Cougs are 16-4

Hello everyone! My name is Selena Scudder. I am a setter/defensive specialist and my volleyball jersey number is #3. This is my first year attending Illinois Central College (ICC) and my first year playing volleyball at ICC as well. I am a sophomore transfer student that transferred from Kaskaskia College. I attended Kaskaskia College for my first year of college where I played volleyball as well. I decided to come back home for personal reasons, but I could not be happier with the decision I made. I love being back home with family and I am beyond blessed to be given the opportunity to attend ICC as a student and to play volleyball for them as well.

Moving on, I’ll tell you guys a few things about me. My favorite sport to play and watch is volleyball of course. If I had to choose a chore to do around the house it would be vacuuming the house because I would turn on some good tunes and dance and sing while vacuuming. In five years, I see myself finishing graduate school to become a pediatric physical therapist. The reasons I play volleyball is because I love the game and have so much passion for, but also for my family. My family have been my biggest supporters since day one and I whenever I hit the court for practice and games, I strive to make my family proud. If I could live anywhere it would be Dallas, Texas and my biggest heroes are my mom and grandma. They are the strongest women I know and I hope to be like them some day!

Being a student athlete is hard and rewarding at the same time. The classes I am taking require a lot of time as well as volleyball. Trying to balance them is challenging, but the coaches make it easier for us. The coaches are very understanding when it comes to school because our first priority as a student athlete is school. The coaches constantly tell us that it is school first then volleyball, which I love because if I need a little more time to study or to do homework or if tutoring sessions run a little past practice time, the coaches understand and are happy we’re getting what needs to be done, done on and off the court!


As for the team and I, we have been working really hard to get where we are. We are currently ranked 6th in the nation and we are continuing to work hard to get even further. We have been working on speeding up our game tempo, working on different plays with different lineups, playing next to someone we usually don’t play next to, working on different things we haven’t done before, trying new things, etc. Our hard work is paying off. We’re winning our games with focus, determination, and leaving everything we have on the floor. Speaking of the team, the ICC volleyball team, has welcomed a new member, Isaiah Anthony-weighing 8lbs 1oz, 19.5”. Our assistant/setting coach, Paloma Simundic, had baby Isaiah a few days ago and we are very excited for coach Paloma and her family. We can’t wait to meet him!

Before I end the blog, I wanted to say that being a part of the Illinois Central College volleyball team has been an amazing experience so far. The team welcomed me with open arms without any questions or judgement and I couldn’t appreciate them more. I have made so many friends and have had a great time with the girls. My teammates and coaches are my family on and off the court.

Be sure to come out and watch us play at home on

Wednesday night 6 pm versus Lincoln Land.  Go Cougs!  

#3 Selena


Cougars Earn 4 Wins!

Hey Cougar supporters!

I would like to introduce myself. My name is Amanda Mckae Pratt or lucky #7. I am a freshman outside hitter and now call Peoria, Illinois my new home. I recently moved from a small town of only two thousand people (Lewistown, IL) and have found my at ICC family to be just as comforting and helpful as possible. A few facts about me are, I want to major in Psychology in hopes to become a Behavior Analyst, my favorite color is grey, and some of my fondest memories are placed with my grandma Lila watching “Ellen” and “Lingo”. One thing most people do not realize about me is that I am a middle child of six, seven if you count my maltese dog hollister, and am very thankful for the temperament and patience it has provided me. My FAVORITE thing about volleyball is all of the friends and experiences from far places I have gained.

This past week, ranked 6th in the nation, we won two important region matches against Lewis & Clark and Lincoln College.  This weekend we continued our winning streak by adding two more wins to our count! As a team we began our end of the week by traveling as a team a few hours over to Parkland College. Starting our day off by first watching our opponents play each other, we began our focus. “Where focus goes, energy flows.” After watching our opponents play, it was our turn. First we faced Des Moines Area Community College and earned our first win of the day in four sets. After playing we enjoyed a quick lunch and began warming up by for our next mission. Our second and final match of the day was set to play against Vincennes University (NJCAA Division 1 team). We triumphed after playing five long sets filled with emotion and exuberant cheering.  This leaves us with a record of 14-3, we play Parkland in Champaign on Wednesday and go to a tournament in Ina, IL this coming weekend.  Be sure to check out our team pictures link.

During preseason each teammate was asked to choose a word that we felt we could relate to our season. I chose valor, meaning “great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.” Valor is a word I relate with bravery and sacrifice. Being an ICC athlete means putting in long hours for something more than yourself and being brave enough to accept new responsibilities each day. Each day I enter the locker room I glance at my word and instantly remember that I am here to play for my team and our ultimate goal.

#GOCOUGZ ~ Amanda Pratt #7

4-0 on the Weekend!!!

Hey cougar fans!

Kenzie Rhodes here, a sophomore setter from Deer Creek Mackinaw. Last time I wrote I mentioned I was going into Health Career Professions, but this year I decided I want to specifically go into radiology.  I’m currently undecided about where I want to transfer after this year, but I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Funny enough, the first time I had ever touched a volleyball was in the fifth grade at the school tryouts. To be completely honest, I went out for the team because that’s what all my friends were doing. I knew absolutely nothing about volleyball and it showed because I didn’t make the team. Being the fifth grader I was, I thought my life was over. However, sixth grade came around and all my friends encouraged me to try out again, so I did… and I made it!! Long story short, never give up. Hadn’t I tried out for volleyball again I may have never gotten where I am today, playing volleyball in college.

This past weekend we hosted a home volleyball tournament. On Friday our first match was against South Eastern Iowa Blackhawks, beating them in four sets. Then we faced the Millikin JV and beat them in 3 sets. As exciting as it was to win both games in the day, we knew the tournament wasn’t over. We were back the next morning for a 10am match against Lake Land, giving us another win. The last match of the weekend was against #7 ranked, Lincoln Land. We are ranked #8 in the nation.  Neither of the teams had faced a loss in the tournament yet. This was easily my favorite match of the tournament.  We beat them 3-0.  They were a good solid team.  Everything on our side just flowed and the excitement of the gym was fun to be apart of. It was a team win and it wasn’t just the six on the court but everyone on the bench too! It’s hard to find a team that’s so supportive of one another.

This week we will be traveling to Lewis & Clark on Tuesday for a region match and then play at home on Thursday vs. Lincoln College @ 6pm! Come out & support your lady cougs!

Kenzie Rhodes #9

Cougars go 2-2 vs Top Ranked Teams

Hi everyone!

I’m Haley Peterson, a freshman setter from Pekin, IL. I am majoring in Horticulture. With my classes, I get to spend time at the Horticulture Land Lab here on campus. Those days are my favorite because I get to be outside for class and learn more about the gardens that are there. If you haven’t had a chance to see it, I would definitely recommend it!

I started playing volleyball in 4th grade at Good Shepherd Lutheran School. When I began to play there, I fell in love with the game. I’m excited to be a part of the ICC Volleyball Team, I always wanted to see how far I would go in my volleyball career. Along with volleyball being one of my hobbies, I love to do many crafts, waterski, and spend time with family and friends. One of my favorite times of the year is when volleyball season starts and also when football games start up again. I love spending my Sunday afternoons and evenings watching football. It is one of the few sports I like watching on TV. One of my favorite family traditions is going to my grandma’s house on holidays and spending time with all of my family. It is great to catch up with all of them and talk about funny stories from the past and just have a great time together.

The life as a student athlete is sometimes very difficult: managing school, homework, practice, games, and getting enough sleep. Although these sometimes can be difficult, the challenge of managing all these things is enjoyable. It lets me know that I am keeping myself busy and having fun at college. I love going to class and learning new things and volleyball is a bonus for me! I have been a student-athlete all throughout high school, and I am glad I have been able to continue being one.

One of my favorite quotes is “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” I heard the quote from my pastor at church and it has stuck with me since he has said it. It has made me realize that there are many things in life that you can do or have done, but you remember the feeling of those events that make going on new adventures a mystery.


This past weekend we went to Kirkwood Community College located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  On Friday we lost the first match to Johnson in four and beat Kirkwood (ranked #11 in NJCAA Division II Poll) in five.  Saturday we played back-to-back matches against Sauk Valley (#6) and Central Nebraska (#2). We won the first match and lost the second, finishing 2-2. The tournament gave us great competition! We are now 6-3 on the season.  We have a week of practice until our next tournament at ICC this coming weekend!  We play on Friday, Sept 15th at 3 and 7 pm.  We would love to have you come out and support us.


Haley Peterson #14


Lady Cougars go 3-1 on the weekend

Hey Cougar Fans!

It’s your favorite cougar Alexus Mercer speaking with you this week.


This weekend we had a lot of fun traveling to Ohio! It was a long 6 hours but it was totally worth it. We were invited to play at the Owens Express Invitational in Perrysburg, OH.  We saw a lot of fierce competition this weekend but battled through. We won our first two matches against Catawba (ranked 4th in pre-season polls) and Muskegon (ranked 19th in pre-season polls) on Saturday! That was a super fun day filled with cheers and screaming. The next day we faced D1 Wallace State and faced a tough lost. But we rallied back for the last match against Sinclair Community College and went home with a victory. Leaving the weekend 3-1 is beyond exciting and showed how much hard work we put in this weekend.


Though this weekend was about volleyball, we did have a lot of fun doing other things. The hotel we stayed at was French Quarter styled and had a huge pool and hot tub. The girls and I had a great time swimming and enjoying each others time! Even the bus ride home was extremely fun because a few of us sat in the back and sang old Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and Whitney Houston songs. Before you knew it we were back home.
This week to come is gonna be filled with a lot of practices in order to prepare for the Kirkwood tournament coming up. Wish us luck!
Sincerely your Fav Coug,
Lexi Mercer #15

Jackie #8

Hello volleyball fans!! I’m Jackie Beaver #8 for your lady Cougars. I am a freshman that just graduated from Metamora Township High School. In volleyball I play middle and right front. Some fun facts about me are, my favorite colors are green and purple (it’s a close tie). My favorite animals are monkeys and frogs, and I love to paint in my free time. I am the second youngest of five kids and I love my family with all my heart.  I don’t know for sure what I want to do after college but I have a feeling that ICC will help me get on the right track!

Over the summer I got to spend a week in Florida with my best friend. We went to water parks, universal studios and CoCoa beach! While at the beach I got to play some sand volleyball with locals and it was a blast! My partner’s name was Phil, we beat every team we played against. At the resort we stayed at, my friend and I got to do yoga on an island every morning. It was so peaceful hear nothing but birds singing and watch the sun rise. Other than a week In Florida, I worked a lot this summer and spent a ton of time with my friends. My closest sister is getting ready to leave for college in Michigan so we spent every second that we could together. Even though I had a great summer I am thrilled to be back in school and back in season!

I thought it would be a good idea to  let you all know what I think the biggest changes are between high school and college. First change, you are on your own schedule. Nobody is there to tell you where you need to be and at what time. Second change, you don’t know anyone. This isn’t just the people that you’ve known all through grade school and high school. This opens opportunities for you to break from your comfort zone and meet new people! Third change, professors expect you to understand the material. If you don’t understand, they expect you to ask about it. Professors are not going to sit by your side and walk you through everything, but will help if you tell them you need help.

Tuesday, August 22 the Cougars took on the Saints from the University of Saint Francis. All the games were very close because we had great competition, but the Cougars pulled away with the win! The team had such great energy and seemed to do all the little things right, helping us on the success.  On Wednesday we beat Carl Sandburg 3-0 and Saturday we got the opportunity to scrimmage at a tournament at University of Illinois Springfield.  We got a chance to scrimmage McKendree, Millikin, University of Missouri St Louis, Maryville, and UIS.  This week we are on the road, keep an eye on the schedule. Our next home matches are Sept 15 & 16.   

Be sure to check out our updates picture page and link to our schedule for the season.

Jackie Beaver #8

Taylor #4

Hey cougar fans!

Sophomore, outside hitter, Taylor Shaw here!  I am a sophomore here at ICC. I am from a small town of about 900 people called Annawan. Next year, I will be transferring to a Nursing school. I am currently undecided about where I want to go but I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me!

This past week has been filled with fun and volleyball! We finished up our last week of two-a-days and got the weekend to spend with our family and friends! During the week we do a lot of team building activities and this past week we got to do an Escape Room. It was my first time ever doing one and it was a lot of fun! We learned a lot about listening to everyone and working together. Even though only one out of the two groups actually “escaped” it was a fun opportunity and I will definitely be going back. To conclude the week we had an athlete mixer on Sunday night. This is where all the athletes come and participate in games and fun activities in order to get to know more of our fellow athletes. And we get food which is always a plus.

This upcoming week is a big one for us as students and athletes. We start classes and we also have our first games! On Tuesday we scrimmage Saint Francis and on Wednesday we play Carl Sandburg. Both are at the Cougar Plex at 7 pm.

So come out and support your Cougars!!

Taylor Shaw #4