October 30, 2018

The John A. Logan volleyball team has won the Great Rivers Athletic Conference championship and the NJCAA Region 24 championship to advance to the NJCAA District tournament in Park Hills, MO.

The Lady Vols, 29-8, will go against Indian Hills of Iowa at 1 p.m. Saturday in the tournament semi-finals. A win over Indian Hills would send the Vols against the winner of the Mineral Area vs. Kaskaskia match for the District title and a berth in the national tournament that will be held in Hutchinson, KS.

"Indian Hills is a good club but we will have a chance to win," said Volunteer coach Bill Burnside. "Our talent level is about the same as Indian Hills, but they have a mostly foreign lineup with older women. We can't let them intimidate us and I don't think they will."

Logan has had one of the best seasons on record with the 29 wins matching the 29-7 record in 2010. They have won with a squad of 10 freshmen and 3 sophomores. "I knew we had talent, but with 10 freshmen you never know what to expect," Burnside said. "Our 3 sophomores have given us excellent leadership and the freshmen have been very good."

The Vols have also succeeded with players from small communities and small high schools. "We have a squad made up of athletes from smaller schools." Burnside said. "They are often overlooked and you have to watch a lot of high school matches to find players who just haven't had the exposure."

Burnside, who became head coach in 2009 has an outstanding record of 317-117 with four GRAC championships and six Region 24 titles. This year's team ranks high in NJCAA statistics. The Vols are 4th nationally in total blocks, 4th in sets, 8th in total attacks, 9th in solo blocks and 10th in assists.