St. Francis sophomore Jeff Jendryk, brother of former Benet stars Jessica and Jenna Jendryk.
Can Wheaton Warrenville South win the mythical national championship?
WW South (35-0) was ranked No. 2 in the 2012 Powerade Fab 50 Boys' Volleyball Rankings behind (Los Angeles) Loyola in Week 9 of the rankings, compiled by a panel of ESPN high school writers. That was before Loyola lost to Manhattan Beach Mira Costa on Saturday.
Mira Costa (32-4) won the CIF Southern Section Division 1 boys volleyball championship by outlasting Loyola, 25-19, 25-22, 25-27, 21-25, 15-12, at Cypress College.
The third-seeded Mustangs (32-4) took a 14-10 lead in the decisive fifth set, but the top-seeded Cubs fought off two match points before a net serve ignited a wild celebration by Mira Costa fans, who stormed the court.
It was the Mustangs' seventh section title and first since 2008. Loyola has won 11 CIF crowns.
Three other Illinois teams are ranked in the top 50, including No. 11 Glenbrook North. No. 12 Lincoln-Way East and No. 31 Glenbard East.
Maine East (21-14) is one of the surprise teams of the 2012 season. The Blue Demons finished second at Saturday's Hawk Invitational hosted by Maine South, defeating Hersey in a pool crossover match before falling to the host 25-22, 25-23 in the title match.
"Yeah I'm pleased, no doubt about it coach," said 19-year Maine East coach Jon Kulesza. "When we reflect on this, we'll feel really good about ourselves. Right now, we don't feel real good. We feel like we should have forced Game 3.
"But for our guys to get 21 wins, they feel good about it," he added. "It was one of our goals for the season to reach. That is a positive. We played good competition. Our guys are battlers. We hope we can get Hersey again in the regional Tuesday.
"The winner of that match will play Glenbrook South," Kulesza said. "We hope for that opportunity."
Maine East is led by the setter Jon Coldea and libero David Coldea, outside hitters Artur Theil and Angel Mandrazhiev, and middle hitter Adam Bioniarz.
Barrington volleyball coach Rob Ridenour achieved a rare double Wednesday when the Broncos defeated Buffalo Grove 25-18, 25-17 to win the Mid-Suburban League boys championship. It was the second volleyball title this school year for Ridenour, who guided Barrington's girls to the MSL title in the fall.
Taylor Ganzer, Barrington's 6-1 senior setter who distributed 27 to lead No. 8 Barrington (28-6) to its first Mid-Suburban League championship since 2005, hopes to erase the memory of last year's regional championship loss to Libertyville.
The Broncos are seeded first at their own sectional, where they would likely face Buffalo Grove in a sectional on Friday.
"It's a morale boost most of all," he said. "This should keep our confidence up going into the postseason after making not so good of a run last year. Hopefully, we'll get back on track after this win. Last year was not good, not good."
There is another Jendryk playing volleyball.
Six-foot-6 sophomore Jeff Jendryk, the younger brother of former Benet standouts Jessica (Illinois) and Jenna (Virginia Tech), led St. Francis (23-12) past Lyons last week, 26-24, 22-25, 25-18, with eight kills.
Buffalo Grove (23-12) has been one of the more unpredictable teams of the 2012 season. The Bison defeated a very good Naperville North team in tournament play at the Lincoln-Way East tournament, and won the MSL East title over Elk Grove.
But the Bison have also lost to Prospect in MSL East play and committed 19 unforced errors in the MSL title game against Barrington.
"We keep statistics for both team and Barrington didn't make a single hitting error," said Buffalo Grove coach Matt Aiello. "They only errors thy had were a few (10) service errors and we had a total of 19 errors, eight hitting errors in Game 1 and 11 unforced errors in Game 2.
"That's a myriad of things," he added. "Maybe a missed serve here, a net violation there. They had none. They weren't in the net all night. You have to tip your hat on a night like this."
Buffalo Grove is seeded fourth at the Barrington sectional and could get another shot at the hosts in the sectional semifinals,
"My guys will go into the gym and we'll be real excited, because they're not going to go errorless and were not going to make 20 errors again," Aiello said. "Hopefully, we'll get a chance to come back to the same gym (the Barrington sectional) and take them on again."
"It's about the experience...the gym, the atmosphere, a little bit more pressure," he added. "We'll be ready. We're excited. We'll be ready."
The Illinois High School Volleyball Coaches Association first Boys All-Star Game will be held Monday, June 4 at Brother Rice.
Coaches can nominate players for the game beginning this week. Coaches must be members of the IHSVCA to nominate players. For more information, contact Br. Paul Ickes, CFC, at Brother Rice High School.
The Great Lakes Volleyball Center, which currently features eight courts and 61,000 square feet at 579 N. Oakhurst Drive in Aurora, is building a Youth Volleyball Academy that will add four additional courts and 23,000 square feet to its current structure.
The "Great Lakes Center Youth Development Academy" will offer multiple programs to both boys and girls from grades K-7 starting in September 2012.
The Great Lakes Center Youth Development Academy will focus on developing individual skills that are age appropriate and also introduce young athletes to the overall technical and tactical components of the sport of Volleyball.
For more information about the Youth Volleyball Academy, please contact Rick Butler or Cheryl Butler at (630) 898-6400 or email Rick@greatlakescenter.com or Cheryl@greatlakescenter.com.