Summer Life

Heyyy Cougar Fans, its Claire!

Well it seems the we have made a full cycle and it is once again my turn to update you all on what goes on in the wonderful world of your Lady Cougz.
Summer is officially upon us! This is going to be the first summer that I have ever spent away from home. It was a hard decision, but with my future in mind, I opted to live on campus this summer to be more involved with the team and to take some summer classes. This summer I am enrolled in 10 credit hours. This might be a lot, but it will definitely pay off. After this summer semester I get to start my classes to work towards becoming a Paralegal! I could not be more excited to start this, perhaps this is why I am willing to work so hard this summer.
Summer can’t be all business though. Lucky for me, my roommates, Taylor and Maria, are also staying on campus this summer. It was comforting to know that I would not be staying here all alone all summer. Already this summer I have traveled to Chicago, twice. The first was just for a fun beach day with friends. For any of you that have seen me in person, you might have noticed that I am very pale. With that being said, all I have to say about this trip is ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN! lol Sunburn is not fun. A few days later I made another trip to the Windy City too see the musical Hamilton, with some of my family.  I have been looking forward to seeing this production since Christmas. Ten out of ten would recommend this musical to anyone of you!  I am so excited to spend the summer with my friends going on many more crazy adventures.
Now down to business, volleyball. Just because it’s summer does not mean that we get to slack! Those of us that are around the area, are enrolled in a weight-lifting class. This course meets Monday and Wednesday at 6:30 am. Now, I am not a morning person, but hey you gotta do what you gotta do. This means that if I have to drag myself out of bed, a little grumpy for our team, then that’s what has to be done. Another part of our summer volleyball lives, is sand doubles. Every Tuesday night, all your Lady Cougz, incoming and returning, venture out to the Riverplex. Both of these activities is a great way for our team to bond. I feel that the closer we can all get now, the better it will be when fall season rolls around.
Thanks for listening!
Talk to you again soon.
Claire Milnes #10

Life as a 2 Sport Athlete

Hey everyone! It’s Brooke Gardner (#13),  I play volleyball and softball at ICC. I am currently working on getting my associates in science at ICC, which I will use at my next college to major in radiography! Being a 2 sport athlete is really fun because I get to have 2 groups of people at school that are like a family to me. I also get to go to a lot of different place and stay in a lot of hotels (which I love).

This year for softball our team did really well! We were only ranked fourth in our region, but ended up getting fourth in the nation! Nationals was really fun and I can’t wait to experience it again this fall with my volleyball family!

Balancing the two sports isn’t very hard because I never have to do both at once. During volleyball season I only do volleyball things, and during softball season I only do softball things. As far as studies go, there is a lot of spare time during the season to get homework done; like bus rides or after practice. I’m very fortunate that I only have to work in the summer, so that’s one less responsibility I have to worry about during the school year.

My summer will pretty much include working at my parents ice cream shop, working volleyball events at the Cougarplex, playing sand volleyball, and working out. Our summer workout class is starting soon and I’m very excited because I love our instructor! Our workouts prepare us very well for the season. I can’t wait to see what this season has in store.  🏐

Grace Aeschleman #2

Hey Cougar fans! Grace Aeschleman here, middle/right side hitter, presenting you with the last blog of the season! I cannot believe my volleyball career at ICC is over. These past two years flew by so fast. I have decided not to play on and to just focus on my studies for the next three years. In August, I will be transferring to Illinois State University where I will be majoring in accounting. I can’t wait to see where this new journey takes me in life.


Last week I finished up all of my classes and turned in my last homework assignments of the year. On Wednesday, I took a field trip with my geology class to Marquette Heights to do a little hiking. We went to Independence Park and learned all about the history of the rocks there. We walked through the stream that runs through the park and found some pretty neat waterfalls and fossils. I don’t have any pictures to share with you from it because I was too nervous about dropping my phone in the water! (It was a pretty deep stream.)

Since we finished our spring season last week, not much has been going on with volleyball, but we have all been hitting the books pretty hard. Finals are right around the corner. Summer break is only one short week away! I have three finals this week, and then I’m all done! I can’t wait to relax and not worry about homework for a couple months. If you don’t have many plans for this summer, I would definitely check out our summer volleyball camps that we host at ICC. Our coach, Sue, even has some of her own specialty camps where you can focus on just one part of your game! If you’re interested, there is more information at

I’m so thankful for all of the friendships and memories I have made over these past two years. I’ve learned so much more about the game and I can’t wait to see if I have the chance to be a coach sometime in the future. I wish the best of luck to all of the sophomores with their future plans. It’s crazy to think I won’t be seeing you guys around school next year. I will miss everyone so much!

Have a great summer break!!

-Grace Aeschleman #2

Jodi Daniel

Hello! My name is Jodi Daniel, libero/ds, I am an incoming freshman from Metamora High School. I have been attending ICC this spring semester because I graduated high school a semester early to get a head start on my studies. I plan on majoring in nursing. This summer I am taking an EMT class to give me more experience in the medical field. I plan to do the two year nursing program here at ICC, then continue my education to receive my BSN.

During this spring semester I practiced with the team and even got to play in the alumni game that took place over this past weekend. I got pretty close to some of the sophomores, Emily and Morgan, which stinks, because I only got to be with them for a semester. But I am looking forward to all the other friendships that I am going to make throughout my career here.  It’s always fun when alumni return.  

Learn new skills and sharpen your old ones at one of our many camps this summer for volleyball players entering the 4th – 12th grade. ICC CAMPS  Everyone loves camp and we enjoy working with campers!

Brooke Jacobs #12

Brooke Jacobs here, sophomore outside hitter. WOW, cannot believe my time here at ICC is coming to a close! Feels like yesterday that I started my journey here. You know what they say.. time flies when your having fun! So much has happened over the last two years that I’ll always remember. More recently, we had the opportunity to play at Bradley. This past Saturday we played 3 matches against, Western, Bradley and Chicago State. All very tough competition where we played 2 sets to 25 each. Our first match of the day against Western was a hard fought one. We came out guns blazing and defeated them in the first set 25-18. We ended up dropping the second set 25-27. We dropped our next two matches against Bradley and Chicago State, but throughout the day it was very obvious that what we worked on throughout the week at practice, was well executed during the games.


We are now entering our last week of spring season! It’s bittersweet. I’m sad to be done, but very happy to move on and start my next journey. Speaking of, and I know you’ve all been chomping at the bit to learn where I will be playing next.. I have decided to continue my academic and volleyball career at the University of Missouri-Kansas City! I had the opportunity to visit in January and immediately knew it was the place for me. I had a great time meeting the coaching staff and players. I met with academic advisors as well. I plan on obtaining my bachelors degree in Health Sciences and then going to nursing school afterwards. UMKC felt like a perfect fit with everything it has to offer. From the big city (but not too big) to the volleyball court, I am beyond excited to make my way west and see what the future holds!

I’m very appreciative of all of the coaching staff and players that I’ve had the opportunity to play for and with. Without them I wouldn’t be the player or person I am today! ICC will always hold a special place in my heart and memories in my mind. (:

Alexus Mercer #15

Hey Cougar Fans! It’s your favorite freshman right side hitter, Alexus Mercer, writing the blog for the week!

These last two weeks have been nice and cozy without tournaments, but this weekend we are very excited to get back in it and take care of business. We will go up against Bradley, Western, and Chicago State. We are ready to compete at a higher level and test both our strengths and weaknesses. After this week we have one last tournament and I got to say I am very sad. This season has been a great one and I am not ready to see our sophomores leave! This past year I have developed amazing friendships and learned so much through the leadership of the older girls. SO with that being said, I am dedicating my blog to the sophomores.

Morgan, thanks for being an understanding setter that took time to work with me and understand/ connect with me as a hitter. Good luck next year!

Paige, thanks for the laughs and the elbows in my side when I am trying to set up a block. Wouldn’t want anyone else to step on me so much and give me so many bruises!

Brooke, thanks for being hilarious and being that one person to always laugh at my dumb jokes. Grateful that we became buds and I am very appreciative of our secret handshake! I don’t want to see you leave us but I know you are going to do amazing next year at your new school. Good luck.

Darian, thanks for helping me grow as an individual and as a player. I love your brutal honesty (even when I didn’t) and I love the connection we have on the court. Thank you for being my person.

Emily, thank you for becoming one of my best friends this season. Thank you for the laughs, the tears, and the talks about all our frustrations. Thank you for talking things out with me and the constant encouragement. Thank you for listening.

Grace, thanks for being my bud and other right side. I am going to miss our talks on the sidelines and the way we connected over our position.

Whitney, thanks for your endless amount of energy and advice. You were absolutely amazing this season with helping myself and other girls work stuff out mentally and physically on the court.

Thank you sophomores for everything that you each brought individually to this team! Thank you guys for the good times and the bad times! Thank you guys for being my second family.  Excited for the time we all have left together this next couple weeks. Much love,

img_0355         Alexus Mercer #15

Taylor Shaw #4

Hi cougar fans!! This is freshman outside hitter Taylor Shaw writing the blog for the week! As you read in last weeks blog by Paige Pasley we competed in a tournament at UIS. We have these next two weekends off which is really nice because it gives us time to spend with our family. I’m especially excited because I will be welcoming a new baby cousin into the world this coming week.

But we’ve been busy in the gym preparing for the spring tournaments! The weekend after Easter we will be traveling to Bradley to compete in another tournament. We will be playing Bradley, Western and Chicago State. These teams are all at a higher level than us so this will be good a good test of our skills. After The Bradley tournament we only have one more tournament and then before we know it, it’ll be summer!

Last time I talked to everyone I was undecided for my field of study. But I am happy to say that I have finally decided on Nursing. I specifically want to go into Neonatal nursing but there is a long road ahead of me before I get there! Can’t wait to talk to you guys again soon! GO COUGS!