Like the two sets of sisters that grace the Erie volleyball roster, the Mercer County spikers are working on their own family matters.|
Veterans of the Golden Eagle program, senior cousins Bree and Morgan Weeks have helped provide an anchor for a team that has maintained the level of success enjoyed during last year's Class 2A regional-final run, with both standing tall in the front lines for a 12-10 Mercer County.
What's more, middle hitter Bree has a younger sister competing on the fresh-soph level, freshman Katie Weeks. The younger Weeks also plays up front, but on the outside -- the same position as her older cousin Morgan.
"Actually, next year I'll have three sets of sisters between the varsity and the fresh-soph levels,'' said Mercer County head coach Amy Degelman. "It could be very confusing, that's for sure.''
Degelman also has four more players sharing the same last name -- senior libero Kimi Nelson and junior middle hitter Brooke Nelson; senior back-row specialist Savanah Frieden and junior outside hitter Whitley Frieden -- but all are unrelated.
When it comes to the Weeks duo, though, she doesn't have any trouble telling one from the other.
"They're both very different people,'' said the Eagles' first-year coach. "Morgan is more laid-back, and I would say Bree is maybe more vocal. She takes things a bit more intense, and Morgan is the one who's quick to shake things off and does a great job of encouraging Bree or just settling her down."
A different sort of pairing(s): Pairings of a more impersonal sort were recently released by the IHSA, and now area volleyball squads can start mapping out potential regional matchups and strategies.
West Central North rivals Orion and Sherrard meet tonight, with a win by the Chargers earning them their 14th conference title in the last 15 years. If they win their Oct. 23 semifinal matches, the top two 2A Orion Regional seeds could end up meeting for a piece of postseason hardware. Orion could meet another WCC North club in the semis, if Rockridge gets by its first-rounder with Bureau Valley.
Ditto LTC rivals Mercer County and United, who meet tonight in Aledo for MC's Senior Night; semifinal wins by each pits them in the 2A Mercer County Regional finals. United could also open with a conference rival, if West Central tops Bushnell-Prairie City-Avon in the Oct. 22 opener.
And in the 2A Fulton Regional gathering, Riverdale would square off with a conference opponent should the Rams get by either Alleman or Prophetstown in their Oct. 23 semifinal; awaiting them would be either Fulton or Morrison.
In Class 1A, top-seeded Wethersfield opens in the semis with either Annawan or Galva in its onw regional. Top-seeded Erie's home-court obstacles between it and its first regional crown since 2008 could include Ashton-Franklin Center, Lanark Eastland or Milledgeville.
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