The Parkland College Blog

Parkland Advances to NJCAA National Title Match

Straight-set victory over #15 Bismarck State in semifinals

No. 1 Parkland College Volleyball will play for the NJCAA Division II National Title today (Saturday, November 23) at 4:30 pm Central Time after defeating 15th-ranked and 12th-seeded Bismarck State (North Dakota). The victory came in straight sets (25-21, 25-23, 25-14) on Friday evening at the Charleston Civic Center. The Cobras' opponent on Saturday night will be the 4th-ranked Scottsdale Artichokes who won a stunning come-from-behind upset victory over two-time defending national champion and 2nd-ranked Coffeyville.
Cobras Volleyball will be making its sixth National Championship match appearance in the last six years, and seventh in program history. After winning the National Title in its first appearance back in 1999, the Cobras advanced to the title match in five straight seasons under Coach Hastings, taking home the hardware in 2015 and 2016. The 2019 Championship match can be streamed live on
In tonight's match, the opposing Mystics played solidly, holding the lead throughout most of set one. Parkland managed a two-point lead at 6-4, and held one-point advantages only 5 times, before taking the lead for good at 20-19. Sophomore Abigail Burnett (12 kills), from St. Joseph, IL, had 7 kills in set one alone, including 3 of Parkland's final 4 points, to secure the initial set for the Cobras.
Set two played out much the same, with Bismarck State taking the lead at 5-6 and keeping it until late. After a Parkland timeout, down 13-16, the Cobras rattled off 6 of the following 7 points. Sophomore Ryleigh Warfel (16 digs, 9 kills) from Downs, IL, smacked down one of her 6 kills in set two to finally take the lead at 18-17. The Mystics regained a two-point lead at 19-21, but an Ellie Stone (17 digs, 2 aces) ace and two Paige Yoder (10 kills) kills led Parkland to the important second set win.
In set three, the talent and experience of the Cobras took over as Parkland never trailed. Off of setters Summerlyn Smith (20 assists) and Rachel Verdun (16 assists, 7 kills, 10 digs), teammates Burnett, Yoder, Warfel, and Amanda Greening (8 kills) led the team to 54 total kills. At the same time, Bismarck State attacks were stymied as Brooke Norder (19 digs), Stone, Warfel, Verdun, and Gabby Wessels (10 digs) combined for 72 of the team's 87 total digs. Strong at the net, Hannah Benson (6 blocks, 5 kills) played a part in 2/3 of the team's 9 total blocks.

[Article by Joey Gruner]

Classic Radio Dramas to Air on WPCD Nov. 19–21

COM student-performed shows at noon and 8 pm

Area residents can tune in to Parkland College's WPCD 88.7 FM radio station and online at next week to hear dramas from the Golden Age of radio.
Parkland College's COM 142 Advanced Radio Production students have edited and produced these classic dramas, using the voice talents of the college's COM 140 Voice and Diction students. Tune in on the following days and times to hear these shows:

Nov. 19: "Androids Incorporated," noon and 8 p.m.
Nov. 20: "Dick Tracy: Big Top Murders," noon and 8 p.m.
Nov. 21: "Adventures of the Thin Man: The Case of the Goofy Groom," noon and 8 p.m.

For more information, contact Deane Geiken, radio director, at 217/351-2450.

Parkland Volleyball Headed to National Tournament

Cobras sweep two in Central A district tournament

No. 1 Parkland College Volleyball advanced to the 2019 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Tournament with consecutive sweeps over Southwestern Illinois College (25-12, 25-16, 25-15) and then, John Wood (25-10, 25-9, 25-6), in the Central A District Championship match. NJCAA DII Nationals will be held in Charleston, West Virginia, November 21-23, at the Charleston Civic Center.
Following the championship match, sophomore outside hitter Ryleigh Warfel was named Region 24 Player of the Year, and Head Coach Cliff Hastings was named Coach of the Year. Teammates of Warfel who were also named First Team All-Region 24 were: sophomore outside hitter Abigail Burnett, sophomore middle hitter Paige Yoder, sophomore defensive specialist Brooke Norder, and sophomore setter Rachel Verdun. Sophomore outside hitter Amanda Greening was named to Second Team All-Region.
"I'm really proud of the progress these girls have made on the year, Hastings said. "They have continuously worked hard at practice which translates to fun and success in the matches. They have trusted the process, and I think we are peaking at the right time heading into Nationals. We are excited about the opportunity to go to Nationals for the 12th straight year. It takes a little luck to win it all, but the girls and coaches have done the right things to give us the chance to do it."
Now 54-2 on the season, Parkland will be making its 12th consecutive trip to the National tournament, a streak that dates back to 2008. The Cobras have won three national titles (1999, 2015, 2016) and have not missed the tournament since Hastings took over in 2009. Last season, Parkland finished as National Runner-up.
In match 1 (SWIC), Summerlyn Smith (24 assists) and Rachel Verdun (11 assists) set up Mallory Bergbower (10 kills) and Paige Yoder (9 kills, 3 blocks) who led the team to 43 team kills. Defensively, Brooke Norder (13 digs) and Ryleigh Warfel (11 digs) helped to stifle the Blue Storm attack with assistance from Yoder and Dakota Harmon (3 blocks) at the net.
In the championship match, (John Wood), Parkland started of slowly and found themselves down 4-5. At that point, however, the team rattled off 14 straight points and never looked back. The offense blitzed the Blazers with a .485 hitting percentage behind 14 assists each from Rachel Verdun (14 assists) and Summerlyn Smith (14 assists). The Cobras hitting attack was led by Amanda Greening (10 kills) and Abigail Burnett (8 kills). The team produced 9 service aces led by Paige Yoder (3 aces). Defensively, three Cobras: Ellie Stone (9 digs), Brooke Norder (9 digs), and Ryleigh Warfel (9 digs), recorded 27 of the team's 50 digs, while the leader at the net was Hannah Benson (4 blocks).
A 16-team field, the NJCAA DII National Tournament is a double-elimination format with the final two teams facing off in the DII National Championship match at 4:30 p.m. central time on Saturday, November 23rd. For more information on the tournament and how to purchase tickets, click here.

[article by Joey Gruner]

Parkland to Honor Veterans with Ceremony

Ceremony Nov. 11, 11 a.m., student union

Parkland College honors the men and women who serve in the US military. The college will hold a 2019 Veterans Day ceremony Monday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. in the stage area of the Student Union (U building). The public is invited to attend.

Parkland's brief ceremony includes the posting of colors by the University of Illinois ROTC; singing of the National Anthem by Air Force Lt. Madison Johnston; a welcome by Parkland College President Dr. Thomas Ramage, an Army National Guard veteran; and the presentation of campus veterans/order of service by Tim Wendt, Parkland's director of enrollment services and an Army veteran.

Featured speakers for the event will be Lt. Col. Joseph Timberlake, an Air Force veteran, and Col. Eric Ashworth, Army, retired. Audience members will observe a moment of silence, with the playing of Taps by Parkland student and Army veteran Thomas Briggs, before the retiring of the colors.

The 2019 Veterans Day observance is sponsored by the Student Veterans Association at Parkland (SVAP).

Survivors of Suicide Loss Program Set for Nov. 23

Those affected by suicide loss gather to find comfort, information, understanding

Parkland College will host the 2019 International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day event Saturday, Nov. 23, 8:15 a.m. to noon in Room U140 (Parkland College Student Union).

Created by an act of Congress in 1999 and sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope. Attending a Survivor Day event is an opportunity for loss survivors to discover that they are not alone in their experience of losing someone they know and love to suicide.

Parkland's program will include a screening of AFSP's compelling documentary Pathways to Healing: Hope after Suicide Loss; panel discussion with suicide and mental health professionals; community resource information; and small-group discussion opportunities for those who have experienced a similar loss. An art activity and a visit with a comfort dog will also be available.

Pathways to Healing: Hope after Suicide Loss follows the family and friends of Chris Taddeo, a young adult who died by suicide. Together, they show the individual experiences a community of people can have after a shared loss: from confusion and denial, to isolation and finding support. Through their various approaches to grief and healing, each journey shares a message of hope, connection and resilience.

Register for this free event at For those who are unable to attend a Survivor Day event in person, AFSP hosts a Survivor Day program online at

For more information, contact Dennis Cockrum.