mason City - 3 miles
Illini Central 18, Lincoln 43
Derek Hunter (IC) 16:55; 2. Phil Sims (IC); 3. Alejandro Valdes (L);
4. Clint Wells (IC); 5. Jared McDaniel (IC).
Articles from the past week
I was wrong
Carroll Catholic junior high baseball
Lincoln splits doubleheader in Champaign
High school cross country
High school football
High school golf
- Men's soccer: LC loses to Tyler
- High school football
‘Monday Night Football’:
A total blast... other than
was a wild, wild atmosphere last night in Champaign for the football
game matching the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers. Perhaps
the Bears got too much caught up in it, as they looked overmatched
throughout most of the night and fell 34-21.
[Click here for more
[Photos by Greg Taylor]
They will need to fix many broken
aspects of their game IF they intend to get back into the playoff
hunt. Right now I would have to label their play very disappointing
at best. Maybe the aura of the Illini is hovering over the stadium
too much at this juncture, but they sure missed an opportunity —
with a national spotlight cast on this game — to show what they
could be, and they remained as predictable as you could imagine. I’m
not paid by any NFL team to scout or analyze, but if a nut like me
can tell you what play or defensive call is coming up next, YOU are
with an NFL team that is in some serious trouble.
While the Bears do have games with
Detroit and Minnesota looming on the horizon after a bye week, a
split right now sounds better than some alternatives. However, there
IS STILL time to right the ship. IF they could get back on track and
win both, then you never know where that might take them. Getting
away from ultraconservative play-calling would be one step in the
right direction. More aggressive defense, complete with many more
blitzes, would also be something that ought to at least be tried.
It’s hard for NFL QBs to throw TD passes while lying on their backs!
[to top of second column in this
I know that my many Bear-fan friends
would like to see an IMMEDIATE turnaround, and I hope that happens
for their sake… The prospects of that just don’t look all that
strong to this onlooker at this point.
While Illini football has faded since
opening day, Brian Cook and his cast of Illini basketball hoopsters
are going through the paces, readying themselves for action so that
they don’t repeat the football team’s showing thus far. LDN staffers
were on hand to watch some NCAA-approved 3-on-3 drills, and Cook was
right in the middle of the action, teaching newcomers Augustino,
Spears, Williams and others what it will take to get the job done in
rugged Big Ten play. It is exciting and gratifying watching him help
the younger Illini recruits! Brian has worked hard throughout his
career and deserves good things to happen for him. I hope he stays
healthy and has a banner season.
Whatever happens, Brian, thanks for the
wonderful memories you’ve given us, and thanks for representing your
family and Lincoln so well over the last three years. We are all so
proud of you! Good luck, and as always, GO ILLINI.
really big fans... Midnight Madness is set for this Friday night at
Huff Hall Gym. Admission is FREE and doors open at 10 p.m.!!! [See
I was wrong
By Jeff Mayfield
[OCT. 7, 2002]
And I’ve heard that some men
have trouble uttering those words. Since I’m wrong more often than
not, these are not the most difficult for me. When I say that I was
wrong… well, I was the guy who predicted the Arizona Diamondbacks in
However, I don’t pick for a living…
obviously! I had been on such a big roll for the last two years, but
I still wasn’t thinking of quitting my day job. I just felt like the
St. Louis Cardinals needed home field advantage to be successful
this year… with the starting staff as beaten up as it is and having
to face not one, but two Cy Young candidates in the persons of Curt
Schilling and Randy Johnson.
Little did I know that Matt Morris and
Chuck Finley would do their own imitations of the dynamic duo.
Little did I know that Andy Benes would continue to pitch like he
did when he was a kid. Little did I know that our bullpen would
bring back memories of Whitey’s pen: Todd Worrell, Ken Dayley, Rick
Horton, Pat Perry, Jeff Lahti and Bill Campbell. That Fernando Vina
would just onload his many offensive weapons. That we wouldn’t have
to face Curt and Randy more than once. I was just plain out and out
BUT, I couldn’t be happier. When I was
young I discovered the many superstitions involved in the game of
baseball, and I used many of them during my playing and coaching
days. With that being said… I’m staying with my prediction that,
whoever the Cards play, the Braves or the Giants will whip St. Louis
in four games. I sure hope I’m wrong for at least two more series!
Redbirds on a roll
Led by the stellar running of halfback
Quincy Washington and the excellent receiving of Dwayne Smith and
Vito Goulson, the ISU Redbirds hammered the SMSU Bears 33-20 on
homecoming Saturday, and the game was NOT that close! Washington
romped for 167 yards on a gutsy 33 carries and he tallied two
touchdowns. Vito had his catches, but teammate Smith came down with
five receptions for 64 yards and a TD of his own. Not to be outdone,
the Redbird defense pounded the Bears time after time for big
losses, especially on third down situations. I hope the Illini
scouts are attending these games! ISU is now 3-2 on the season and
1-0 in Gateway Conference play, while the Bears slipped to 3-3 and
My son was also impressed with
paratroopers who dropped in from a helicopter from 4,000 feet above
Hancock stadium and just happened to bring the game ball with them.
He also REALLY likes the ISU band and of course, REGGIE Redbird,
whom he got to meet just before kickoff!
ISU faces a stiff test next time out as
they try to handle a very solid Western Illinois football team.
And speaking of the Illini, did they
play football somewhere? Did you see the effort or lack thereof the
last few weeks? It is hard to watch and even harder to cover. I
think I speak for the whole platoon when I say that we’re giving
that same kind of effort here in our coverage. Enough said!
Railers REALLY good
I think some people thought we were
just being a "homer" when we said that the RAILER volleyball team
looked to have all the "makings" during the preseason. Well, that’s
our story and we’re stickin’ with it! After polishing off this
week’s victims, the Lady Railers now stand at 17-2, 2-0. IF they
stay healthy and focused, you might want to ride this bandwagon. I
see good things for this team… as well as for Hartem, Mount Pulaski
and Warrensburg. What is it about this area that we produce so many
outstanding volleyball players?
[to top of second column in this
The LCHS football guys had some tough
sledding against SHG. But with as many injuries as this team has
had, it’s hard to produce wins when you’re short-handed. I’m still
hoping for another win or two out of these guys!
LCC’s volleyball team has been
dominating their competition. They ripped through another set of
opponents this past weekend to win yet another tournament and upped
their record to 23-3 in the process. They ARE the No. 1-ranked team
in the nation according to the latest NCCAA poll! Breanne Prunty was
named the tourney’s MVP, and Christen O’Malley and Bethany Scheel
were selected to the all-tourney team.
After having a two-year run of luck, I
haven’t picked one baseball winner yet. I had the D’backs, the
Yankees and the A’s… I wonder IF this is why my stock portfolio is
struggling… IF you’re a broker out there, give me a call before it’s
The Carroll Catholic junior high
baseball team lost a heartbreaking 2-1 thriller versus Princeville
this past weekend. It was the only loss the Crusaders suffered
the entire season. Congratulations on a fine year!
LIVE from Champaign-Urbana tonight…
So, that will probably make it nigh to
impossible for you to call in tonight with your question, comment or
answer to our wacky trivia questions! Anyway, we hope to bring you
the sights, the sounds, the smells (well, maybe NOT all the smells)
and the stuff to make your pre-"Monday Night Football" routine more
exciting than ever! We will be coming to you live on the LDN webcast,
WFIX-96.3 FM and CITV Channel 5 here on the local cable affiliate.
We will be broadcasting from the Christian Campus House on the
corner of Oregon and Lincoln Avenue in Urbana. SO, if you get to the
game early, come on by and help us host the show! We hope this is
one of the funnest events of the year!
Have a great
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