The Parkland College Blog

Parkland Volleyball Takes National Runner-Up

Warfel, Verdun named to All-Tournament Team

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Parkland College Volleyball has placed NJCAA Division II National Runner-Up for the 2018 season with a 56-3 overall record and its fifth National Championship Match appearance in the last six seasons.

The Cobras dropped Saturday's Championship match in three sets (25-18, 25-18, 25-16) to No. 1 seed Coffeyville (Kansas).
"At the outset of the season, I knew we had the talent to get here, but we took a lot of twists and turns to peak at the right time for nationals," said Head Coach Cliff Hastings. "We had some rough matches where our quad of mostly freshmen showed their lack of collegiate experience, but all the effort and work showed in spades in the first two days of nationals. We didn't play well in the last match, but that doesn't diminish an outstanding overall season. I am so proud of the work that each one of these young ladies put into the team and themselves to get us to a national championship match."
Following the match, freshman outside hitter Ryleigh Warfel (2) and freshman setter Rachel Verdun (19) were named to the 2018 NJCAA Division II National Tournament Team. Warfel, from Downs, Ill., recorded 51 kills over the three-day tournament with a hitting percentage of .323 overall hitting percentage. Verdun, a native of Edwardsville, Ill., averaged 11.9 assists per set to go along with 12 kills. Hastings agreed with the choice of Warfel and Verdun to the All-Tournament team.
"They were consistent both physically and emotionally during the week," he said. "They led with their play, and they led by example, and I'm really proud of both their individual efforts."
After recording double-digit kills in both the Quarterfinal and Semifinal victories, Warfel again led the Cobras offense on Saturday night with 12 kills, while also adding in 12 digs on defense. Amanda Greening was second on the team with seven kills. Defensively, Maggie Sorenson led the back row with 14 digs. As a team, Parkland was held to an .034 attack percentage while Coffeyville hit .139 as team.
Champions of District J and the Mid-West Athletic Conference (M-WAC), the Cobras won a program-best 56 matches this season, including 48 in straight set sweeps. With three extended winning streaks, the Cobras reached the National Title match on a 20-match winning streak. Following the District Championship, five Cobras were named to the Region 24 All-Region team, led by Player of the Year, Verdun. Joining Verdun was Warfel, Shelby NunamakerBrooke Norder and Katelyn Riffle. Coach Hastings was named the Region 24 Coach of the Year.
Over a two-year span, sophomores Ashley King, Nunamaker, Maddie Allen, Sorenson, Sidney Heck, Riffle and Anita Jenkins finish their Cobra careers with 106 wins in two seasons, while dropping just six matches, with two top-four NJCAA finishes and back-to-back District J Champions.
The Cobras will return 11 players from this year's team in 2019, including four starters. The 11 returnees will look to build off their first seasons that saw the Cobras rank among the best in nearly every offensive and defensive category. Individually, Verdun sat amongst the best setters statistically in her first collegiate season, while libero Norder ranked in the top five in digs and digs per set and middle blocker Dakota Hamon ranked in the top 10 in blocks.

[Article by Chad Beyler]

Open Auditions for Two Spring Theatre Productions Dec. 1

Prepare to audition for classic plays "Come Blow Your Horn", "Young Frankenstein"

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Parkland Theatre will hold auditions for spring productions Saturday, Dec. 1 at the theatre.
"Come Blow Your Horn" by Neil Simon

Auditions for the play "Come Blow Your Horn" by Neil Simon will take place 9 a.m. to noon. Auditionees should register for an audition slot at Callbacks will be Sunday, Dec. 2; time to be determined.
Director Melissa Goldman is casting 7 actors ages 16 and over.

Performances will run in Parkland Theatre’s Second Stage February 7–17.
"Young Frankenstein" by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan

Director Chelsea Collier Zych  is casting a diverse group of 25+ actors, ages 12 and older for Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein." Auditionees should register for an audition slot at
Actors will perform a 32-bar cut from a song in the style of Young Frankenstein (but please, no songs from the show.) Actors will also read from sides which can be found at; this includes ensemble roles in the musical.
Performances for "Young Frankenstein" will be held in the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre April 4–21.

All members of the community as well as Parkland and U of I students are invited to audition; Parkland Theatre encourages diversity. Those with additional questions should email

High school and home school students and their families can learn more about an early college program that could reduce the time it takes to earn an associate's degree or bachelor's degree after high school. 

An informational session on the Early Transfer Academy (ETA) has been set for Monday, Dec. 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Parkland College's Student Union, Room U140. College faculty and administrators will be on hand to discuss the academy, its benefits to students, and the eligibility requirements for participation. 

As participants in the Early Transfer Academy (ETA), high school juniors and seniors will enroll in early-morning classes at Parkland College that meet the State of Illinois' General Education Core Curriculum. The GECC "package" of courses will then transfer as lower-division, general education requirements at public colleges and universities across the state. This could mean a significant savings in college costs as well as a greater chance at college success because of experiences gained on Parkland's campus. 
"I was really excited about getting my college credit done as soon as possible," said one current ETA student. "I just really want to get on with my career."

All families are welcome to attend the information session; however, parents of current sophomore- and junior-level students will have particular interest in attending, as these students will be the participants in the ETA.

Register to attend the information session at

For more information on Parkland College's Early Transfer Academy, please visit For questions, contact the Parkland College Early College Services office at 217/353-2663.

Parkland Pops to Perform "Music from the 2000s"

Enjoy pop tunes from 2000–2009, Dec. 8, Second Stage Theatre

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The Parkland Pops will perform hit tunes from the 2000s on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Parkland Theatre's Second Stage.

This concert is free and open to the public.

During the 1 p.m. concert, Director Brian Hagy will lead the 12-member chorus to perform a variety of familiar selections, including "Hot and Cold" by Katy Perry, "My Immortal" by Evanesence, "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood, "Party In The USA" by Miley Cyrus, and others.

The Parkland Pops choir is open to community members, including those with special needs.

For more information on other Parkland College music ensembles, visit

Parkland Guitar Ensemble Concert Dec. 5

Free concert of holiday selections in guitar

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The Parkland Guitar Ensemble will be performing Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. at Parkland Theatre's Second Stage.

Led by Young Kim, the ensemble will perform selections "In dulci jubilo" by Johann Sebastian Bach, "The Christmas Song" by Mel Torme/Robert Wells, "Carol of the Bells" by Mikola Leontovich, the ever popular "Angels We Have Heard on High," and many more!

This concert is free and open to the public.

For more information on Parkland College music performances, visit