The IHSA Class 1A and 2A tournaments get underway next week with the area's Class 2A teams feeding into the Concordia University Supersectional on February 18.
Walther Lutheran and Lisle, the two top teams in the Lisle sectional, should meet on Thursday, February 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the finals of the Immaculate Conception regional. The other top seeds in the Lisle sectional are Noble Street Charter, Willows Academy and Chicago Academy.
On the other side of the bracket, the Seton sectional features Chicago University High and Agricultural Science. They would meet in a sectional semifinal at Seton Academy at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, February 11 with the winner likely facing either Seton or Cristo Rey in the finals February 14.
St. Joseph is peaking at the right time.
Less than a month ago, the Chargers lost to Girls Catholic Athletic Conference foe Resurrection 59-36. Monday in the quarterfinals of the GCAC Red Tournament, St. Joseph nearly upset the No. 4 seed before losing 51-47.
"The Lady Chargers have been starting to put it together of late and this game was a test of how much they have improved," St. Joseph coach Jim Maley said. "We knew we needed to defend a good three-point shooting team and allowed only one in the first half."
Chanel Brown led St. Joseph with 23 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Shaakera Jones added 17 points and five rebounds.
The Quote: "You tell the kids you can make excuses or you can get results. Ever since Maggie (Dansdill) went out early in the year, Kelly (Langlas) went out and Diamond (Thompson) went out and now Sierra (Bisso) is out, guess what? We keep getting results." - Wheaton Warrenville South coach Rob Kroehnke after his team lost Sierra Bisso to an ACL injury last week.
The Quote, Part II: "At some point, we're going to catch a break." - Metea Valley coach Kris Kalivas, who lost 6-2 forward Anna Petersen and point guard Bria Walker to ACL injuries within three weeks of each other.
Prepvolleyball.com has released its preseason rankings of the top club teams in the country in the 18s, 17s, 16s and 15s age groups. Local clubs are among the top 10 in all four age divisions with Club Fusion to No. 1 choice among the 17s and Sports Performance the preseason choice among the 15s.
Club Fusion's 17s is led by Richmond-Burton's Ali Frantti, who led the Rockets to second-place in the IHSA Class 3A state tournament. The 2012 AAU National champions in 16 Open also boast former Milwaukee Sting outside hitter Simone Lee, Penn State recruit Bryanna Weiskircher of Rockford Boylan, and St. Francis libero Samantha Dubiel.
Also ranked No. 1 in the country is Sports Performance's 15 Elite team which is led by three players who played up last year and were the offensive focal points of team that went 9-1 at AAU Nationals. The three are 6-1 setter/outside hitter Molly Haggerty of St. Francis, 6-1 setter/outside Mackenzi Welsh of Plainfield East and 6-2 outside Allie Lindroth of Plainfield North.
Sports Performance's 18 Elite team is ranked eighth in the preseason thanks to the presence of Lauren Carlini, the Gatorade National Player of the Year, outside Alysia Baznik, middle hitter Sammy Condon, and juniors Maddie Haggerty of St. Francis, all-around attacker Annika Albrecht and Benet middle hitter Brittany Pavich.
1st Alliance 16 Silver comes in at No. 3 behind setter/hitter Hannah Juley, 6-2 Julia Sanders, 6-3 middle blocker Symone Speech and libero Riley Burchett. Newcomers include 6-3 middle/outside Mary Boken from St. Francis and 6-foot outside Lexi Mantas of Stagg.
Also among the 16s is No. 7 Michio, which features members of the USAV 15 Open national championship team. Eight players return from last year's squad, including Mother McAuley outsides Kennedy Arundel, Maggie Scanlon and Ryann Dejarld, middles Kristin Somerville (St. Ignatius) and Kelsey Clark and libero Carla Cahill.