Inducted 2012. This Team Proved That it Also Belonged Among the State’s Best.
Not much was expected from the 1979 volleyball team. After all, the Lady Raiders had lost several seniors from the 1978 Class A state champions, and the school’s enrollment was at 757 — 7 students above the Class A cutoff of 750 — which meant QND had to play in Class AA. It turned out that this team proved that it also belonged among the state’s best, regardless of enrollment.
QND opened postseason play by winning the Macomb District, first defeating the host school 20-8, 20-6, before knocking off Quincy HighSchool for the fourth time, 20-8, 15-20, 20-6. QND rolled past East Peoria 20-10, 20-13 in the sectional semifinals, then struggled to defeat Peoria Richwoods 12-20, 20-16, 20-15 for the sectional title.
The Lady Raiders earned a berth at the state tournament with a 20-13, 15-20, 20-7 victory over Decatur MacArthur, setting up a match with Oak Park River Forest, the defending Class AA state champs. QND let a 15-8 lead slip away in the first game, losing 20-16, but rallied to win the second game 20-18. Oak Park River Forest rolled to a 20-2 victory in the decisive thirdgame, but not before the Lady Raiders forced them to endure a 2 1/2 hour battle.
Oak Oark River Forest went on to claim another title, but the Lady Raiders returned to Class A in 1980 and reclaimed the state title.
Team members were Coach Bill Starkey, Sandra Newman, Susan (Trine) Ostermiller, Patti Deters, Ann (Stegeman) Klene, Kim Hessing, Nancy (Damhorst) Capps, Connie (Trine) Fielding, Barb (Nutt) Wellman, Caren Kemner, Lori Damhorst, Diane (Hughes) Kemner and Jane (Kenning) Flint.
The year 1979 seems like a lifetime ago, yet when I think of the 1979 volleyball team, the memories come flooding back. The team made it to the Class AA state finals, and for a few dizzying moments, it appeared we might knock off the defending Class AAstate champs. We lost in three games in the longest volleyball match in state final history. I was convinced we could have beaten anyone else, either Class A or Class AA, and pulled off a miracle. Not bad for a team in transition. I would like to thank the QND Hall of Fame Committee for recognizing the 1979volleyball team, a team that in 1980 would return to Class A and again reign as state champions. Thanks so much. — Coach Bill Starkey