November 5, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA – It would be fair to say that the John A. Logan College volleyball team will face as good a competition as there is in the country this weekend at the District D Tournament hosted by Iowa Western College.

The Reivers of Iowa Western are not only the tournament’s top seed, but also ranked No. 4 in the nation with an overall record of 32-5.

Logan, unranked at 20-10 overall, squares off with the host school tonight at 6 in second-round play of the District meet. Logan was surprised to learn Thursday that it had been awarded a bye in the first round as Marshalltown, Iowa backed out of tournament play.

According to Thom McDonald, Commissioner of the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference, Marshalltown pulled out due to “injuries.”

Should the Volunteers manage to pull the upset over the Reivers, they would play again Saturday at 2:30 against either Indian Hills, Iowa (ranked No. 5 in the country at 26-3), Kaskaskia (24-8 and winner of the Great Rivers Athletic Conference), or Lake Land (25-12). Should they lose Friday, they would first meet one of those three schools at noon Saturday.

The championship round extends into Sunday. Last year, the Vols advanced to the championship round with two wins over Marshalltown and one over Kaskaskia, while losing once each to Iowa Western and Indian Hills.

“I’m not very happy about the idea of Marshalltown pulling out of the tournament, but it’s not like there’s much I can do about it,” said Vols head coach Bill Burnside. “We would have much preferred to have a game under our belt before playing the likes of Iowa Western.”

The Vols are led offensively by freshman outside hitter Annie Wehrheim of Woodlawn. She has 296 kills or just a little over three per set. Sophomore rightside hitter Chynna Byars follows with 149 kills. Sophomore outside hitter Carly Callahan checks in with 137.

Defensively, freshman middle hitter Cheyenne Pitchford of Sesser and sophomore middle, Kierra Nolan of Murphysboro, lead the way with a combined 256 blocks. Freshman Ali Amici and Callahan pace the team in digs with a combined 620.

Freshman setters Caroline Rogers and sophomore Christy Hayden are tops in assists with a combined 831.