BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL - The Edwardsville High School girls volleyball team will be playing in the IHSA Class 4A state semifinals for the first time since 2010, and only the second time overall, and will face a very formidable opponent in the semifinal.

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The Tigers will be facing Chicago Mother McAuley Catholic, one of the most tradition-rich programs in all of Illinois, in the first semifinal, set to begin at 7 p.m. at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, with the winner moving on to Saturday's final against the winner of the second semifinal between Barrington and Aurora Metea Valley.

The Mighty Macs have won 15 IHSA championships in their history, taking their first in 1977, winning three in a row from 1980-82, all in Class AA, and won their most recent championship in 2016. It's their first time back to the state finals since then, and the 34-6 Mighty Macs have a senior-laden roster determined to take their 16th title. McAuley advanced to the state finals with a win over Villa Park Willowbrook in their own super-sectional match 25-10, 25-23

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The 33-7 Tigers are very determined to bring the championship back to Metro-East as well, and they're led by many seniors as well, having won the DeKalb super-sectional last week over Huntley 25-12, 25-21. Senior Lexie Griffin scored the most service points on the Tigers with 235 to go along with 22 aces, while senior Kaitlyn Conway was next with 221 points and 41 aces, tied for the team lead with Sydney Davis. Maddie Vieth served up 160 points with 27 aces.

Gabby Saye led the way for Edwardsville with 327 kills on the season, while Emma Garner had 241 kills and Davis came up with 137 kills. Griffin has 583 assists for the season, while Vieth has 369 offensive assists.

Syd Harris has 84 blocks on the season, including 79 assists, while Saye has 70 blocks and 65 assists and Ava Waltenberger has 68 blocks and 62 assists to help the Tigers. Conway leads the team with 347 digs, with Garner having 252 digs and Griffin 159 digs.

The third and fourth place match is set for approximately 7:25 p.m. Saturday, with the final set for about 8:55 p.m. In the other semifinals to be played on Friday, Class 1A will see Champaign St. Thomas More play against Freeport Aquin Catholic at 9 a.m., while Springfield Lutheran meets Augusta Southeastern at approximately 10:30 a.m. In Class 2A, Lombard Montini Catholic plays Breese Mater Dei Catholic at about 12 noon, and Pleasant Plains meets Palos Heights Chicago Christian at approximately 1:30 p.m. In Class 3A, Joliet Catholic Academy takes on LaGrange Park Nazareth Academy at 4 p.m., while Normal Community West meets Belvidere North at around 5:30 p.m. The finals in all four classes will be played on Saturday.

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