Downers Grove South, which won three state titles and finished second four times between 1992 and 2002, is seeking to return to the form it flashed when it was one of the dominant girls volleyball powers in Illinois.
This time, it was Benet's Caroline Wolf.
Wolf, a senior libero who played in the formidable shadow of Sun-Times All-Area selection Sheila Doyle for the 2012 state champions, was named MVP of last weekend's eight-team tournament hosted and won by the Redwings. Doyle was twice named a tournament MVP as a senior.
Also named to the all-tournament team were senior outside hitter Whitney Battoe and junior middle Rachael Fara of Benet; and senior outside hitter Amy Nosek, sophomore libero Halle Truett and senior outside hitter Claudia Zerdin of York.
Also, senior setter Rachael Minarick and junior outside hitter Becky Breuer of Waubonsie Valley; senior outside hitter Kayln Hugdahl and senior libero Jessica Mitchel of Neuqua Valley; sophomore libero Haley Sullivan of Lemont; and junior outside hitter Lauren Fuller of Hinsdale Central.
Named to the all-tournament team at Plainfield North were Sydney Wohlert and Taylor Krage of St. Charles North, Ellie Ivancich and Emily Mankowski of Naperville North, and Kate Federico and Dakota Santore of Plainfield North.
Also selected were Rachel Kristen of Huntley, Carly Nolan of Crystal Lake South, Annie Cummings of Providence, Casey Zimmerman of Lincoln-Way North, Amber Clay of Marian Catholic and Sami Knight of Carl Sandburg.
Montini, which surprised Glenbard West 25-17, 25-18 to win the championship of the Wheaton North tournament, had three players named to the all-tournament team including MVP Monica Loftus. Also named from Montini were Joyce Balash and Bridget Lucas.
Also named to the all-tournament team at Wheaton North were Alex Lambros of Oak Forest, Nicolette Crowley of Romeoville, Olivia Kofie of Elgin Larkin, Alaina Murphy of Buffalo Grove, Baylee Panfil of Andrew, Jenny Lubic of Kaneland, Lexi Mantas of Stagg and Mary Cleary of St. Viator.
Also, Erica Walker and Grace Tiesman of Wheaton North, Tarah Valdez and Mackenzie Watterson of Glenbard South, and Meg Demaar and Natalie Schilling of Glenbard West.
There are a number of good tournaments on tap this weekend - the New Trier Summer's End tournament, the Early Bird hosted by Conant and Fremd - but perhaps the best tournament in Illinois this weekend takes place 300 miles southwest of Chicago.
Edwardsville's 2013 Tiger Classic Volleyball Tournament - not to be confused with the Tiger Classic hosted by Wheaton Warrenville South - brings together some of the best teams in the St. Louis area and Chicago's only entry, Minooka.
The 16-team field includes the host Tigers, Breese Mater Dei, Bloomington, Marquette (Chesterfield, Mo.), Freeburg, Decatur St. Teresa and Carlinville. Edwardsville is seeded No. 1with Minooka ranked No. 6 in the field.
PrepVolleyball.com has been releasing its Senior Aces list, the top 250 volleyball recruits in the Class of 2014, over the past several days. The list includes a handful of seniors from Illinois, including:
42. Adeja Lambert, 6-foot-2 outside hitter, Keith Country Day (Michigan)
"Lambert brings great size and effortless athleticism to the outside hitter position," said Prepvolleyball.com guru John Tawa. "With focus and fire, she could become an All-American with the Maize and Blue at Michigan."
43. Taylor Louis, 6-foot-2 outside hitter, Niles North (Marquette)
"Louis is a smooth attacker with a sinewy build, long wing span and powerful swing," Tawa said. "Crazy athletic, she plays high and physical at the net and has a knack for blocking on the right or left side. With a keen defensive sense, Louis is truly a player with the ability to do it all."
54. Haley Fauntleroy, 6-foot-4 middle blocker, New Trier (Virginia)
"Fauntleroy has a great frame for volleyball and is a game changer, whether she is blocking shots from the middle or dominating on attack from the right side. She has the ability to hit the quick in front of the setter and is very good off of one foot behind her.
63. Kelli Bates, 5-foot-10 outside hitter, Bradley-Bourbonnais (Wisconsin)
"Bates is a gifted athlete with a great jump, quick arm, great instincts, speed and fast reflexes<" Tawa said. "She plays offense and defense equally well at a high level. Her knowledge of the game and her court vision, however, are what set her apart."
65. Annika Albrecht, 6-foot-1 outside hitter, home schooled (Uncommitted)
"She is a once in a lifetime kid to coach," said Plainfield Central coach Erik Vogt, who has coached her at Sports Performance. "What she lacks in God-given ability she more than makes up for with hard work and dedication."
68. Katherine Mahlke, 6-foot-1 rightside, Downers Grove North (Michigan)
"Mahlke understands how to penetrate the net as well as how to read her opponent's attack line," Tawa said. "Mahlke hits a solid jump float serve and can play all six rotations due to her serve reception ability, her defense and her back-row attack."
Just missing the top 100 were: Kate Federico, a 5-foot-10 setter from Plainfield North (Clemson), and Brittany Pavich, a 6-foot-2 middle blocker from Benet (Boston College).
No. 9 Crystal Lake South improved to 5-1 with a 25-13, 25-18 victory over Libertyville on Tuesday. The Gators jumped out to a 10-1 lead in Game One but Libertyville fought back in Game Two before falling to 2-2.
"I thought our serve receive struggled all night which made our offense very predictable," Libertyville coach Greg Loika said. "Though the defense tightened for us at the end, their size and power was more than we could match.
"The atmosphere was like postseason volleyball with a large crowd and a very hot gym," he added. "Matches against teams like this will pay off for our young team down the road."
Kate Jarecki led Libertyville with six kills, Rhiannon Prentiss added four kills and Alex Basler had three kills. Carly Ostmeyer added 10 digs and nine assists.
No. 7 St. Charles North improved to 8-0 with a 25-15, 25-9 win Tuesday against visiting Addison Trail. Taylor Krage had seven kills and three blocks, Claire Anderson added five kills and Emily Carroll had two kills and four blocks.
Sydney Wohlert had eight assists, Taryn Dal Degan had seven assists and Alex Seavey had five digs.
No. 10 Waubonsie Valley (5-1) defeated Hinsdale Central 25-19, 25-20 Tuesday despite nine kills by Red Devils' junior Lauren Fuller.
Downers Grove South is seeking a JV team for a quadrangular on Saturday, October 12. For more information, contact Trisha Kurth at email@example.com.