Waubonsie Valley's victory over Bartlett last week that snapped the Hawks' 26-game winning streak in the Upstate Eight Conference had a lot to do with rebounding. The Warriors pounded the Hawks inside led by Tia Brooks and Rachel Ross.
"Rebounding was a key to beating Bartlett," Brooks said. "They're all big girls. They all can rebound. It's nice to win, but we still have some more conference games if we're going to get co-champs with Bartlett. It's also the next step closer to state, closer to Bolingbrook, closer to Benet."
Playing together was also a key for Waubonsie, which suddenly looks like a very strong threat to Benet and Bolingbrook in the Neuqua Valley sectional.
"We said we'd have to play together to beat Bartlett, and that's exactly what we did," senior point guard Becky Williford said. "We moved the ball very well, we got our posts some open shots, our guards hit shots, so it worked very well for everyone."
The indeterminate loss of sixth man Madeline Eilers to a knee injury may change how Benet does business as the season winds down.
"The key without Madeline Eilers - we lack a huge offense attribute," said Benet's Sidney Prasse. "We obviously to make up for that on the defensive end. We'll have to keep working on defense and make key shots that Madeline would have helped us out with. We'll be fine."
Benet coach Peter Paul agreed with his star guard that his team will have to focus more on defense without a key part of its three-headed three-point shooting attack.
"We're learning to adjust without Eilers," he said. "It's a different ballgame for us. She was leading three-point shooter in the area. It was hard to guard us when we had three people who could hit from the arc. It's easier to guard us when we only have two.
"We're a different team now," he added. "We've got to pick it up on the defensive end rather than outscore people. It's an adjustment for us, but we've got a couple weeks to figure things out."
This week's GCAC tournament continues Wednesday with the semifinals featuring Trinity (23-1) and St. Ignatius (17-8) at 5:30 p.m. and Mother McAuley (16-9) and Loyola (20-6) at 7:00 p.m. Both games are at Trinity.
The title match is scheduled for Saturday at 6:30 with the third-place game at 4:00 p.m., also at Trinity
Chicago State University at 95th and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive will be the site of the Windy City Championship tournament final Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
The quarterfinals are scheduled for Tuesday at Whitney Young and Simeon with Thursday's semifinals at Chicago State.
Young is the top seed with Morgan Park seeded No. 2, Bogan No. 3 and Lincoln Park No. 4.
Talk about a tough act to follow.
Former Sandburg star and current Lockport teacher Erika Lange has been tabbed to succeed Julia Hudson as the Porters' head girls volleyball coach. Hudson won 857 matches in 32 seasons, winning a state title in 1993 and taking home five trophies from the state finals.
Lange was the sophomore coach the last five seasons at Lockport. She was a leader on Sandburg's 1998 Class AA state championship team and played collegiately at Northwestern, where she broke school records for blocking and hitting.
Matt Callaway, a 6-foot-8 middle/opposite hitter at Wheaton Warrenville South, has committed to play collegiately at Penn State.
Callaway is a three-year starter at WW South. He also plays for the Sports Performance 18 Mizuno team that has qualified for the USA Junior Volleyball National Championships the past two years.
Callaway helped SPVB 18 Mizuno finish fifth in a field of 86 club teams in a California qualifier to earn a bid to this year's USA Junior Boys Nationals scheduled for July in Dallas, Texas.