The #1 Parkland Cobras volleyball team traveled to Springfield on Saturday for the Midwest Athletic Conference tournament where the Cobras had a trio of matches against Lewis & Clark, Lincoln, and Lincoln Land.
In the opening match, PC swept the Trailblazers of Lewis & Clark 25-15, 25-14 and, 25-14. Alayna Jackson led the offense hitting .875 with 7 kills and had 3 service aces while Kailey Kleinert and Teigan Flaws had 6 apiece. The Cobras hit a sizzling .370 as a team. Madison Weldon (12), Morgan Hickman (10) and Kelly Lean (8) combined for 30 assists in the match.
In the second match, PC swept past Lincoln College 25-9, 25-16, and 25-17. The Cobras again hit well as a team at a .355 clip with Lizzy Barnard and Jackson scoring on 6 kills apiece and Lori VanBeek, Hayley Gray and Flaws had 5 each. Kaitlyn Hunt had 14 digs, and Hickman had 13 assists while Lean had 10. Jackson also had a match high 6 blocks.
In the match to decide the conference championship, the Cobras fell behind early in the first set 8-3 before storming back behind 8 team blocks to win the first set 25-18. PC also took the next two 25-22 and 25-16 to win their 19th consecutive conference title. VanBeek had 9 kills, Jackson and Flaws had 8 each and Barnard had 7. VanBeek also had 7 monster blocks which greatly changed the aggressiveness of the Logger attack. Hunt had 10 digs, and Weldon (16) and Hickman (14) delivered 30 assists.
The top-ranked Cobras win the MidWest Athletic Conference championship with a perfect 6-0 record and push their overall record to an impressive 42-2 overall. PC next plays at home against Lincoln Trail on Thursday evening at 6pm. This match will also feature the Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation group playing between sets 2 and 3 and is Parkland Clubs and Organizations night at the match.
The Parkland Cobras would take the court in their first match since regaining the #1 spot in the national polls and would not disappoint as they would take three straight from Olivet Nazarene (25-16, 25-12, 25-11). The win moves the Cobras to (38-2) on the year as they await the Milikin JV squad to conclude the tri-match format.
Freshman Catherine McHale scored three times on Tuesday afternoon to help lead the Parkland Women's Soccer team to a 4-0 win over Heartland CC earning the Cobras a tie with the Hawks for the conference title. Heartland had beaten PC 1-0 earlier this season in Normal.
The Cobra Men came into today's match still with a shot at the top seed in the upcoming Region 24 tournament but #5 Illinois Central was too much for the Cobras for the second time this season, cruising to a 4-1 win. The Cougars would score three in the first half and take that lead into the half. Andres Chalbaud would bury a free kick in the corner of the net for the lone Parkland goal. Carson Gray would add one more goal for ICC in the second half to complete his hat trick on an impressive run down the left side. The loss drops Parkland to (10-3) on the year while ICC improves to (12-1).
The Parkland Men's Soccer team would take on M-WAC and Region 24 rival in the Heartland Hawks and for the second time this season, the Cobras would come out victorious over the Hawks. Parkland got the scoring under way in the first half as a great setup gave Jon Lukusa and open look from the left side and he buried it for a 1-0 Cobra lead. Parkland would score two more in the second half as Daniel Kadima and Brennan Crose would also tally goals, before Heartland would get a late score from Juan Marquez to make the 3-1 final. The win moves the Cobras to (8-2) on the season.
Parkland made a very bright start to the game and answered a lot of questions early, with Gracson Torres coming close after great work down the left side by Zach Allevi. It was Allevi who created the games only goal as he cut into the box and was hacked down for a penalty kick. Andreas Chalbaud stepped up and slotted the ball home. Parkland had several good chances as Jonathon Lukusa and Feli Keti caused problems for the Loggers defense but were unable to find the back of the net.
The second half was a much more even affair with Lincoln Land caming out with some high energy and came close to equalizing but Harry Rook made a fine save. Rook was called into action again late in the second half when a ball was flicked on at the near post at goal, Rook made the first save and was up quickly to make another fantastic save to keep his team in the lead. Parkland had a couple more chances late with Chalbaud and Lukusa coming the the closest.
Lake Land would come in with only two losses on the season, but were bit by the injury bug a bit as they could not keep pace with the Cobras in the 3-0 final (25-18, 25-11, 25-17). Parkland would finish the weekend a perfect 6-0 as they continue to flourish playing a tough schedule.
The opponent to start Day 3 of the Parkland Invitational would be the talented #4 Cavaliers of Johnson County, and the Cobras would continue to cruise with a 3-0 win (25-20, 25-23, 25-23). Although all three sets were competitive, Parkland would show why they are the #1 team as their versatile attack would pace the victory.
Although the Golden Eagles of Rock Valley had been playing well this weekend coming in, they were no match for the Cobras as Parkland would sweep 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-15). The Cobras will conclude their tournament with a couple of tough matches on Sunday as they will take on #4 Johnson County and Lake Land.
The #1 Cobras would start off Day 2 of the Parkland Volleyball Invitational with a tough match with #17 Muskegon, and the Jayhawks proved to be a formidable opponent. After a close first set win for Parkland, Muskegon would charge right back and take the second to tie the match. After a dominant third set put Parkland up 2-1, it would be the Jayhawks battling back again and forcing the decisive fifth set. The Cobras would get out to a hot start in the set and withstood a Jayhawks run to hold on for the 3-2 win (25-23, 22-25, 25-9, 22-25, 15-12).
Next up for the Cobra Volleyball team was a matchup with the Owens CC Express, and Parkland would continue to look impressive. The Cobras would sweep Owens 3-0 (25-17, 28-26, 25-17) to wrap up day 1 of the Parkland College Invitational. Parkland has two more matches on Saturday with a 1:15 match against Muskegon (MI) before playing the night cap versus Rock Valley.
The #1 Parkland College Volleyball team would continue their trend of battling top ten NJCAA programs as this time it was the #7 Kirkwood Eagles on the other side of the net. After dropping the first set, the Cobras remained calm and would cruise from there for the 3-1 (19-25, 27-25, 25-19, 25-23) final.