Darian Baldwin #11

Hello Cougar fans! Guess what this week is? SPRING BREAK!

The only sad part about being eight weeks into the semester is that our eight week volleyball class and weight lifting class has ended. Our team is required to take these two classes taught by our assistant coach, Paloma Simundic. There were two men that also joined us in the volleyball class. We can’t thank them enough for being a part of it! TK and Jameson challenged our hitter and defensive specialist because of their blocking and hitting abilities. Everyone has such a great time competing with and against each other. We also love to see the progress we have made in the weight room. The best part about lifting and workouts are the results. I think we can all agree that our biggest accomplishment is the number of push-ups we are able to do now! Though our classes are over, we will still be hitting the gym and weight room. Practices will be throughout the week to prepare us for our upcoming spring tournaments. We will start off our spring season by a tournament at Northern Illinois University on March 25th! We will be competing against Chicago State, Illinois State, Lewis, McHenry, and Winona. This tournament will be great competition! 

I have exciting news for you all! I visited University of Saint Francis in Joliet Illinois on February 27th. The visit started off by a campus tour. The buildings are absolutely beautiful! Next was a meeting with an advisor. The tour guide and advisor were so incredibly helpful the entire time we were with them. Then I met with Coach Currier and Coach Cox for lunch and then practice. I loved getting to meet with the players and it was even better that I was able to practice with them. I left the campus knowing that University of Saint Francis was the school for me. I am so blessed to say that I will be continuing my academic and athletic career as a Fighting Saint! 

~ Darian #11

Whitney Nichols #14

Cougar fans! What’s up? Whitney Nichols here to you the 411 on what’s been happening lately. As many of you all know, we are currently in Spring season, which consists of practices, weights, and of course tournaments. As some of you may not know, I dislocated my left knee while playing Parkland back on October 5th. I had surgery December 9th and I’m busy as work with physical therapy and gaining back my strength. It was a scary feeling not knowing if I could ever play the sport I love but found out in late January that I would be able to play again. YAY!

So, on February 14th… Valentine’s Day, I committed to Greenville College to continue my academic and athletic career. Let’s just say, that was a pretty great feeling. Due to my knee injury, I unfortunately had to forgo Spring season. But, I’ve learned so much about the game by just sitting there and watching my team play. I’ve learned so much more about the little things of the game of volleyball. It’s amazing what we can learn while were not on the court, playing.

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Besides a demanding schedule in the classroom, I also have a demanding schedule in the show barn. Yes, I’m a livestock girl. I was born and raised on a pig farm, and I couldn’t imagine my life without those four-legged animals. It’s a year-round job and it definitely keeps me on my toes. From witnessing their birth, to watching them grow up is an amazing site to see. I’m thankful every day for the pig industry because it has taught me many life lessons, not to mention, I met my best friend through the pig industry. This summer will be full of pig shows, strength training for my knee, and of course volleyball.

As always, Go Cougs!

Whit #14

Leah TerBush #6

Hey Cougar fans!

It’s Leah and wow have we been busy around here.  Since this is the Spring I am taking a bigger class load than I do in the fall.   Most of us do this because we’re not on the road as much but that means more study time!  Although the schedule as an athlete isn’t as demanding in the spring as it is in the fall, it still takes a lot of work.

This past Thursday, Brooke Jacobs, Morgan, Taylor, and I along with 55 other student athletes got recognized for earning academic honors in the fall semester.  Brooke and Taylor earned the Athletic Director’s Award, Morgan earned the Dean’s List Award, and I earned the President’s List Award.  It was super exciting to see our hard work payoff.  Along with that, this past Tuesday I got the opportunity to be inducted into the Sigma Kappa Delta which is an English honor society here at ICC.  This again was refreshing to see hard work paying off and has tremendous benefits for wherever I choose to go after ICC.  For example, an activity that I would participate in is the Adopt-A-Highway which is one way that the organization and SKD members can give happiness back to the community.

On another note, we still have our volleyball class Mondays and Wednesdays and it’s been so fun!  Especially because it’s awesome to see everyone improving and getting stronger throughout the weeks.  This makes me so excited for the upcoming spring tournaments.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays we have practice and that’s always a good time for us to all be able to play as a team since not everyone is able to make it to the class on Mondays and Wednesdays.  Whitney and Emily have been such huge help whenever Sue is the only coach in practice on Tuesday and Thursday.  Although, I wish they were out on the court playing with us I know they’ll be motivating us on the sideline.

Intramurals started back up a couple of weeks ago so some of the players stick around after practice and officiate the games and even occasionally play.  It’s always fun to watch the students who play get involved and have fun doing it!

With Spring break coming up the first half of the semester is almost done which means we’ll be having midterms soon!  It’s crazy to think that spring competition is about to start back up and challenge and push us all in ways that will only better us in the upcoming season.  I’m so excited to see what all we accomplish this spring!!  Wish us luck!

Talk to you soon!

Leah TerBush #6

Emily Zelhart #5 

Hey Cougar fans!
It’s Emily here! Some may think that since it’s Spring season now that we aren’t as busy, but that’s far from the truth!! This is the semester where I usually take more credit hours than before since we aren’t traveling every weekend. That sadly means, some have classes on Friday 😦 Other than that, I make sure to stay on top of all my homework, get my study hours in, work a part time job, and of course volleyball!!
Some of you may not know, but during the game against Lincoln Land for district finals I unfortunately collided with another teammate and tore my ACL. It was not how I wanted to end my volleyball career at ICC, but at least I got to compete for the whole season. I had surgery over Thanksgiving break, and ever since then my mind has been on recovery. Sadly, I won’t be able to participate in any practices or tournaments this Spring season, but that doesn’t mean I don’t help out! I am enrolled in the weightlifting class that my team is in. I go and do the upper body and core things that I can do, then I do my therapy exercises. I help out with Sue at practices when she’s the only coach there. I serve, hit, toss for any drills whenever I can. It stinks being on the sideline, but I’m excited to cheer on my teammates this Spring!
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I am currently involved in a business club at ICC called Phi Beta Lambda. It is not only for business oriented majors, but mainly that’s who is in it. I was not really able to participate in it in the fall since volleyball takes up most of my time, but I’m very excited to participate in all the fun activities we do this semester! For example, we all get sponsors and put on a mini golf course right here in the ICC cafeteria!! We also did a ticket drawing for people to get a chance to win the best parking spot on campus (“permit only” parking spot right by the bridge)!! This organization participates in both state and national level leadership conferences featuring competitive events and testing in a wide range of categories. I’m planning on competing in those conferences in April, but I’m not sure yet on which categories I’ll do. Either way, wish me luck!

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January through March mainly consists of practices, which is us training for the few Spring tournaments we have. It’s fun to just get to play volleyball everyday with the team and not worry about traveling somewhere every week, very laid back. Great talking to you!!
-Emily #5

Claire Milnes #10

Hey Cougar fans! Claire here, it’s been awhile. Despite our social media dark period we have kept busy!

Once our official season ended we got some time to ourselves before heading back into the weight room. Other than that before break we all got together to play with and try out some new recruits. It was kind of nice to get a break from the hustle and bustle of season, but I found myself missing not spending everyday with my teammates. Going from spending everyday with people to barely seeing them throughout the week was hard.
Next thing we knew it was time to go home for winter break! It was odd spending so much time there considering I hadn’t been home in so long. I spent my time away, working and catching up with all my friends and family. It had been a long time since I’d spent time with any of them, so it was a nice change. I loved being able to spend some time with my little siblings! Before I knew it, classes were about to start again.
Some of you may not know that our Libero, Maria, has the opportunity to study abroad in Spain this semester. One of the hardest parts of this semester so far has been not having her around. She was one of my roommates and very best friends. So happy she is off experiencing the world, but miss her so much.
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The volleyball team is enrolled in a volleyball class on Mondays and Wednesdays. This class gives us the opportunity to get in some practice time together and also with other ICC students. There are two boys in our class that offer a great challenge for our team. Now we have started practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On these days we get the chance to play together and work on improving our individual skills.
Great catching up with you!
Love
Claire Milnes #10

Thanks for a great season (24-18)!

Hey Cougar fans! Post season officially started this past week. We practiced really hard Monday and Tuesday to prepare for our District Semi-Finals game against Lincoln College on Wednesday night. We worked on some new skills that we hoped would come in handy up at the net. We ended up beating Lincoln College in 5 hard-fought sets. We lost the first two sets, but pushed through the last three sets to take home a win. We were so excited that we overcame this obstacle and came together as a team. Later in the week, on Thursday and Friday, we began preparing for our District Finals game against Lincoln Land Community College on Saturday at the CougarPlex. We worked on a lot of individual skills on Thursday. On Friday, we read an article about how the Cubs overcame their 108-year drought and we discussed what we could take from away from their team this season. Some of the comments in the article that really stood out to us were, “Don’t let bad moments get you down,” and, “It came to doing the right thing over and over again,” but my favorite one was, “do-or-die.” This comment really stood out to me because this District Finals game determined whether our season was going to end or if we would get to advance to the National Championship. So it was kind of like a “do-or-die” moment for my team. After we finished reading the article, we practiced really hard during some 6-on-6 drills and we stayed focused the whole time. We all knew how important this next match was.

Saturday rolled around and we were all antsy to get out on the floor and do what we do best: play volleyball. Sue made it very clear that we all eat a good breakfast and lunch before our match. I got up around 7am (I’m an early bird), and ate some Captain Crunch Berries and did some homework. Before I knew it, it was time to head over to the CougarPlex for an exciting game. We ended up losing to LLCC in five really close sets. I have never seen my team fight so hard. It was such a fun season and I’m sad to see it come to an end.  We finished 24-18.

I’ve learned so much about life and volleyball this season and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Now it’s time for us Cougs to really focus on our schoolwork because finals will be here before we know it! Thanks for being the best fans ever! See you in the spring!

Grace Aeschleman #2

Post Season 

Hey there Coug fans!

It’s Emily here, a sophomore DS at ICC. This upcoming week is what we have been working for all season…. PLAYOFFS! We have two practices before our semi-final game on Wednesday, then we will have two practices after that to prepare for the big finals game on Saturday. The end goal of this week is to win to get a bid to nationals!!

This past week we played Carl Sandburg Tuesday night at home for our Sophomore night. It was a great night because we won in 3 sets! All of us sophomores played really well, and even the freshmen did a great job of contributing. Being a sophomore, it was nice recognizing all my other sophomore teammates and I in front of all our friends and family. The best part was the delicious cake and cookies we got to eat after the game (yes, Sue approved).

On Friday and Saturday, we traveled to Parkland College for our last tournament to play. On Friday we played beat Carl Sandburg in 4 sets, and lost a hard fought match to Kirkwood in 4 sets. On Saturday we swept IVCC and South Suburban both in 3! On Saturday, our win against IVCC was Sue’s 900th win as a coach here at ICC! Grace and Morgan decorated a volleyball with some of Sue’s many quotes, and the whole team signed the ball to give to her! It seemed weird that we were already competing in our last tournament… the season seemed like it flew by, but there’s even more fun to come in postseason!

To end this weekend, we had our team Halloween party on Sunday night at Sue’s!! Everyone got dressed up in their scariest or funniest costumes and went to Sue’s to have a nice home cooked meal. Grace and I decided to dress up as accountants because that’s what we are majoring in and are hoping to be one day! Accountants are pretty much nerds so it was pretty easy to find a costume for it. TR and our other coaches always dress up and try to scare us as we walk up to the front door which frightens me because I am not into any of that scary business… they even had a chainsaw!! (without the chain of course)

This Wednesday we play Lincoln for the semi-finals at the Cougarplex at 6pm. Finals landed at our place this year, so this Saturday, November 5th at 4 pm.   Come out to the and support us as we fight to get the bid to Nationals!!

Postseason is officially here!!

GO COUGS!

-Emily #5