By Phil Brozynski
NORMAL - Geneva, Lemont, Hinsdale Central and Immaculate Conception.
You won’t find them in the program for the IHSA 2007 girls volleyball tournament at Illinois State University’s Redbird Arena. But you might next year.
Geneva returns the bulk of its starting lineup from this year’s team including 5-foot-10 sophomore outside hitter Lauren Wicinski, 5-10 opposite Megan Odenthal, twins Katie (a 5-9 sophomore middle) and Alexa (a 5-9 outside) Sommer and junior defensive specialist Taylor Whitley.
Wicinski, the daughter of Geneva football coach Rob Wicinski, could emerge as an all-state candidate as early as next year. Odenthal is slated to replace Sun-Times all-area selection Jennifer Pokorny at setter.
Lemont is another team loaded with young talent led by 5-10 junior outside hitter Jenna Litoborski, the team leader in kills this past season. Coach Chris Zogata also welcomes back 5-11 junior middle Aubrey Sniegowski and 5-10 junior setter Rebecca Bograd.
A player to watch for Lemont next season and beyond is 5-9 freshman outside hitter Courtney Keefe.
Hinsdale Central has the misfortune of geography. The Red Devils were buried in the loaded Naperville North sectional this fall. But Hinsdale Central should be more competitive next year with a healthy Ally Nicholas, a 5-10 junior outside who was sidelined with an ACL in her left knee.
Other returnees for coach Sheralynn Kellough include 5-10 junior outside hitter Amanda Freyn, 6-0 junior middle Mary Crofton, 5-9 sophomore outside Abby Davis, 6-0 junior middle Lindsay Homme, 5-8 sophomore setter Nikki Del Zenero and 5-6 junior defensive specialist Michela Wagner.
Immaculate Conception ran into a one-woman wrecking crew in Nebraska recruit Jordan Haverly of Keith Country Day in the South Beloit supersectional. Haverly, a 6-1 senior middle, had 27 kills against IC and 574 kills for the season heading into the Class 1A semifinals.
But the Knights should make another run at a Class 1A title in 2008 behind 5-10 junior middle hitter Danielle Remy, 5-7 junior outside Mary Kate Manion,and 5-6 junior defensive specialist Mary Cheng.
Also back will be 5-8 sophomore outside hitter Abby West, 5-7 sophomore outside Maggie Ryan and 5-4 junior libero Catherine Guido.