Building skill and strength

Hello Cougar Fans! Freshman, Outside Hitter, Mary O’Brien here! We are almost one month into our Spring season and I couldn’t be more excited to be back and practicing again! It feels so good to be back on the court with the team, doing what we do best.


This year has flown by, I can’t believe we are already into the Spring Semester! The Spring season gives us a great opportunity to not only work on our volleyball skills but also build strength in the weight room. This past month we have been focused on gaining strength and working on technique. I love seeing the improvement in each individual lift as we continue to work and get better. With the help of TR and our strength coach, Ryan Camp, I can personally say that your Lady Cougars will be looking stronger than ever!


Along with weight training, we also do HIIT workouts also known as H​igh I​ntensity Interval T​raining. Each week two players are chosen to create a HIIT workout of their own, and then lead the workout in front of the whole team. This week Taylor Shaw and I will be leading the HIIT training! Tay and I are excited to create our own workout and put our twist on it. I love the variation in our training, it makes it more enjoyable.


This month we celebrated national girls and women in sports day. This is a month long celebration used to acknowledge the accomplishments of female athletes and woman who were at the forefront, pushing for equality in sports. To honor some special local women who helped to pave the way for women in sports, we invited back Patty Speitz the first NJCAA National tournament MVP ever. What an amazing accomplishment and inspiring woman!


New Technology

Hey cougar fans, this is Mallory here! It feels like it’s been so long since I blogged last. We have been really busy training since we came back in January. Spring season is a little less intense but still really important. Besides training, I’m really thankful for all the friendships that I have made so far. I am really trying to cherish the time that I have left with the sophomores as well before they leave. I’m glad that we still have spring season to play together.

We have also been using a lot of new technology during practice that really helps us. The hitters use bands that track how many times they jump and even how high they jump. I and the other setters use the iPad and Apple TV to work on our form. It’s really nice that we are given the opportunity to use this technology is different ways.

Lastly, I applied to the dental hygiene program at ICC that I talked about in my last blog. I find out if I am accepted into the Fall 2018 program in March so fingers crossed! Classes also went really well for me last semester and I received the honor of Dean’s list.

That’s all for now but I am so excited to blog again next time! Talk to you guys soon!

-Mallory #2

Improving this Spring Season

Hey crazy Cougar fans Claire here to shed some light into our team!

Spring season is well underway it is not as crazy as fall, but still just as important! We started easing back into things once school started by practicing twice a week on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. In these practices we have been testing out some new technology to help better our individual skills. Sue has provided us with some great new opportunities, such as bands to wear during practice that track how many times we jump as well as how high. Another is an iPad video system that records us performing a skill then projects it onto a portable TV screen on a delay so that we can go review what we have just done. It is only week 5 and I also feel myself improving from this opportunity. We also utilize our off season to focus more on lifting and conditioning. On Monday and Wednesday’s we head into the weight room to build up some muscles, with the help of an assistant baseball coach, Ryan Camp. He has really helped us to ensure that we, as well as all athletic teams, are getting the most out of our lifts! We have also started a new training program with the help of Sue and TR, it is called HITT. This is a sort of cardio conditioning work out that we all take turns leading. Last week Haley and I found great cardio circuit video that we lead the team through.
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I don’t know if I will have the opportunity to write to you again since my time here at ICC is coming to an end. I have made so many memories and some truly life long friends in my time here that I am so so grateful for. With this being said I would like to thank each and every one of you for being a fantastic fan and helping to make my life here at ICC something I will cherish for the rest of my life!
With love,
Claire Milnes #10

ICC VB back in the gym

Hey cougar fans! It’s sophomore, outside hitter, Taylor here. If you read the blogs every week you’ll know that Lexi wrote sophomore tributes last week. So this week I thought I’d give her a little shoutout at the end of mine….stay tuned!

This past week we have been working to get back into the swing of things! We’ve been hitting the gym a lot in order to prepare for our spring season! Although we only have scrimmages, they are just as important as our regular season games. This time allows us to improve our game and work on the more player specific things. That way come next fall the Cougars will be ready to go! This will be my last semester here at ICC. Although it will be sad leaving I am excited to start the next chapter of my life! I will be attending Nursing School. I am excited and ready for all of the challenges that come my way!

Taylor Shaw #4
Sophomore tribute:  Lexi,
Where to begin! You’re by far one of the craziest friends I’ve ever had, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! Looking back at how far we’ve come together is unreal. We have complete opposite personalities but that’s what makes us so good for each other, we balance each other out.  From eating Taco Bell almost twice a week freshman year (sorry Sue, ps: we are healthy now) to putting a wrapper in your straw and letting you drink it haha! We have had so much fun together, and volleyball just made it that much better! I am gonna miss you and all your little quirks so much next year! I don’t know what I’m gonna do without you next year, so be ready for a lot of texts and snapchats. I know you will do great things in the future, because you’re Lexi and I’d expect nothing less! Love you lots!  🙂


Tribute to the Sophomores

Hey Cougar Fans!

It’s your favorite Cougar Lexi talking to you this week! As you know Spring Season is fast approaching and your fellow cougs have been hitting the gym in preparation. We are all very excited to get back on the court. This is the last season for some of us sophomores so we are also kind of sad. It has been an amazing journey playing for ICC and I am sad to see it going by so fast. I have made lifelong friends and so many memories. During this time last year, I had made a tribute to all of the sophomores leaving in my blog, so once again I am going to make another tribute to the remaining sophomores who are following me into this Spring season! So grab a tissues ladies.

To Selena,

I am so happy you transferred in this year! I did not think it was possible to meet someone who was crazier than me. Your constant jokes and attitude carried me through the rough spots in the season. I will forever miss singing in the back of the bus with you during our games on the road.. Even when it was country! And I will even miss filming you sleeping with your eyes open. I wish you the best of luck on the journey ahead of you.



To Taylor,

Hey roomie! Boy am I gonna miss playing with you! For anyone reading this blog that didn’t know, Taylor and I are a deadly pair when it comes to playing doubles. We know each other, and the way we play, so well that we are almost unstoppable. I am going to miss being your roommate and seeing you everyday. I am going to miss scaring you and the pranks we pull on one another. And I am also going to miss the constant candy binging. I am very excited to see where life takes you and all the accomplishments you make down the road. I’m sure we will keep in constant contact when we finally part ways. Love you always Tay!

To Claire,

Claire Bear! I don’t even know where to begin. You drove me absolutely crazy this year, but I wouldn’t have wanted to play with anyone else. This year was trying and hard. I am so thankful for you and the way you have encouraged me and had my back both on and off the court. We have gotten so close in these two years that I honestly do not know what life is gonna be like with you not living down the hall from me. I am going to miss the late night chats and movies. I am going to miss racing to bloomington with you and Brooke for spudnuts an hour before it closed. But most of all I am going to miss your advice and singing the Rent Soundtrack. We get so much closer everyday and it’s going to be so hard when we finally part ways. I know we will keep in touch because we have made a friendship that will last a lifetime. Love you lots Claire Bear and I’m happy to spend my final season playing next to you.

To Brooke,

Last year when we met I don’t think I could have ever predicted how close we would have become. I don’t just consider you my best friend, I think of you as a sister. Throughout our two years we have been there for each other through our ups and downs both on and off the court. You have impacted my life much more than you know. Thank you for the late night food and slushie runs. Thank you for calming down my crazy but also amping me up. I’m not even going to go into all the things I am gonna miss because our journey together is far from over. I imagine in the future you will be in my wedding and we will be planning family vacations together. Looking back, I am so happy I decided to come to ICC to play volleyball. I am so grateful that you have been my best friend these last two years. Thankful for you being the peanutbutter to my jelly. See you soon girly, can’t wait to make more memories.   


Lexi #15


Valuable Life Lessons

Hi Cougar Fans!

Our 2017 season has come to a close, but it was definitely one of the most memorable ones yet (in my humble opinion). Throughout this season, we had accomplished several amazing things whether it was having several weekends where we went 4-0, or making Sue laugh as much as possible. Having our season end before we had the chance to go to nationals was a very emotional moment, but all the great wins, team laughs, and overall fantastic experiences we had over this season made it a successful one.

My two years within the ICC volleyball program have taught me some very valuable life lessons that I will carry with me to the professional world as well. This is because in addition to all the physical training we do, we do an incredible amount of mental training that has helped me on and off the court. Learning life skills such as resiliency, positive thinking, and focus has most definitely impacted my way of thinking in a most positive way. I am sure that these skills will be put to use in my future endeavors!

It is still strange for me to think about that this past season was my last season of playing an organized sport. I have played volleyball since I was in 6th grade, so living a life without having practices at least 3 times a week is going to take some adjusting to. However, I am very excited to continue my education at Florida International University next semester in Miami, FL! I will be studying international business there and possibly even studying abroad one more time. It will be quite the change from living in the Midwest, but I am beyond excited to experience a new culture and see everything Miami has to offer!

I am very fortunate to have spent the last two years playing volleyball for ICC. I will never forget all the amazing experiences and opportunities I have been able to have here, along with all the people I have met along the way. Moving on is bittersweet, but I will always remember my time here.

-Maria Alferova #1

My Last Season as a Cougar

Hey Cougar fans!

I can’t believe my last season as a cougar is finished.  Although, there were so many memories made here that I’ll never forget; whether that be the friendships, bus rides on the cougar cruiser, or even just the hard-fought games.  It sure has been a ride, but sadly my volleyball career has come to an end.  I could not be more thankful for the coaches that have put in the time and effort to help me to succeed as the player and person that I have become.  I could not have done it without all of you!  As for my professors, I couldn’t have asked for better ones for these first couple years of college.  College is such a transition and these teachers made it so easy, especially with being an athlete.

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Through these years, I saw myself grow tremendously, on and off the court.  Along the way, I was able to coach club volleyball and attend FCA camp where I taught girls what I know, which was a blessing in disguise.  I had the opportunity to teach younger girls the sport that I learned to love so much in hopes of them seeing the opportunities it can bring.  It will be a transition going from playing volleyball every day to only playing when I get the chance.  From my experience at ICC I know it’ll only benefit my future endeavors and for that I am so thankful.

As for next semester, I will be transferring to the University of Iowa where I will major in communication with a minor in public relations along with a certificate in event planning.  Eventually, once I’m done with school I hope to come back to become an event planner around the central Illinois area.  I’m very excited to start my journey and see where it takes me!

Lastly, I want to thank my family and friends for the continual love & support, along with following me wherever I went & continue to go.  As always…  Go cougars!

Leah TerBush #6