By Pat Brozynski

July 2008 Archives

By Phil Brozynski

The Illinois High School Association released the sites for the 2008 Girls Volleyball State Tournament recently, and while the home court did not help Naperville North last year, Downers Grove South will welcome any edge it can get.

The state title-contending Mustangs will have homecourt advantage for the Class 4A volleyball sectional which will likely include defending state champion Naperville Central, powerful Benet, and perhaps Plainfield North, Neuqua Valley, Naperville North or Waubonsie Valley.

How much the homecourt will mean remains to be seen. Neither team which played a 4A sectional on its home floor in 2007 - Naperville North and Normal - advanced to the supersectional.

However, playing in front of a predominately partisan crowd did not hurt Wheaton St. Francis, which defeated Joliet Catholic in two games in last year's electric 3A sectional final in Wheaton.

Other 4A sectional hosts in 2008 will include Prairie Ridge, York, DeLaSalle, Andrew, Barrington, Highland Park and Quincy.

St. Francis won't get a sectional in 3A, but the Spartans will host a regional. Local 3A sectional sites include Crete-Monee, Nazareth Academy, (River Forest) Trinity and Marian Central.

Luther South hosts the only Chicago-area 2A sectional and Chicago-area Class 1A hopefuls will have to travel to Somonauk for their sectional.

Very little seems to have changed from last year in terms of which regionals will feed into particular sectionals. But until the IHSA holds its "rolling of the peas" sometime this September, how the sectionals match up has not yet been determined.

Elsewhere, Marilyn Akey stepped down at (Chicago Heights) Marian Catholic after 13 seasons which included 287 wins, nine regional titles, a supersectional appearance in 1996 and a quarterfinal berth in 2002.

Stefanie Cravens, a Rich South graduate and an assistant at Marian Catholic the past three seasons, was named to succeed Akey.

By Phil Brozynski

UCLA All-America setter Nellie Spicer played for Sports Performance. So did her Barrington and UCLA teammate Laura Holloway. But you'll find few other Barrington or Northwest suburban volleyball players making the trek to Aurora these days.

So Rick Butler is bringing Sports Performance to them.

Sports Performance is one of several tenants scheduled to occupy the Lake Barrington Field House under construction off Pepper Road just north of Route 14 in Lake Barrington. Other occupants will include Sky High Volleyball, Lacrosse America and the Barrington Area Soccer Association.

The massive 175,000-square foot facility, which is scheduled to welcome tenants beginning November 1, will include a single artificial field turf playing surface that will accommodate a full-size soccer field, two baseball/softball diamonds, a full-size football field or a full-size lacrosse field.

The facility will also feature 40,000-square feet of maple hardwood court surface that can accommodate eight volleyball courts or four basketball courts. The courts have a 30-foot clear height roof.

Occupants will also include Kessel's Training, a leading provider of camps, clinics and private instruction in basketball and volleyball, and ProSport, a unique sports training and rehab facility that is the leading provider of sports enhancement and rehabilitation in Chicagoland.

"What we wanted to do was bring a Division I level training facility to the youth sports market in the Barrington area," said Tom Laue, the developer of the Lake Barrington Field House.

Sports Performance will try to tap into that market and attract more youngsters to the sport of volleyball with its "Sports Elite Volleyball Club" based at the Field House.

"Compared to soccer and basketball, the numbers involved in youth and junior volleyball are pretty small," Butler said. "We want to make volleyball affordable, and we want to make it available to more people."

By providing quality training and quality competition for boys and girls from the youth development level up, Butler hopes to grow the sport in an area that has recently produced some of the most successful high school teams in Illinois.

"It's a good move not only for us, but for the sport of volleyball," he said.

By Phil Brozynski

The burning question is not who is going to be good this fall - the usual suspects like Naperville Central, Mother McAuley, Benet and Downers Grove South are among the easier choices. The question is, who's going to be good in 2010?

By Phil Brozynski

John Tawa of Prepvolleyball.com recently announced his list of the top recruiting classes of 2008, and to no surprise Illinoisans played a prominent role in determining who had the best off-season among the country’s top collegiate volleyball programs.

By Phil Brozynski

There is some question whether Hampshire will compete in Class 2A or 3A during the 2008-2009 school year (Hampshire is appealing IHSA executive director Marty Hickman’s ruling that the school is 3A following an anticipated influx of nearly 200 new students due to a boundary change).

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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