By Pat Brozynski

September 2013 Archives

benet wheaton winners.jpgBenet won its 11th consecutive regular-season tournament title Saturday by defeating Plainfield North in the finals of the Wheaton Classic.

Three-time tournament champion Benet landed three players on the all-tournament team at last weekend's Wheaton Classic hosted by Wheaton Warrenville South, including tournament MVP Caroline Wolf.

It was Wolf's second MVP honor this season. The 5-foot-8 Wake Forest recruit was also named MVP of the Benet invite earlier this season.

Joining Wolf on the all-tournament team were Libertyville's junior middle hitter Alex Basler, Benet's junior middle hitter Rachael Fara, Plainfield North setter Kate Federico, Hinsdale Central junior outside hitter Lauren Fuller, and WW South outside hitter Talia Holze.

Also, Lemont opposite Cara Howell, St. Charles North outside hitter Taylor Krage, Sandburg junior opposite Leah Lane, Waubonsie Valley setter Rachel Minarick, Neuqua Valley libero Jessica Mitchell and Plainfield North outside hitter Dakota Santore.

Rounding out the all-tournament team were Benet setter Stephanie Sinnappan, Wheaton North sophomore outside hitter Grace Tiesman, Naperville North junior middle hitter Megan Wernette and Marist libero Carolyn Yerkes.


Benet coach Brad Baker is not afraid to experiment. In two matches prior to the Wheaton Classic, he moved setter Stephanie Sinnappan to outside hitter and inserted freshman Sara Nielsen in the lineup in an attempt to generate more offense.

But Sinnappan was back setting Wednesday and Saturday, overcoming a mild case of nausea prior to the championship match to lead the Redwings to a 25-9, 25-18 victory.

"We've been mixing up our lineup a lot, but I think we actually found one that works," Benet libero and Wheaton Classic MVP Caroline Wolf said. "We've been playing really well and we all just have a ton of energy. All the girls have a ton of energy."


Lincoln-Way Central continues to roll, taking top honors at the Mother McAuley Preview last weekend with a 25-15, 23-25, 25-23 victory over Crystal Lake South. With the win, the Knights earned a berth in next season's Asics Challenge.

"We may have won gold, but I'm going to be gray by the end of this season," Lincoln-Way Central coach Kathy Sulkowski joked. "I love this team because they have such great chemistry and they are fighters. I love the resilience and "never give up" mentality of this team.

"This is a special group and their will to win is one of the strongest I have ever coached," she added. "No matter what happens, I know this group will keep it interesting and keep my hair colorist in business."

Five-foot-7 outside hitter Maria Brown led Lincoln-Way Central in the championship match with 18 kills. In the Knights' six matches last week, she had 58 kills, 39 digs, nine blocks, an ace and was perfect on 31 passing attempts.


Just call Lemont the little engine that does.

After getting bounced into the Silver bracket of the Wheaton Classic with a 25-22, 25-17 loss to Waubonsie Valley last Wednesday, the Indians (12-4) ran through three DuPage Valley Conference schools on Saturday to win the flight and finish ninth.

Lemont defeated Naperville Central (25-14, 23-25, 26-24) in the Silver quarterfinals, Wheaton Warrenville South (25-17, 25-23) in the Silver semifinals and Wheaton North (25-16, 25-17) in the championship match.

"One thing I'm really happy about is the fact that I look at the size of the schools that we're playing," Lemont coach Chris Zogata said. "I think there were only two schools at this tournament that are under 3,000 students. We're the little 1,500 kids school and hanging with them. I'm very proud of the girls."


Waubonsie Valley finished sixth at the Wheaton Classic, but nearly knocked off No. 2 seed Plainfield North in the quarterfinals before losing 15-25, 25-20, 26-24. The Warriors were unable to protect leads on 19-17 in Game Two and 22-20 in Game Three.

"We knew they (Plainfield North) would battle a lot more than they did in Game One," Waubonsie Valley coach Kristen Stuart said. "I thought we played a very complete game in Game One. We were in system a lot, our serve receive was strong and our energy was good.

"But they broke down our serve receive in Games Two and Three and got us out of system," she added. "We were also more tentative. If you're going to close out games like that, you have to swing for points. You can't be tentative. We know what we have to do. It was frustrating."


Behind all-tournament selections Meg DeMaar (MVP), Alison Burelbach and Natalie Schilling, Glenbard West won its own invitational last weekend by outlasting Geneva 25-20, 24-26, 32-30 in the championship match.

DeMaar had 76 digs and seven aces, Burelbach had 22 kills and 26 digs and Schilling had 45 kills and 25 digs during the tournament. Kate Wagner added 66 assists and Abby Winkler had 62 assists.


Former Benet standout Jenna Jendryk, who spent some time setting in her younger days, has found herself in the thick of things again at Dayton. Two weekends ago at a tournament in Nebraska, Jendryk had a monster game in a five-set win over St. Mary's of California.

Dayton trailed 14-10 in the fifth set when Jendryk went to the service line. Rather than play it safe, Jendryk used her devastating top spin jump serve to help Dayton win the next four points and eventually pull off an 18-16 win and the match.

Jendryk missed a triple-double by one block with a career-high 48 assists, 12 digs and nine blocks.


Former Joliet Catholic standout Alyssa Warren broke Seton Hall's all-time digs record as the Seton Hall women's volleyball team defeated Columbia 17-25, 22-25, 25-19, 25-17, 15-11 in the finale of the Cavalier Classic on Saturday.

Warren had a match-high 27 digs in the comeback victory, giving her 1,954 digs in her career.


Glenbrook South (8-11) surprised No. 4 New Trier 27-25, 15-25, 25-20 Tuesday night in the Central Suburban South to hand the Trevians their first loss of the season.

"Our serving and passing consistency gave us the ability to use more hitting options," Glenbrook South coach Katie Hoover said. "We stuck to our game plan and remained confident. I was proud of our players for believing that we could compete with such a skilled, accomplished team."

Six-foot-2 junior outside hitter Izzy Rapacz led the Titans with 12 kills and 6-foot junior outside Cynthia Karnezis added eight kills. Five-foot-9 junior setter Shannon Carroll had 23 assists, junior libero Sara Prenner and Carroll each had eight digs and junior Maggie Ziegler and Carly Weinman both added five digs.

Former coach Reagan looks at it from both sides now

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Daley[1].jpgDaley Krage helped lead St. Charles North past rival St. Charles East in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division Tuesday.

Colleen Reagan is learning how the other half lives.

"I think everybody should have to do it," said the former Downers Grove South volleyball coach, who is now officiating volleyball matches after stepping down from her head coaching position following the 2009 season to spend more time with her family.

"All coaches should have to, maybe not officially, but you should have to do it," she added. "You get a better appreciation that people are working hard. Maybe some people don't know everything about the rules of the game, but everyone's trying to make it fairer and safer the kids."

Although she spent several years on the bench at Downers Grove South, leading the Mustangs to a fourth place finish in Class AA in 2004, Reagan is no more sympathetic toward coaches now that she's on the other side.

"I can appreciate more now that the officials don't see everything, that they're human," she said. "They're going to make mistakes. You (as a coach) are watching your team when you play and they're watching everybody, so there's a difference."

She does feel, however, that coaches should be able to ask "legitimate" questions.

"I felt when I was coaching if I had a legitimate question I had a right to ask," she said. "If you (as a coach) know the rule and maybe we're not applying the rule or you have a question about it, I always felt as a coach I have the right to ask those kinds of questions."

Meanwhile, Reagan is enjoying being around the sport and meeting up with old friends - on both sides of the net.Tuesday, she worked the Glenbard West/Lyons match with Kathy Diamond.

"I do enjoy staying close," she said. "This is a great way to stay connected with the game, see my volleyball friends and coaches and officials and still be part of it. I work a couple nights a week and I'm not in the gym every day with practice and stuff. So that makes a big difference."


Sophomore Molly Haggerty became the first MVP of the BSN Sports Crossroads Classic from St. Francis since Kelsey Robinson (2009) after leading the Spartans to the title of the 24-team tournament in Effingham last weekend.

St. Francis defeated Bishop Chatard (Indianapolis, Ind.) 25-22, 26-24 in the championship. Maddie Haggerty and Sam Dubiel were also named to the all-tournament team.

Glenbard West finished third, bouncing back to defeat Henry Clay (Lexington, Ky.) 21-25, 23-8, 25-20 after losing to Chatard in the semifinals. Natalie Schilling and Meg DeMaar were named to the all-tournament team from Glenbard West.


Rivalry night in the Upstate Eight. Geneva vs. Batavia. The boys had their say last Friday night on the football field, and Tuesday night the Batavia girls made it two-for-two.

Batavia had not beaten Geneva in volleyball since beating them twice in 2010 - once for the regional title - but that all changed Tuesday. The Bulldogs unleashed a tenacious defense against the Vikings on their way to a 20-25, 25-22, 25-22 victory.

"None of my current seniors were on varsity as freshmen, so this is their first win over Geneva," Batavia coach Lori Trippi-Payne said. "We are now 8-9 overall, but have lost some tough ones to the likes of St. Francis, Providence, Benet and St. Charles North."

The match left both teams at 1-1 in the seven-team Upstate Eight Conference River Division. Since teams only play other teams in their division once, Batavia has the tiebreaker edge over Geneva heading into the remainder of their schedule.

Batavia was led by Shea Thayer with seven blocks. Jancy Lundberg and Maddy Astling each had five blocks, and Heather Meyer and Maddie Jaudon each contributed 18 digs.


Another grudge match in the Upstate Eight Conference Tuesday saw St. Charles North nudge their rivals from St. Charles East 25-17, 23-25, 25-22.

"The atmosphere was intense and the match was a dogfight for both teams," St. Charles North coach Lindsey Hawkins said.

Taylor Krage led the way for St. Charles North with 18 kills. Jaclyn Taylor and Daley Krage each had six kills and Claire Anderson added four. Alex Seavey anchored the defense with 10 digs, Taylor Krage had six and Sydney Wohlert added five. Sophia DuVall and Emily Carroll both had three blocks.

The North Stars are now 11-0 and play Plainfield Central and Hinsdale Central in pool play at the Wheaton Classic on Wednesday. St. Charles East slipped to 12-4.


How green with envy is my (Neuqua) Valley?

Tuesday's grudge match in the Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division went to Metea Valley, which was just a tad bit less generous surrendering points on errors than its rivals from Neuqua. Metea squeezed out a 21-25, 28-26, 27-25 victory.

"Both teams played hard and pushed each other." Neuqua Valley coach Kelly Simon said. "At many points in the match, it was a point-for-point game. As disheartening as this loss was, the girls are continuing to make progress every match. Our goal is always to get better and we are."

Emily Krachenfels led Neuqua Valley (4-8) with nine kills and Abby Skryd added eight. Lucy Kopchak had 21 assists and Jessica Mitchell had 11 digs.


Hinsdale Central will host Hinsdale South at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 23 for its annual Volley for the Cure match. Proceeds benefit Open Arms in Hinsdale. The evening will include a raffle, silent auction, bake sale, concessions T-shirt sales. To donate items for auction or to purchase T-shirts, contact Kelly Moran at

Wheaton Academy won the Rockford Jefferson Invitational for the second year in a row last Saturday, winning all five matches without dropping a set. Sydney Vischer's 18 kills and 25 assists from Sarah McClain powered the Warriors to a 25-16, 25-22 victory over Sterling in the championship match.

Vischer finished the tournament with 50 kills and 12 aces, Brianna Tellschow added 26 kills and 10 aces, McClain had 120 assists, Jessica Bosse contributed 41 digs, Samantha Krill added 15 kills and 29 points service points, Clarissa Young had 17 digs and 17 service points, Michelle Ridderhoff added 17 kills and seven blocks, and Katie Franz had eight kills and two blocks.

Wheaton Classic pool assignments, seeds announced

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JCA 2013.jpgJoliet Catholic ran into a buzzsaw Monday at Waubonsie Valley, but the Angels still figure to be a contender in Class 3A this season.

Two-time defending Wheaton Classic champion Benet got the No. 1 seed for this year's tournament which begins Wednesday, September 18 with pool play at Wheaton North and Wheaton Warrenville South high schools.

But the Redwings will have to defend their title without 6-foot-2 senior middle hitter Brittany Pavich.

Pavich has been battling shoulder issues and has been sidelined since the beginning of the season. An MRI revealed there was no structural damage, but coach Brad Baker said she is still at least two weeks from returning to the court.

Meanwhile, the Redwings open tournament play September 18 at 5:00 p.m. in a Pool A match against Hinsdale South at Wheaton North. Benet will then take on the host Falcons in the second round of pool play at 6:30 p.m. Hinsdale South faces Wheaton North at 8:00 p.m.

Plainfield North drew the No. 2 seed, followed by Marist, St. Charles North, Naperville North, Sandburg, Waubonsie Valley and Oak Park-River Forest.

The rest of the pool schedule looks like this:

Pool B: Plainfield North vs. Naperville Central, 5:00 p.m.; Plainfield North vs. Downers Grove South, 6:30 p.m., Naperville Central vs. Downers Grove South, 8:00 p.m.

Pool C: Marist vs. Prairie Ridge, 5:00 p.m.; Marist vs. WW South, 6:30 p.m.; Prairie Ridge vs. WW South, 8:00 p.m.

Pool D: St. Charles North vs. Plainfield Central, 4:00 p.m.; St. Charles North vs. Hinsdale Central, 6:30 p.m.; Plainfield Central vs. Hinsdale Central, 8:00 p.m.

Pool E: Naperville North vs. Downers Grove North, 5:00 p.m.; Naperville North vs. Rosary, 6:30 p.m.; Downers Grove North vs. Rosary, 8:00 p.m.

Pool F: Sandburg vs. Neuqua Valley, 5:00 p.m.; Sandburg vs. Wheaton Academy, 6:30 p.m.; Neuqua Valley vs. Wheaton Academy, 8:00 p.m.

Pool G: Waubonsie Valley vs. Lemont, 5:00 p.m.; Waubonsie Valley vs. Glenbrook South, 6:30 p.m.; Lemont vs. Glenbrook South, 8:00 p.m.

Pool H: Oak Park-River Forest vs. Libertyville, 5:00 p.m.; Oak Park vs. Evanston, 6:30 p.m.; Libertyville vs. Evanston, 8:00 p.m.

Pools A, D, E and H will be played at Wheaton North. Pools B, C, F and G are at Wheaton Warrenville South.

The tournament resumes Saturday with the Bronze division beginning at 8:00 a.m. The Silver flight starts at noon and the Gold at 1:00 p.m. The Silver and Gold flights will alternate until the tournament is completed.


No. 7-ranked St. Charles North improved to 10-0 Tuesday by defeating Batavia 25-23, 25-21. Taylor Krage led the North Stars with nine kills and nine digs, and Daley Krage added five kills and six digs. Sydney Wohlert added 15 assists and Taryn DalDegan had eight.

St. Charles North hosts St. Charles East next Tuesday in the fifth annual Volley for the Cure match.


The Minooka girls' volleyball team spent a half-day on a bus travelling to the Tiger Classic in Edwardsville last weekend. The Indians finished fifth in the tournament, defeating Carlinville 25-16, 25-18 and Auburn 25-10, 25-12 in pool play before losing to Bloomington, 21-25, 27-25, 15-11.

In the Silver division playoffs, Minooka defeated Farmington, Missouri 25-22, 25-13 and Decatur St. Theresa 25-23, 16-25, 15-10.

Skyler Day was named to the all-tournament team after compiling 39 kills, 15 digs, eight aces and six blocks. Ginger Perinar added 25 kills and five aces, Jessica Karalow added 19 kills, 13 aces and 8 blocks,

Brenna Perinar had 15 kills and Cindy Ley and Emily Hise each had nine kills. Kelly Clucas had 51 assists and eight aces, Megan Bauer had 49 assists and seven aces, and Natalie Yard had 22 digs and seven aces.

"The girls really came together last weekend," Minooka coach Chris Hoelscher said. "Our first two matches (an 0-2 start to the season) we didn't have much of a flow. Friday night changed all that, and everything seemed to fall into place.

"Everyone contributed to every win," she added. "There was a total team effort. We saw many positives in all five matches."

Minooka followed up its weekend performance with a strong effort against Plainfield North Tuesday, falling 25-19, 19-25, 25-19.

Day led Minooka (4-4) with 13 kills, two blocks and three digs, Ginger Perinar added seven kills, Karalow added six kills and three blocks, and Bauer and Clucas each had 14 assists.

"We really showed what we can do tonight," Hoelscher said. "It was a breakout blocking performance, especially in the second set. We did a lot right tonight. What a dogfight! This was a great high school match with both teams playing hard and at a high level."


Jacobs tournament champion Rockford Boylan, which defeated Catholic Memorial of Waukesha (Wis.) in the championship match, placed two players on the all-tournament team - Bryanna Weiskicher and Bridget Guinane.

Also named to the all-tournament team were: Mackie Traub and Kassie Kasper of Jacobs; Ashley Raby and Frankie Cavallaro of Dundee-Crown; Maddie Hutchinson and Grace Tiesman of Wheaton North; and Khaila Donaldson and Kara Maleski of Stevenson.

Also named to the all-tournament team were Courtney Stedman and Gabry Olhaus of Hersey; Meghan Seymour and Abby Schebel of Cary-Grove; Brittany Laffin and Erin Foss of Hampshire; and Kassi Dvoracek and Lauren Levevenz of Crystal lake Central.


Lincoln-Way Central will take a 3-0 record into Thursday's match with Providence after defeating Joliet Central 25-7,25-7 behind 5-foot-9 senior rightside hitter Claire Vrabec, who had eight kills, three blocks, an ace and five service points.

"That was definitely the best match of her varsity career so far in terms of how hard she hit," Lincoln-Way Central coach Kathy Sulkowski said. "She definitely was a game-changer for us."

Jacqueline Langer leads the Knights in kills with 42 and Maria Brown has 26 kills, a team-high 50 digs and three aces. Toni Leitshuh has 42 digs in three matches and Mariel Leibovitz has 82 assists. Brown and Vrabec lead the team with three aces apiece.

*** 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:

2. Ali Frantti, 6-foot-2 outside hitter, Richmond-Burton (Penn State).

"Touching almost 10-foot-5, Frantti's ability to hit the most ridiculous angles with pace have left coaches, fans and teammates grinning," said's John Tawa. "Frantti will make an immediate impact at the school of her dreams in the fall of 2014."

11. Taylor Tashima, 6-foot setter, New Trier (Northwestern)

"Tashima is a complete setter with a tremendous feel and understanding of the game," Tawa said. "Tall, very athletic and left-handed, it's hard to pick just one skill that she excels at more than the rest. As talented as she is, there's no one that works harder than Tashima in the gym."

18. Maddie Haggerty, 6-foot-2 outside hitter, St. Francis (Nebraska)

"Haggerty has no weaknesses, and with a 10-2 jump, she is a dominant point scorer from either pin," Tawa said. "Well trained, versatile, strong, competitive and a team leader, Haggerty will join her sister Meghan at the University of Nebraska."

22. Rachel Minarick, 6-foot-3 setter, Waubonsie Valley (Michigan State)

"Minarick is an ultra-physical setter whose only ceiling is greatness," Tawa said. "Her physicality has a profound effect on everything she does in volleyball, whether it's her ability to set pin to pin, be a shutdown blocker or very strong attacking option when she is in the front row."

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