(11-12-21) Today at Redbird Arena Belvidere North and Normal Community West will match-up in the second Illinois High School Association (IHSA) 3A State Semifinal match. The two teams hope to move on to the State Final game on Saturday, the winner will play the winner of the all private school semifinal between Joliet Catholic and Nazareth.
Both teams are hoping to win their first state title, Belvidere North is making its first ever final four appearance. The Blue Thunder is only the 2nd team in the NIC 10 to compete in the final four.
In 1995 West made their only Final Four appearance, before rally volleyball, losing in the semifinal match to Crystal Lake South in two sets 13-15, 12-15.
Both teams have played very competitive schedules this season. How many times did they have to play three sets in a match? North played just 3 set matches, losing two of three, while West played 7 matches and lost 3 of them.
North Coach Amanda (Carlson) Hicks has coached three Rockford area schools, she left the last two schools after building successful programs. Her only losing season (15-17) was her first year in coaching at Boylan in 2006. She has led her teams to 30 or more match wins in 7 seasons. Impressive…only 110 match losses in 16 seasons.
Coach Kelsey Mueller has spent all nine seasons of her varsity coaching career at West. 2021 is the first season her team has won 30 or more matches.