This year's IHSA Class 2A volleyball regional will be played at Harrisburg.
The good news/bad news scenario for Harrisburg head coach Heather Cox is: A) her team gets to host a regional and B) her team has been in, but lost in the regional championship the last two years.
The concept is commendable for Cox, who expects her team to be in a regional championship every year. This year however, she wants to flip the script.
Expectations are high at Harrisburg and Cox wouldn't have it any other way.
"We have big expectations," she said. "I know that a majority of other individuals that see us lose two big 6-foot girls (Bryleigh Buchanan & Matty Hawkins) probably have low expectations, but I don't. Losing them is big offensively from a hitting perspective, but the seniors that I have and the juniors and sophomores that are going to step in, defensively are the strongest team I have ever had. Hands down. Our mindset is to show up every night and see what we can do about getting to that regional championship, which we have done the last two years, but actually finding success this year."
In order to do so, Cox said there has to be a desire there that she said has been missing for five years.
"One of the things I feel like we have lacked the last five years I have been here is a competitiveness and a scrappiness. We've had moments of it, but its been fluttering and the seniors this year -- that is their goal -- is to be the most competitive, scrappy team, which means giving 100 percent in everything we do in practice, focusing on the details and getting the job done, which in the past, we have fallen short of."
Seniors on this year's varsity team include Devin Butler, Josie Drone and Madeline Rider. Juniors are Victoria Thai, Carsen Borders and Mackenzie Marshall. Sophomores are Carlea Fuerback, Lauryn Simerly, Autumn Rain Harrawood and Lauryn Gribble. Chelsea Davidson is the lone freshman.
At Eldorado, head coach Lisa Craigs believe another year under their belt, should make the Eagles better.
"We have more hitters this year and we have really good back row," she said. "I'm hoping to be stronger and have more attacks, more offense, instead of just playing defense like we did a lot last year."
Craig highlighted the good group of girls she has, noting they work well together with little drama.
And in order for the offense to get going this year, Craig said tha serve-receive has to get up.
"We have to get our serve-receive up and we have been working really hard on that in practice and just getting to that mind frame that we want to attack every time, that's the mindset we have to get into."
Four seniors, Jade His, Briley Lenkatis, Kianna Roberts and Bethany Smith hope to help Eldorado to a Black Diamond Conference championship.
A bulk of Craig's roster comes from the junior class made up of Baleigh Barton, Trinity Cummins, Madison Gulley, Lauryn Hampton, Paige Munds, Kyla Pilkington and Kenzie Sizemore. The roster is rounded out by three sophomores, Lacey Hobbs, Lexie Mitchell and Emma Wargel.
Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois Local Media News Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.