By Pat Brozynski

Mother McAuley weighs in at No. 5 in the nation

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cl south.jpgCrystal Lake South players are all smiles as they celebrate their title at Saturday's Elk Grove invitational.


The latest Prepvolleyball.com Century Club National Rankings have Mercy Academy of Louisville, Kentucky sitting comfortably on top at 23-0. Last weekend, the Jaguars defeated Berkeley Prep of Tampa, Florida, which is among the participants in this weekend's Asics Challenge at Mother McAuley.

Mother McAuley (17-1), which won the Rich East tournament last weekend, is No. 5 in the rankings and will try to move up this weekend with an Asics championship, something an Illinois school has not done in a while.

Elsewhere in the rankings, St. Francis (21-2) checks in at No. 10. The Spartans had a 20-game win streak snapped by McAuley in the finals at Rich East, but can get a third crack at the Mighty Macs this weekend at the Asics Challenge where St. Francis is seeded fourth.

Rounding out the Illinois schools in the top 100 are No. 64 Breese Mater Dei (17-0), No. 72 Benet Academy (17-2), No. 88 Nazareth Academy (11-2), No. 96 Naperville North (16-2) and No. 97 Plainfield North (21-2).

Dropping out of the top 100 were former No. 49. New Trier (11-1), former No. 68. St. Charles North (15-4), and former No. 96 Waubonsie Valley (21-3).

On the bubble are Bloomington, Rockford Boylan, Breese Central, Crystal Lake South, Dakota, Edwardsville, Glenbard West, Keith Country Day, Joliet Catholic, Lake Zurich, Lincoln-Way Central, Marist, Montini, New Trier, Springfield, St. Charles East, St. Charles North and Waubonsie Valley.

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A team to watch come October is De La Salle. Led by juniors Kyra White, Natalie Arredia, Mary Kate Byrnes and Carleigh Barringer and senior libero Julianna Townsend, the Meteors (15-6) finished second at last weekend's Elk Grove invitational.

De la Salle, which lost in the regional finals last year, should pull down a top four seed at the Morton sectional. Their six losses include Mother McAuley (25-14, 28-26) and Loyola (29-27, 25-11) and their wins include Lake Forest, Maine South, Deerfield and Barrington.

"We're a solid team," coach Anna Marassa said. "We're not very big, but we try to run a nice, quick offense. Like anybody, if we serve-receive we're going be OK. We play solid defense and we use our serving as an offense.

"We're going to make some mistakes serving," she added. "We have the two jump -servers and the rest of the girls float-serve. I'm willing to take a few mistakes if we get some free points. Most of these girls are veteran players. They have been starting since their freshman year."

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The pairings for the Asics Challenged hosted by Mother McAuley this weekend are out, and not surprisingly, the Mighty Macs are the No. 1 seed. Notre Dame (14-3) of Compton, Ky., ranked No. 18 in the country by Prepvolleyball.com, is second, followed by (Louisville, Ky.) Assumption.

St. Francis is fourth, followed by (Tampa, Fla.) Berkeley Prep, (Louisville, Ky.) Sacred Heart, (Rochester, N.Y.) PIttsford Sutherland and (Rochester, N.Y.) Our Lady of Mercy. McAuley's pool includes Huntley and Downers Grove North, Nazareth is paired with Notre Dame and Marist drew Assumption in pool play.

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The Minooka volleyball team is hoping to score a lot of points on October 10 to benefit Shorewood HUGS as the Indians host their "Hits for HUGS" fundraiser.

Members of the volleyball program are soliciting donations for every point the varsity team scores during its contest against Oswego at the Central Campus. For example, if the team scores 50 points, a donation of 50 cents per point will generate a donation of $25.

Also, T-shirts may be purchased in advance of the game for $10 by contacting coach Chris Hoelscher at choelscher@mchs.net. All proceeds from the event will benefit Shorewood HUGS.

Shorewood HUGS is a local organization that supports those in need in the community. Their mission is to touch the hearts of people by giving them hope of a brighter tomorrow.

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Mia Railing had eight kills and Maggie McNamara added seven kills as Willowbrook (11-13) bounced back from a tough time at Saturday's Elk Grove invitational to defeat Addison Trail 25-18, 26-24 and improve to 3-1 in the West Suburban Gold.

Kelsey Linnig added 13 assists and Cheyenne Brunig had seven digs.

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St. Charles North (16-4) defeated Elgin 25-9, 25-16 on Tuesday ahead of its Upstate Eight Conference crossover showdown with Waubonsie Valley on Thursday.

Taylor Krage led all hitters with eight kills, Alex Woytych and Corrinne Sullivan each added four kills and Camille Kott had five. Taryn Daldegan added three aces and 10 assists, while Sydney Wohlert had two aces and 14 assists.

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Rachael Fara had eight kills, Tiffany Clark had seven kills, Brittany Pavich added six kills, Stephanie Sinnappan had 23 assists and Caroline Wolf added 17 digs as No. 3 Benet (17-2) defeated Marian Catholic 25-15, 25-14 Tuesday in Lisle.

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Down 21-15 in Game Two, Homewood-Flossmoor rallied to defeat Andrew 19-25, 27-25, 25-11 on Tuesday and improve to 18-5 on the season. Candace Tate led the Vikings with 10 kills, Avery Sykes had five kills, Helena Vallar had 15 assists and Skylar Hildebrand added 12 digs.

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Mark Johnston, who has led the boys volleyball program at St. Ignatius College Prep to three regional titles since 2007, was recently named the head coach of the women's program at Malcolm X College in Chicago. Miguel De La Rosa will serve as his assistant.

"Malcolm X is not competing in any matches this season as we are concentrating on developing the program from the ground up," Johnston said.

Malcolm X is one of the City Colleges of Chicago located at 1900 W. Van Buren St. It has an enrollment of more than 7.700 students. Malcolm X competes as a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

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