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Illini West Wins Suns Classic


Chargers Continue Impressive Run, Win Tournament

The Illini West Charger volleyball team has gotten out to a red-hot start to the 2019 season and looks to be making head coach Dakota Flesner’s expectation of a Regional Championship a very wise one. They added on to this start with a wonderful performance at last week’s Lady Suns Classic tournament, ultimately winning it for the first time in Illini West history.


This past weekend began the Chargers’ play in the Championship Pool of the tournament, and they got right out of the gate with a 2-set win over Southeastern on Saturday, September 7th. Ava Bliss led the team in kills in the first game with 7, while Karli Artman put up a solid 14-assist performance as those two continue to be forces on offense. Defensively, Megan Harrell put up 13 digs to pace the Chargers.


Following this performance, the Chargers had to turn right around and play Rushville-Industry in the championship game. Illini West dominated the first set, winning 25-11, but subsequently dropped the second set 25-16 leading to an all-important third set. Thanks to a big day from leading setter Karli Artman, the Chargers were able to pull the third set win out, 25-14. 


In the tournament-winning match, Artman racked up a wildly impressive 34 assists as she continues to be one of the more impressive athletes in the area. With the performance, she was named Tournament MVP. Megan Harrell was as impressive defensively as she was offensively as she put up a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs, a performance that summed up why she was named all-tournament. Ava Bliss was able to put up a double-double in the Final as well (11 kills, 10 digs), again proving why she was worthy of all-tournament honors. 


The tournament win pushes Illini West’s record to 9-3 on the season as they get in to the meat of September being one of the hottest teams in the area. They next play on Monday, September 9th, at home against Pittsfield, and they begin conference play when they take on Havana on Thursday, September 12th.