Lady Coalers bring home a state trophy

SEMIFINAL VICTORY! Coal City 7th graders (from left) Marina Figge (2), Olivia Ferrari (1) and Emma D’Orazio (11) celebrate, along with Coaler fans, after beating St. Jacob Triad during the 4A state volleyball semifinal on Saturday in Normal, IL.
Photo by Amy Walker

The Coal City Middle School 7th grade volleyball team made it to the state championship match in 4A volleyball but couldn’t get past undefeated Frankfort Hickory Creek, bringing home the second place trophy on Saturday.
They become the 20th CCMS team to advance to state since 1981 and one of five teams to earn a state trophy. In 1992 the 7th graders finished in second, third in 1997 and fourth in 2010. The eighth grade Lady Coalers placed third in 2001.
Coach Gina Horrie knew her Lady Coalers were up against the best team in the state in the battle for the state championship. Frankfort came into the match with a 25-0 record, shutting down their previous two opponents with two-set wins.
But the Coal City was on a decisive path, beating Chatham Glenwood in the first round 25-19, 25-12 and St. Jacob Triad in the semifinal 25-23, 25-19.
Marina Figge led the Lady Coalers in the quarterfinal with 20 service points including eight aces. Emma D’Orazio contributed eight service points while Olivia Ferrari had three points, Avery Male two and Ava Mills one.
Coal City presented a balanced attack with six players scoring during the semifinal against St. Jacob.
Male fired across nine points including four aces to lead the charge. Figge was impressive with her eight points and three aces while Ferrari finished with six points and three aces. Also scoring were Penny D’Arcy with two points and Mills with one.
The Lady Coalers just weren’t themselves in the championship as Frankfort took the lead early in both games to claim it 25-12, 25-11.
Ferrari and Figge led with three points each. D’Arcy scored two while Male and Mills tallied one apiece.
There is no reason to hang their heads though as they complete a 21-4 season and bring home a state trophy after a 14-year wait.