By Pat Brozynski

March 2009 Archives

Glenbard East still waiting to feast at state

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By Phil Brozynski

The greater the expectations, the greater the disappointment.

No wonder the Glenbard East players were down in the dumps after day one of the 2008 IHSA Boys Volleyball State Tournament.

Glenbard East carried a 36-3 record into its quarterfinal against Neuqua Valley. It had survived arguably the toughest conference in the state - the DuPage Valley - during the regular season and then swarmed Addison Trail and Lyons in the sectional.

But the Rams stumbled out of the gate against Neuqua Valley and never recovered, losing 25-21, 19-25, 25-21.

Gone from that team is Dan Mader, the do-it-all setter/hitter/blocker extraordinaire who led Glenbard East in kills, assists and aces, and 6-4 middle Tom Seagraves. But there is enough returning talent to thrust the Rams back into state title contention.

"The rebuilding process is moving along nicely," said veteran coach Marci Maier. "Many of our junior varsity players worked hard in the off-season and a ready to contribute."

Top returnees for Glenbard East are Mark Jones, Tim Lovik and Piotr Dabrowski. Jones, who has committed to George Mason, was third on the team in kills (179) and second in assists (312). Lovik was second in kills (194). Dabrowski was fourth in kills (153) and first in blocks (122).

Also returning are libero Mark Kunberger and defensive specialist Jason Jaent, who moves over to setter.

"Lovik, Dabrowski and Jones should be up there with some of the best in the state this year," Maier said.

But the jury is out on their team.

Buffalo Grove hopes to color the stands pink

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By Phil Brozynski

Girls in brightly-colored prom dresses were among the fans cheering for Buffalo Grove in its 2008 season finale.

It was a good sign for the Bison, in more ways than one.

Among other things, the girls' presence meant that the Bison were playing well into the evening hours on May 31, the final day of the season. Buffalo Grove reached the championship match of the IHSA state tournament against Wheaton Warrenville South.

Although the Bison lost that match 25-15, 25-20, coach Matt Aiello and company are looking forward to filling the stands with more pastel gowns in 2009.

"We do have a bit of youth mixing with a very experienced group," Aiello said. "I believe our talent and offensive diversity will allow us to gain immediate experience and be a legitimate threat to again win our conference and compete to go to state."

Buffalo Grove returns seven players from last year's 31-6 Mid-Suburban League conference championship team, including senior Chris Falknor, who was second on the team in kills behind Joe Ascher (Quincy).

Taking over at setter for the graduated Joe Angerame will be three-year veteran Chris Wichman, who labored in the back row at defensive specialist last season. He may have been the second-best setter in the league last season, but rarely got a chance to show his skills.

Aiello is also looking for help from Nick Baronti, a 6-foot-6 junior left-hander, 6-3 sophomore left-hander Chris Shannahan, and 6-3 junior middle/outside hitter Mike Jambrone.

Senior Joe Duda will patrol the back row at libero. Others expected to contribute are 6-5 senior middle Jason Dubs, 6-4 outside Mike Woodnorth, 6-foot outside John Urban and 6-3 junior middle Nick Mau.

Buffalo Grove will open the season by hosting the Bison Blast on March 28.

"We started 5-4 last year, so our early record is unimportant," Aiello said. "The competition is what allows us to dominate once we roll in mid-April and on."


Hersey's Carroll among the best and brightest

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By Phil Brozynski

Ann Carroll, a 6-foot middle blocker from Arlington Heights and Hersey High School, was named second team Academic All-American by Prepvolleyball.com.

Carroll is ranked fourth in her class of 501 students, an Illinois State Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society. She has a 5.51 grade point average and plans to play volleyball next fall at Harvard.

Carroll amassed 217 kills with 96 blocks and a team-leading 45 aces for Hersey, which finished 30-9 and won the Mid-Suburban East conference championship. She was named all-conference and all-area by a suburban daily newspaper.

"Ann was a dominating force at the net, one of the best blockers in Hersey's history," said coach Nancy Lill. "She is a bright, intense, yet team-oriented athlete who has left her mark at Hersey. I think the term 'scholar-athlete' exemplifies Ann Carroll more than any other athlete I have ever coached in 28 years."

Prepvolleyball.com's Academic All Americans are presented in five teams of eight plus a "Highest Honorable Mention" category. The teams consist loosely of five attackers, two setters and a defensive player.

Players were nominated by high school or club coaches who can affirmatively support a player's candidacy with specific academic information.

***
Alyssa Warren, a junior outside hitter at Class 3A state champion Joliet Catholic, recently verbally committed to play volleyball at Seton Hall beginning in fall 2010. Warren is currently playing club ball with Sports Performance 18 White.

***
The field is set for the Wheaton Warrenville South "Tiger Classic" Boys Invitational Volleyball Tournament April 2-4, formerly the "Best of Illinois" tournament.

Illinois teams participating this spring are Buffalo Grove, Oak Park, Lake Park, Wheaton North, Glenbrook North, New Trier, Andrew, Lincoln-Way Central, Naperville Central, Brother Rice, York, Stagg and Waubonsie Valley.

Also, Evanston, Oak Lawn, Glenbrook South, Lincoln-Way East, St. Rita, Marist, Wheaton Warrenville South, Naperville North and Sandburg.

Out-of-state teams scheduled to appear are DeSmet Jesuit from Creve Coeur, Missouri and Archbishop Moeller from Cincinnati, Ohio.

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