All-Star Weekend at Rend Lake College will continue Saturday night in Ina when the Lady Warriors host the second annual All-South Volleyball Classic in Waugh Gymnasium. Action is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.
As many as 13 Southern Illinois Coaches Association All-South honorees are among the 27 recent high school graduates who have accepted invitations to play. Post-season softball competition will likely keep some of those multi-sport performers away.
RLC Volleyball Coach Rhonda Carlton will welcome six of her own recruits, including Murphysboro Outside Hitter Renee Luster, the only All-Star to be named SICA All-South each of her four years in high school, and DuQuoin Outside Hitter Wendi Pyron, who will return after playing Friday in the 25th Annual Girls Southern Illinois Lions Club All-Star Basketball Game.
Additional headliners in a star-studded cast could include three-time SICA All-South pick Heather Robertson, who is “iffy” as the mound ace for Marion’s softball contenders, and Nashville’s Britany Pelczynski, the Southern Illinoisan “Player of the Year” and Champaign News-Gazette Second Team All-Stater. Both are 6-foot middle hitters, with Robertson headed for Rockhurst University and Pelczynski for Parkland College.
Two-time SICA All-South members, along with Pyron, are 5-10 Middle Hitter Mary Rathert of Trico High School, a John A. Logan recruit, and Setter/Outside Hitter Afton Vaughan of Hamilton County Senior H.S. and the University of Evansville.
Completing the cast of All-South selections are 5-10 RLC signee Amanda Higgerson, a middle hitter from DuQuoin; incoming Logan middle/outside hitter prospects Casey Hickman, 5-10, from Carbondale, Beth Agin, 5-10, from Harrisburg and Betsy Terry, 5-11, from Murphysboro; Marion setter Jena Blumenstock (Kaskaskia College); Hamilton County striker Lora Barker (Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville), and 6-3 Salem Middle Hitter Kim Kreke (Air Force Academy).
Also making their unofficial debut on the Rend Lake College court will be Nashville Libero Heather Markowski and the Wayne City duo of Setter Bridget Dickey, twice named All-Mid-South Conference, and Middle Hitter Julie Shreve, an all-league selection in volleyball, basketball and softball.
Three-sport All-Black Diamond East star Caleigh Griffin will be joined by Eldorado teammate Kaleigh Willis for the All-South Volleyball Classic; both are headed for Southeastern Illinois, where Griffin has accepted a softball scholarship.
More stalwarts – Outside Hitters Christen McGill of Trico (SIU-Carbondale) and Megan Fromm of Gallatin County; Setters Jamie Sanders of Hamilton County (St. Louis College of Pharmacy) and Amy Roach of Edwards County (SIUE); Defensive Specialist Monet Seide of Carbondale (DePaul University), and Christopher‘s Cortney Davison and Jessica Rolla.
The playing status of Hitters Jamie Gill, 5-10 Logan softball signee, and Jill Cochran is uncertain due to Pinckneyville’s state quarterfinal softball game Friday against Nashville.
Coaches for the second annual Classic will be 17-year Harrisburg Veteran Dana Brewer, with an overall record of 280-207 and eight regional titles, and Southern Illinoisan “Coach of the Year” Karen Jurich, who has won five straight regionals at Sesser-Valier (three) and Herrin (the last two) among 213 total wins in 12 seasons.
Invited but not expected to participate are Brittany Alms (Steeleville); Amanda Bymaster and Laura Winkeler (West Frankfort); Kelsey Craven, Taylor Lampley and Samantha Shoemake (Herrin); Jessica Hansen (Carbondale); Loren Mason (Carterville); Hannah Roosevelt (Edwards County); Shana Stein (Salem); Lindsey Stirnaman (Sparta); Kelly McCall (Effingham), and Andrea Gore and Mallory Sullivan (Belleville Althoff).