Former Naperville Central star Dan Buehring has been named head coach of the Benedictine University men's volleyball team which will begin play during the 2014-2015 season, the school announced Wednesday.
"We are thrilled to welcome Dan to the staff," Benedictine University Director of Athletics Mark McHorney said. "Dan will bring a great deal of knowledge and energy to the program and will have the opportunity to establish the culture of men's volleyball at Benedictine."
A 2004 graduate of Naperville Central who was a sophomore on the top-ranked Redhawks' team that was upset by Marist in the quarterfinals of the state tournament in 2002, Buehring had been serving as an assistant coach for the Loyola University women's team.
Buehring redshirted his freshman year at Ball State before transferring to California Baptist University in Riverside, where he earned a business degree. He earned a master's degree in education at the University of Illinois Chicago, where he spent three years on the Flames' coaching staff.
A professionally ranked beach volleyball player, Buehring teamed with former Wheaton Warrenville South standout and Lewis assistant coach Matt McCarthy to finish second last summer at the Bradford Beach Volleyball Association Open.
"It is an honor to have this opportunity to start the Benedictine University's men's volleyball program from the ground up," Buehring said. "I look forward to this exciting challenge and think it will be great for Benedictine University, the athletic department and the young men who join our program.
"Being in the middle of one of the nation's best prep bases, along with a great education, first-class facilities and support, I think we can accomplish a lot of great things in the coming years," he added.
Men's volleyball becomes the 20th NCAA Division III sport offered by Benedictine, which with the addition of men's volleyball now offers 10 men's and 10 women's sports. Men's and women's lacrosse began play in the spring of 2013.
Benedictine becomes the third area Division III school to add men's volleyball recently. Dominican University will begin play this spring and North Central College in Naperville announced that it would add men's volleyball in 2016.
Benedictine also becomes the third member of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) to offer men's volleyball, joining the Milwaukee School of Engineering, which has been sponsoring the sport for several years, and Dominican.
Currently, seven other Illinois schools offer men's volleyball at various levels. Last spring, 61 schools throughout the country competed at the NCAA Division III level.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for our University," McHorney said. "We feel that there is amazing potential for growth in this sport and we want to capitalize on the incredible talent of student-athletes in the Chicago metropolitan area."
Men's volleyball at Benedictine will participate as an independent for the 2014-15 season.
Registration for the 2014 AVCA Spring Conference is underway. The conference, now in its seventh year, is scheduled for May 1-3 in Chicago at the Doubletree by Hilton Chicago North Shore Conference Center and Evanston Township High School.
The event is in conjunction with the NCAA Division I-II Men's Volleyball National Championship at Loyola University.
The AVCA Spring Conference will feature:
• On-court and classroom presentations from the best college, high school and club coaches from the men's and women's side of the game.
• Networking receptions to socialize with peers and top coaches in the sport.
• Access to the NCAA Men's Division I-II National Championships.
• Rise and shine "Sweatworking" group exercise classes to get an energizing start to the day for conference attendees.
Registration options for Illinois high school coaches Includes:
Early Bird - Full Registration (Includes IHSVCA and AVCA membership) $199.
Early Bird - Saturday Only (Includes IHSVCA and AVCA membership) $99.
Non-Coach Family Member/Spouse/Partner Pass (Includes access to Friday and Saturday night social functions only. Per NCAA recruiting rules, prospect age children are not eligible for this pass.) $25.
NCAA Match Tickets - Full Session (Includes both Thursday night semifinal matches and Saturday night championship match) $35.
The AVCA has a room block at the Doubletree by Hilton Chicago North Shore Conference Center. In addition to serving as the Spring Conference headquarters hotel, the Doubletree will serve as host for the Thursday and Friday education sessions and the Friday evening networking reception.
The AVCA has negotiated a $129/night (plus tax) rate for single and double occupancy. The hotels offers complimentary parking and complimentary internet in all guest rooms. Registrants can book their rooms online or call (847) 679-7000. Use the code AVC.
For more information on the 2014 AVCA Spring Conference, visit www.avca.org/chicago2014. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (866) 544-2822.
Najee Smith and Neuqua Valley weather dozens of fouls and an ejection to defeat South Elgin for the second time in a week and solidy their hold on a top 10 berth in this week's AP rankings. (Sun-Times photo by Patrick Gleason)
Here's how I voted in this week's Associated Press Illinois girls basketball polls:
2. Whitney Young
3. Marian Catholic
4. Rolling Meadows
6. New Trier
7. Neuqua Valley
9. Wheaton Warrenville South
2. Joliet Catholic
3. Morgan Park
4. Quincy Notre Dame
7. Bishop McNamara
9. Normal University
10. Vernon Hills
This is how the rest of the state saw it:
(first-place votes, record, total votes, last week's rank)
1. Homewood-Flossmoor (10) 17-2 100 1
2. Whitney Young (1) 21-3 99 2
3. Rolling Meadows 21-3 89 3
4. Edwardsville 19-1 64 5
5. Wheaton Warrenville South 20-3 59 7
6. Marian Catholic 17-4 58 6
7. Fremd 20-3 56 4
8. Neuqua Valley 21-5 32 9
9. Trinity 19-4 20 10
10. New Trier 20-2 18 8
Others receiving votes: Geneva 2. Bolingbrook 2. Rock Island 2. Huntley 2. Bradley-Bourbonnais 1. Mount Prospect 1.
(first-place votes, record, total votes, last week's rank)
1. Montini (12) 23-2 129 1
2. Joliet Catholic 21-1 114 2
3. Quincy Notre Dame (1) 22-2 100 3
4. Springfield 21-1 94 4
5. Morton 22-3 75 5
6. Morgan Park 17-3 63 6
7. Bishop McNamara 17-3 37 8
8. Washington 17-3 28 7
9. Normal University 19-3 21 9
10. Vernon Hills 17-5 10 NR
Others receiving votes: Fairbury Prairie Central 9. Hillcrest 8. Champaign Centennial 7. Effingham 6. Burlington Central 5. Rochester 3. Mendota 3. Peoria Richwoods 2. Coal City 1.