Chicago Sun-Times
By Pat Brozynski

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IHSA quietly drops another bombshell (and the ball)

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d'amore.jpgToo much success can be a bad thing for schools like Immaculate Conception, which would never have won the Class 2A title this fall had it advanced to the state semifinals twice during the previous fours years under the IHSA's new Success Advancement policy.


How many times have you heard this?


"The IHSA isn't about getting the best teams downstate. It's about geographic representation."


No you can add this codicil.


"The IHSA isn't about getting the best teams downstate. It's about geographic representation. And making sure teams don't win too much. Unless they're the right teams."


Lost Wednesday in the brouhaha over Homewood-Flossmoor's exile from the state girls basketball tournament was an even more damning move by the IHSA Board of Directors. The board approved a recommendation to amend Board Policy 17, specifically related to the non-boundaried school multiplier waiver.


The change, which take effect in the 2014-15 school year, establishes a point system to determine whether a school is eligible for a multiplier waiver, while also adding a Success Advancement step that will move schools who reach certain thresholds up in classification.


The formula, which is as arbitrary as the IHSA, seeks to penalize non-boundary (read: private) schools that have a little too much success in state tournaments. Win a regional? Get a point. Win a sectional? Get two points. Earn four points in four years? Loser your waiver eligibility.


Qualify for the state finals once in four years? Lose your eligibility for a waiver.


Qualify for the state finals twice in four years? Move up a class.


St. Francis volleyball, say "Hello Molly" to Class 4A (Somewhere, an "Angel" is smiling).


Keith Country Day? "I-man up" and say hello to Class 2A.


Incidentally, if the Success Advancement step applied to boundaried schools as well, Deer Creek-Mackinaw would be forced to play in 3A next year after making back-to-back appearances in the Class 2A state volleyball championship match.


But of course, that's not going to happen.


New Trier would be playing in Class 5A. Wait, there is no Class 5A in volleyball. At least, not now there isn't.


Imagine this volleyball scenario....St. Francis moves up to Class 4A. Benet or Plainfield North or Naperville North or somebody else gets in the way for a couple of years. The Spartans go nowhere (OK, it's a dream, but stay with me).


Meanwhile, Joliet Catholic, free from St. Francis, starts tearing up 3A. After a couple years, they go up. Meanwhile, St. Francis comes down. JCA then starts running into McAuley, Marist or Sandburg (oh, my). St. Francis, meanwhile, goes back to dominating 3A.


St. Francis, up. JCA, down. JCA, up. St. Francis, down. How many years of that do you think the IHSA will stand before they come up with another rule?


The Success Advancement step in football is even more damning. You may as well call it the "Montini Amendment." Or if that other school was still around, you could call it the "Driscoll Declaration."


If you participated in two championship games over the last four years, you move up a class. Beginning in 2015, if you participated in three championship games in four years, you move up two classes. Then in 2016, if you participated in four championship games in four years, you move up three classes.


I can't wait for that Montini vs. Mt. Carmel Class 8A final!


Reaction around the state has been swift.


Here are some samples from one of my favorite sports forums monitored by the Peoria Journal Star.


"It's very sad but it's obvious the point of the change was to punish the private schools who have had some success at the state level recently, to the advantage of public HS's. The Rochester FB Coach is on the record as saying last June that he had heard from his sources it was a done deal. Therefore (IHSA executive director Marty) Hickman's committee was a rubber stamp."


"Multiplier is fine. This is stupid just separate the public and private school playoffs and have done with it."


"Once you get the privates out of your way, the people pushing this stuff will then turn their focus to public schools that are consistent winners like Rochester in football. If you think they are going to anymore satisfied losing every year to the same public school, you are going to sadly disappointed. Right now they have a private school boogey man they can blame for their lack of success. Once that is gone, it won't take them long to find another scapegoat."


"Is there another organization you can think of that has different rules for different members? I feel they have lost sight of their real responsibility which is maintain a structure for competition between members and have become an agency more concerned with handicapping those who are successful. If it keeps up pretty soon the fastest sprinters in the race will be required to wear weighted vests so that those who don't work as hard or have as much natural talent will have a chance to win!"


"I think it's time for the IHSA to go away. For at least the last 7-10 years, they've been more of a hinderance to HS sports in the state than a help. If the IHSA wants to manage a recreation sports league for the state, fine. But that's not what most competitive HS's need or want in a sports league."


And my favorite...


"Canada 3 USA 2....So....we need to start "success taxing" Canada now?"


In case you want to write your "congressman," the committee members who recommended the new rule were: Brian Brooks, Principal, St. Joseph-Ogden; Jim Dunnan, Principal, Washington; Pat Elder, Athletic Director/Football Coach, Richmond-Burton; Jeff Faulkenberg, Athletic Director, Triad; Mark Grounds, Football Coach, Jacksonville; Mark Kuehl, Principal, Lena-Winslow; Becky Moran, Athletic Director, Zion-Benton; Randy Moss, Athletic Director, Monticello; Mike Pappocia, Athletic Director/Football Coach, Newman Central Catholic; Jim Prunty, Athletic Director, St. Ignatius; Jim Quaid, Principal, Gordon Tech; Eric Regez, Baseball Coach, Herscher; David Ribbens, Athletic Director, Chicago University; Ken Turner, Football Coach, Belleville Althoff Catholic; and Lisa Wunar, Athletic Director, Hillcrest.


***


Benedictine University will host a Spring Break Volleyball Camp for boys and girls in grades K-8 from March 31-April 3. The cost is $65. For more information, contact Benedictine University head volleyball coach Jen Wildes at jwildes@ben.edu.

***

Naperville North is looking for a freshman boys team to join its tournament on Saturday, May 17. Each team will be guaranteed five matches. Email Naperville North head coach Nate Bornancin at nbornancin@naperville203.org if interested.

IC's D'Amore commits to St. John's in New York

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d'amore.jpgIC Catholic Prep senior Delaney D'Amore has verbally committed to play volleyball at St. John's University in Queens, N.Y., as a libero/defensive specialist. St. John's is a member of the Big East conference. D'Amore had 419 kills, 29 blocks, 58 aces and 509 digs heading into the state finals and had 11 kills and seven digs in the championship match against Albion Edwards County.


Whitney Young will host the 2013 ChiTown Showdown on Friday-Saturday, December 13-14.

Friday's games feature Champaign Central vs. Harlan at 5 p.m.; Proviso East vs. Morgan Park at 6:30 p.m.; and Huntley vs. Whitney Young at 8 p.m.

Saturday's schedule has Mother McAuley vs. North Lawndale at 11 a.m.; Bolingbrook vs. Crete-Monee and Phillips vs. South Shore at 12:30 p.m.; Vernon Hills vs. Trinity and Bloom vs. Kenwood at 2 p.m.; and C. Miller vs. Joliet Catholic and Christ the King vs. Hyde Park at 3:30 p.m.


Fremd plays Marian Catholic at 5 p.m.; St. Thomas More plays Whitney Young at 6:30 p.m.; and Rolling Meadows plays Milwaukee Riverside at 8 p.m.


***

Joliet Catholic (5-0), led by Michigan State recruit Jasmine Lumpkin and sophomore guard Nicole Ekhomu, is the No. 1 seed at the Hillcrest Holiday Classic December 26-28.


Bolingbrook is the No. 2 seed, followed by Hillcrest and Marist. Each team plays twice on Thursday.


Joliet Catholic opens play at Hillcrest against Thornton at 1:30 p.m. on December 26. Bolingbrook will play Queen of Peace at 10:30 a.m., Hillcrest meets Seton at 9:00 a.m. and Marist plays Oak Forest at 12 p.m.


Other first round games are TF North vs. Sandburg at 9 a.m., Lockport vs. Rich Central at 10:30 a.m., Erich South vs. Tinley Park at 12 p.m. and Bloom vs. Stagg at 1:30 p.m.


The Joliet Catholic/Thornton winner plays the Bloom/Stagg winner at 7:30 p.m., the Bolingbrook/Queen of Peace winner plays the Lockport/Rich Central winner at 4:30 p.m., the Hillcrest/Seton winners plays the TF North/ Sandburg winner at 3 p.m., and the Marist/Oak Forest winner plays the Rich South/Tinley Park winner at 6 p.m.


The semifinals are at 6 and 7:30 p.m. on December 27, and the championship is at 6 p.m, on December 28.


***


mizuno boys.jpgSports Performance 18 Mizuno travelled to Minas Tenis Clube in Belo Horizonte, Brazil November 22-December 1 for the Minas Tenis Clube U19 International Tournament. SPVB 18 Mizuno finished with a 3-1 record.


***

Sports Performance Volleyball will host a Coaches School at the Great Lakes Center April 25-27 presented by Rick and Cheryl Butler. Check-in is at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 26 with the school running from 9-6 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Sunday's session begins at 8 a.m. and concludes at 2 p.m.


Topics covered include movement training, training individual skills, setter development, statistics, scouting, physical training, serving, youth development and feeder systems, attacking, blocking, offensive systems development, defensive systems development and component play.


The cost is $200 which includes an extensive coaching manual and $150 for each additional coach from the same school or club. Register at www.greatlakescenter.com.


***


The American Volleyball Coaches Association announced its Division I Regional Awards this week, and the All-Region Teams featured a number of players from the Chicago area.


Natalia Skiba (Hinsdale Central), a junior libero at Northeastern University , was named to the East Region All-Region Team.


Named to the North Region All-Region team were Meghan Haggerty (Benet), a sophomore middle blocker at Nebraska; Stephanie Holthus (Burlington Central), a senior outside hitter from Northwestern; Kelsey Robinson (St. Francis), a senior outside hitter from Nebraska, and Lauren Wicinski (Geneva), a senior outside hitter from Michigan State.


Caleigh Ryan (Glenbard West), a freshman setter from Northwestern, was named honorable mention.


Named to the Northeast Region All-Region team were Jocelynn Birks (Lyons), a sophomore outside hitter from Illinois; Lauren Carlini (West Aurora), a freshman setter at Wisconsin; Ellen Chapman (Glenbrook South), a junior outside hitter from Wisconsin; Abby Gilleland (Marian Central), a sophomore setter at Ohio University; and Kelly Lamberti (Cary-Grove), a junior outside hitter at Ohio University.


Carlini was named the Freshman of the Year in the Northeast Region.


Named to the All-Region team in the Southeast Region was Taylor Brauneis (Prairie Ridge), a senior setter at the University of Florida.


***

Sources report that East Suburban Catholic Conference athletics directors are considering a two-division setup in girls volleyball to accommodate the addition of Marian Central, which had been scheduled to joined the Catholic League until a few weeks ago.


The move would split the ESCC into North and South divisions for volleyball only.


The North would have five teams and include Marian Central, St. Viator, Carmel, Fenwick and
Nazareth. The South would include six teams, including Marist, Marian Catholic, Joliet Catholic, Benet, Bishop McNamara and Providence.


Teams would only play teams within their own division in conference play. Teams within the division would play each other twice.


The ESCC is generally regarded as the best girls volleyball conference in the state.


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Copy of rush.jpgHinsdale Central junior guard Gabrielle Rush broke her own single-game scoring record last week.


SportsTownChicago.com will sponsor its Fourth Annual Illinois High School Girls Volleyball All Star Game at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 30 at Wheaton College.

Expected to play for Team Pink coached by St. Francis' Peg Kopec are: libero Sam Dubiel (St. Francis); setter Katie Olson (LaSalle-Peru); libero Katie Shashack (Edwardsville); libero Allie O'Reilly (Burlington Central); and outside hitter Ali Frantti (Richmond-Burton).

Also, middle blocker Nicole Slimko (Crystal Lake South); outside hitter Kelli Bates (Bradley-Bourbonnais); setter Rachel Minarick (Waubonsie Valley); outside hitter Kyleigh Block (Deer Creek-Mackinaw); and outside hitter Annika Albrecht (home schooled).

Also, setter Emily Workman (Chicago Christian); outside hitter Whitney Beck (Edwards County); setter Kate Federico (Plainfield North); and middle blocker Lauren Leverenz (Crystal Lake Central).

Scheduled to play for Team White coached by Erik Eastman of St. Ignatius College Prep are: outside hitter Jana Brusek (St. Ignatius); libero Caroline Wolf (Benet); setter Courtney Joyce (Mother Mcauley); outside hitter Taylor Krage (St. Charles North); and middle hitter Hannah Davis (Marian Central).

Also, setter Carly Jimenez (St. Charles East); setter Meghan Seymour (Cary-Grove); libero Meg Demaar (Glenbard West); outside hitter Kathryn Malke (Downers Grove North); middle hitter Jaelyn Keene (Jacksonville); and setter Kristen Walding (Lake Zurich).

Also, outside hitter Abby Barrow (Metamora); outside hitter Skyler Day (Minooka); outside hitter Krissa Gearing (Bolingbrook) and middle hitter Sam Pethokoukis (Fenwick).

Preceeding the contest will be the 2013 SportsTownChicago Senior Showcase featuring the top uncommitted seniors who will be showcasing their skills to potential college scouts and coaches. That match tips off at 12 p.m.

***

Top-seeded Ohio University (27-4) capped off a stellar 2013 MAC tournament with a 25-15, 25-18, 25-19 victory over Eastern Michigan University (18-16) in the championship match Sunday to claim the program's eighth MAC tournament title.

Members of the Ohio team include former Cary-Grove star and 2010 Sun-Times Player of the Year Kelly Lamberti, who leads Ohio in kills, former Marian Central setter Abby Gilleland, who was named MAC Player of the Year, and former Marist outside hitter Mallory Salas.

Former Crystal Lake South middle Hannah Burkle is a reserve for the Bobcats.

Sophomore Stacey Perinar of Minooka is a starting outside hitter for Eastern Michigan, which also features former Marist middle hitter Katie Krasowski and junior setter Jill Briner of Oak Park-River Forest.

***

Hinsdale Central's junior guard Gabrielle Rush set a school record in her team's season opening game scoring 39 points in the Red Devil's 62-60 victory over St. Ignatius Thursday at the Hinsdale South tournament.

Rush broke her own record of 36 points in a game she established last season. In addition, Rush's 10th point of the evening put her at the 1,000-point mark for her career.

***

Rush wasn't the only player to crack the 1.000-point barrier last week. Huntley's 6-foot senior forward Sam Andrews got her 1,000th career point as part of a 23-point outburst in a 60-48 victory over St. Viator Friday at the Dundee-Crown tournament.

***

Players to watch: Junior center Ashley Dennis of Rich East scored 29 points and had 18 rebounds in the Rockets' season opener against Eisenhower, then had 21 points against Joliet Catholic and had 39 points and 19 rebounds against Bloom. Chanel Brown of St. Joseph registered her third double-double in four games with 17 points and 10 rebounds in a 49-34 victory over St. Francis at Willowbrook on Wednesday.

***

Whitney Young and Rolling Meadows, two teams that are in the top five of the Sun-Times rankings, headline the 2013 Mac Irvin Diabetes Awareness Classic at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, December 7 at Elgin Larkin.

Young returns 6-5 senior center Khaalia Hillsman and 5-11 senior forward Taylor Brame from last year's third-place Class 4A finisher and welcomes 5-8 sophomore guard Kiara Lewis, who missed all of last year with injury.

Rolling Meadows returns six of its top seven from last year's Class 4A runner-up including point guard extraordinaire Jackie Kemph, sharpshooting Northwestern recruit Alexis Glasgow and 6-2 forward Jenny Vliet.

***

Whitney Young will host the 2013 ChiTown Showdown on Friday-Saturday, December 13-14.

Friday's games feature Champaign Central vs. Harlan at 5 p.m.; Proviso East vs. Morgan Park at 6:30 p.m.; and Huntley vs. Whitney Young at 8 p.m.

Saturday's schedule has Mother McAuley vs. North Lawndale at 11 a.m.; Bolingbrook vs. Crete-Monee and Phillips vs. South Shore at 12:30 p.m.; Vernon Hills vs. Trinity and Bloom vs. Kenwood at 2 p.m.; and C. Miller vs. Joliet Catholic and Christ the King vs. Hyde Park at 3:30 p.m.

Fremd plays Marian Catholic at 5 p.m.; St. Thomas More plays Whitney Young at 6:30 p.m.; and Rolling Meadows plays Milwaukee Riverside at 8 p.m.

The wait is over for Jean Field, IC Catholic Prep

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wolf.jpgCaroline Wolf is one of four starters who won't be back for Benet next year when the Redwings go for their third state title in four years.


Jean Field waited 29 years to get back to the state championship game. In 1984, the Knights won the longest championship match in state history, 15-5, 15-5, 12-15, 14-16, 15-9, over Stewardson-Strasburg to claim their second Class A state title.

Field said even after all that time, the memories are still fresh.

"It's indescribable," Field said. "We talk about the 1981 and 1984 state championship teams. Two of our coaches were on the 1984 state championship team. We actually watched the game Friday night.

"It never gets old," she added. "The memories of those players. They wrote down things they remembered for these guys to enjoy. It's something they're going to remember for the rest of their lives.

"This is the best you can do in high school sports ... to get to the state championship and hopefully do well."

***

Mother McAuley slipped to No. 8 in Prepvolleyball.com's latest Century Club National Rankings prior to winning the Class 4A state championship Saturday.

St. Francis moved up to No. 12, while New Trier (91st) and Crystal Lake South (93rd) also moved up after advancing to the state tournament last weekend, while Benet checked in at No. 96 after not being ranked most of the season.

Dropping out were former No. 87 Naperville North, former No. 89 Plainfield North and former No. 98 St. Charles North.

Teams on the bubble (listed alphabetically) were: Boylan (Rockford), Breese Central, Crystal Lake Central, Geneva, Glenbard South, Glenbard West, Keith Country Day, Lake Zurich, Lincoln-Way Central, Lincoln-Way North, Marist, Mater Dei, Montini, Naperville North, Nazareth, Normal Community, Oak Park, Plainfield North, Sandburg, Springfield, St. Charles East, St. Charles North, Stevenson and Waubonsie Valley

***

In case you missed them, here are the final Chicago Sun-Times rankings for the 2013 season:

Sun-Times Girls Volleyball Top 10 teams
(Records through November 16. Preseason rank in parenthesis)

1. Mother McAuley (1) 40-2
2. St. Francis (2) 39-3
3. Benet (4) 36-6
4. New Trier (5) 33-4
5. Crystal Lake South (10) 37-5
6. Glenbard West (9) 34-4
7. Naperville North (NR) 34-5
8. Plainfield North (3) 33-5
9. Waubonsie Valley (7) 30-8
10. IC Catholic (NR) 36-6

Others: Payton 27-13, Sandburg 30-8, Marist 28-10, Geneva 29-10, Lake Zurich 35-5, St. Charles North 32-6, St. Charles East 31-7, Lincoln-Way North 30-7, Stevenson 31-8, Montini 30-4.

***

Quote of the week:

"It's pretty unreal. I'm so proud of my team, and I'm really happy that we finished our business. We were so pumped going into it (the match against Benet). We just came out ready to play defense. We were ready to go. We knew we had it in us. Oh, my gosh, I'm so happy for my mom and for all of the coaches. Every single person on this team deserved it." - Mother McAuley's Ryann DeJarld.

***

IC Catholic's Rory Manion cut her chin during Game 1 of the Knights' 25-22, 25-17 semifinal victory over Deer Creek-Mackinaw. But six points into Game 2, she tossed the makeshift bandage the coaching staff improvised.

"I slammed my chin on the ground diving for a ball," she said. "I kept trying to push (the tape) down, but my sweat was pushing it off. It was a rough time. I was like, 'Is it done bleeding yet?' I was trying to hide it. It didn't work too well. It was just crazy."

***

Whitney Young and Rolling Meadows, two teams that are in the top five of the Sun-Times rankings, headline the 2013 Mac Irvin Diabetes Awareness Classic at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, December 7 at Elgin Larkin.

Young returns 6-5 senior center Khaalia Hillsman and 5-11 senior forward Taylor Brame from last year's third-place Class 4A finisher and welcomes 5-8 sophomore guard Kiara Lewis, who missed all of last year with injury.

Rolling Meadows returns six of its top seven from last year's Class 4A runner-up including point guard extraordinaire Jackie Kemph, sharpshooting Northwestern recruit Alexis Glasgow and 6-2 forward Jenny Vliet.

***

Whitney Young will host the 2013 ChiTown Showdown on Friday-Saturday, December 13-14.

Friday's games feature Champaign Central vs. Harlan at 5 p.m.; Proviso East vs. Morgan Park at 6:30 p.m.; and Huntley vs. Whitney Young at 8 p.m.

Saturday's schedule has Mother McAuley vs. North Lawndale at 11 a.m.; Bolingbrook vs. Crete-Monee and Phillips vs. South Shore at 12:30 p.m.; Vernon Hills vs. Trinity and Bloom vs. Kenwood at 2 p.m.; and C. Miller vs. Joliet Catholic and Christ the King vs. Hyde Park at 3:30 p.m.

Fremd plays Marian Catholic at 5 p.m.; St. Thomas More plays Whitney Young at 6:30 p.m.; and Rolling Meadows plays Milwaukee Riverside at 8 p.m.

Who will be 2013 Sun-Times Player of Year?

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gators 2.jpgCrystal Lake South is playing on the final weekend of the season for the first time since 1996.


Mother McAuley held on to the No. 7 spot in Prepvolleyball.com's latest Century Club National Rankings after cruising in its Class 4A sectional and supersectional matches last week.

St. James (46-0) of Lenexa retained its No. 1 ranking after winning its sixth consecutive state title, but there is still some debate whether it will be enough for the Thunder to claim the mythical national championship.

St. Francis moved up one spot to No. 14 after coasting to sectional and supersectional titles last weekend.

Naperville North cracked the top 100 at No. 87 before losing to Benet in the sectional championship game. Plainfield North fell from No. 80 to 89 after losing to Naperville North in the sectional semifinal.

New Trier checked in at No. 95 after not being ranked the previous week, Crystal Lake South moved up two spots to No. 97 and St. Charles North broke into the rankings at No. 98 prior to its sectional final loss to Geneva.

Glenbard West, which had been ranked No. 69, fell out of the rankings after its loss to Geneva.

Teams on the bubble (in alphabetical order) were: Benet, Rockford Boylan, Breese Central, Crystal Lake Central, Geneva, Glenbard South, Glenbard West, Keith Country Day, Lake Zurich, Lincoln-Way Central, Lincoln-Way North, Marist, Breese Mater Dei, Montini, Nazareth, Normal Community, Oak Park, Sandburg, Springfield, St. Charles East, Stevenson and Waubonsie Valley.

***

Fred Rakers, who built Breese Mater Dei High School into one of the state's top volleyball programs, died last Wednesday from cancer. He was 68.

Rakers led the Knights to six state championships and a career record of 1,046 wins, 200 losses and seven ties. The win total is the second-highest in Illinois history, second only to St. Francis coach Peg Kopec.

"Fred was an old school kind of guy who valued all the solid characteristics - hard work, teamwork, integrity, etc." Kopec said. "There is a good reason he is remembered fondly by so many. He was a strong, kind mentor to my daughter who coached with him."

Rakers won state titles in 1987, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2001 and 2010. His teams won 14 state trophies, including one runner-up finish, three third places and three fourths. His final team was 41-1 and finished the 2010 season ranked 26th in the nation.

***

The Chicago Sun-Times Girls Volleyball Player of the Year and 2013 All-Area team will be announced Saturday. Here is a look at the past winners of the Player of the Year honors:

1982 Eva Murray, Mother McAuley
1983 Nancy Reno, Glenbard West
1984 Mary Eggers, West Aurora
1985 Cheryl Prihar, Oak Forest
1986 Barb Blizzard, Richards
1987 Julie Bremner, St. Francis
1988 Michele Kohler, Richards
1989 Kristin Henriksen, Immaculate Conception
1990 Kathleen Shannon, Immaculate Conception
1991 Sara Skryd, St. Francis
1992 Michelle Battistella, Mother McAuley
1993 Nicole Peterson, Lockport
1994 Jeanine Szczesniak, Mother McAuley
1995 Ryann Connors, Mother McAuley
1996 Christie Landry, St. Francis
1997 Stephanie Jackson, Lockport
1998 Elizabeth Gower, Naperville Central
1999 Melissa Vandrey, Queen of Peace
2000 Marian Weidner, St. Francis
2001 Samantha Tortorello, Joliet Catholic
2002 Colleen Byrne, Sandburg
2003 Katie Brudzinski, Naperville North
2004 Laura Holloway, Barrington
2005 Jessica Yanz, Naperville Central
2006 Lindsey Mango, Naperville Central
2007 Kelly Murphy, Joliet Catholic
2008 Desiree Aramburu, Mother McAuley
2009 Anne Marie Hickey, Joliet Catholic
2010 Kelly Lamberti, Cary-Grove
2011 Alexis Viliunas, Lyons
2012 Lauren Carlini, West Aurora

***

Did you know?

Under the old two-class system in girls volleyball when the Chicago Public School champion was awarded an automatic berth in the state quarterfinals (the equivalent of a supersectional since today only four schools in each class advance to state), city teams were 0-27 downstate.

***
Thumbnail image for sam.jpgDiane Mikulskis (left), director of the Michio Chicago Volleyball Academy, and Kathleen O'Laughlin (right), Fenwick girls volleyball coach, flank Sam Pethokoukis on Wednesday as she signs her national letter of intent to play Division I volleyball next fall for Siena College, a private Roman Catholic college of about 3,000 undergraduates in Loudonville, N.Y.

***

Whitney Young and Rolling Meadows, two teams that will be in the top five when the Sun-Times rankings come out later this month, headline the 2013 Mac Irvin Diabetes Awareness Classic at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, December 7 at Elgin Larkin.

Young returns 6-5 senior center Khaalia Hillsman and 5-11 senior forward Taylor Brame from last year's third-place Class 4A finisher and welcomes 5-8 sophomore guard Kiara Lewis, who missed all of last year with injury.

Rolling Meadows returns six of its top seven from last year's Class 4A runner-up including point guard extraordinaire Jackie Kemph, sharpshooting Northwestern recruit Alexis Glasgow and 6-2 forward Jenny Vliet.

***

Whitney Young will host the 2013 ChiTown Showdown on Friday-Saturday, December 13-14.

Friday's games feature Champaign Central vs. Harlan at 5 p.m.; Proviso East vs. Morgan Park at 6:30 p.m.; and Huntley vs. Whitney Young at 8 p.m.

Saturday's schedule has Mother McAuley vs. North Lawndale at 11 a.m.; Bolingbrook vs. Crete-Monee and Phillips vs. South Shore at 12:30 p.m.; Vernon Hills vs. Trinity and Bloom vs. Kenwood at 2 p.m.; and C. Miller vs. Joliet Catholic and Christ the King vs. Hyde Park at 3:30 p.m.

Fremd plays Marian Catholic at 5 p.m.; St. Thomas Moore plays Whitney Young at 6:30 p.m.; and Rolling Meadows plays Milwaukee Riverside at 8 p.m.

***

Four Rolling Meadows starters will ink their national letters of intent on Wednesday and will be recognized at a special ceremony at 6 p.m. in the school's faculty lounge. Players signing letters are: Alexis Glasgow (Northwestern), Jackie Kemph and Jenny Vliet (St. Louis University) and Ashley Montanez (University of Indianapolis).

mollychina.jpgCan super sophomore Molly Haggerty lead St. Francis to another state title with older sister Maddie sidelined with a torn labrum?


Mother McAuley held on to the No. 7 spot in Prepvolleyball.com's latest Century Club National Rankings after taking down Crete-Monee and Homewood-Flossmoor in the Class 4A regional last week.

St. James (41-0) of Lenexa, Kansas, which is shooting for its sixth consecutive state title, retained its hold on the No. 1 ranking after defeating Blue Valley Southwest in a sub-state meeting.

St. Francis remained No. 15 after surviving a three-setter in a regional semifinal against host Timothy Christian and a strong challenge from Montini in the championship at last week's Class 3A regional in Elmhurst.

Plainfield North dropped 25 spots to No. 80 from No. 55 after losing to Oswego East during the final week of the regular season, and Glenbard West moved up five spots to No. 69. Crystal Lake South also broke into the rankings for the first time at No. 99.

Naperville North, which did not lose, fell out of the rankings.

Teams on the bubble (listed alphabetically) are: Benet, Bloomington, Rockford Boylan, Breese Central, Crystal Lake Central, Dakota, DeKalb, Edwardsville, Geneva, Keith Country Day, Lake Zurich, Lincoln-Way Central, Lincoln-Way East, Marist, Mater Dei, Montini, Naperville North, Nazareth, New Trier, Sandburg, Springfield, St. Charles East, St. Charles North, Stevenson and Waubonsie Valley.

***

Mt. Pulaski coach Donna Dulle joined some exclusive company Thursday when the Hilltoppers outlasted Hartsburg-Emden 27-25, 28-26 to win the Class 1A regional at Mason City Illini Central.

The win was No. 1,000 for the 32-year veteran, who has taken teams to state 12 times in her career and won two state titles (1989, 2007). Only St. Francis' Peg Kopec and former Breese Mater Dei coach Fred Rakers have won more games than Dulle.

Cady Lowery, one of only three seniors on the team, understatedly mastered the moment.

"I was a freshman when she got 900, and I never really put two and two together, that she could get 1,000 while I was in high school," she said.
Mount Pulaski was scheduled to face Roanoke-Benson in the Hartsburg-Emden sectional on Tuesday.

***

Sophomore Gabby Pethokoukis (Benet) registered a career-high 19 kills on 35 hits (.429) and added seven blocks, but Villanova (12-11, 4-6) came up just short November 2 in a 25-19, 25-23, 15-25, 12-25, 16-14 loss to Georgetown in a Big East Conference battle in Washington, D.C.

***

Six-foot-1 junior middle hitter Mary Boken of St. Francis recently committed to Clemson. Boken is the second area athlete to commit to Clemson, joining Plainfield North setter Kate Federico. The Tigers are currently 12-11 including 6-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

***

Oak Lawn varsity boys volleyball coach Matt Hunt is looking to fill a few openings on his team's schedule this spring. He is also looking for a sophomore tournament to add to his program's schedule. If interested, contact Hunt through the school's athletic department at (708) 741-5624.

***

It's not too early to think about girls basketball.

Whitney Young and Rolling Meadows, two teams that will be in the top five when the Sun-Times rankings come out later this month, headline the 2013 Mac Irvin Diabetes Awareness Classic at 3:15 p.m. on Saturday, December 7 at Elgin Larkin.

Young returns 6-5 senior center Khaalia Hillsman and 5-11 senior forward Taylor Brame from last year's third-place Class 4A finisher and welcomes 5-8 sophomore guard Kiara Lewis, who missed all of last year with injury.

Rolling Meadows returns six of its top seven from last year's Class 4A runner-up including point guard extraordinaire Jackie Kemph, sharpshooting Northwestern recruit Alexis Glasgow and 6-2 forward Jenny Vliet.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for gwvbteamphotowithbell.jpgGlenbard West will try to advance to next week's Class 4A sectional at Geneva when it plays Schaumburg Thursday at 6:00 p.m. at West Chicago.


Mother McAuley moved up to No. 7 in Prepvolleyball.com's latest Century Club National Rankings after briefly falling to No. 10 following its loss to Assumption (Louisville, Ky.) in the finals of the Asics Challenge.

St. James (39-0) of Lenexa, Kansas, which is shooting for its sixth consecutive state title, retained its hold on the No. 1 ranking after winning the Michelle Smith Volleyball Tournament at St. Thomas Aquinas behind sophomore middle Audriana Fitzmorris.

St. Francis moved up two spots to No. 15, Plainfield North jumped up five spots to No. 55 and Glenbard West checked in at No. 74 after going unranked most of the season. Naperville North was the final Illinois entry at No. 88, up four spots from the previous rankings.

Two-time defending state champion Benet, which had been No. 74, dropped out of the rankings after its poor showing at Glenbard East's Autumnfest.

Teams on the bubble included Benet, Bloomington, Rockford Boylan, Breese Central, Breese Mater Dei, Crystal Lake Central, Crystal Lake South, Dakota, Dekalb, Edwardsville, Geneva, Keith Country Day, Lake Zurich, Lincoln-Way Central, Lincoln-Way East, Marist, Montini, Nazareth, New Trier, Sandburg, Springfield, St. Charles East, St. Charles North, Stevenson and Waubonsie Valley.

***

Minooka eliminated Moline, which had reached the Class AA quarterfinals in 2002, 25-21, 28-26 in a Class 4A regional semifinal at Ottawa.

Skyler Day had 10 kills and seven digs, Ginger Perinar had nine kills and three aces, Gabriella Shepherd had 11 digs, Kelly Clucas added 14 assists and Megan Bauer had 11 assists for Minooka (21-11), which will face Rock Island in the regional championship match Thursday.

"What a competitive match," Minooka coach Chris Hoelscher said. "Moline kept coming after us, but I am proud of the way we answered the challenge and competed hard the whole match. Brenna Perinar came out of a time out and shut down their big middle to put an end to the wild and woolly second game."

***

IC Catholic Prep (30-6) got off to a good start in its quest to win Jean Field's first state title since 1984 and reach the state finals for the first time since a third-place finish in 1989.

The Knights defeated Aurora Christian in the semifinal round of the Class 2A regional at Aurora Christian, 25-16, 25-9, to advance to the finals against Westmont. Delaney D'Amore led IC Prep with 11 kills and five aces, Rory Manion added five kills, Molly Manion had five digs and Kimmy Martino added 16 assists.

***

A team to watch in 2014 is Oswego East (15-15), which lost 25-16, 25-20 to Plainfield North in the Class 4A regional semifinal at Metea Valley. The Wolves graduate just two players from this year's team - setter Nicole Bertrand and rightside Ashlee Wiliams.

Back for coach Adam Thurlwell will be junior outside hitter Kelly Bertrand, who lit up Plainfield North for 11 kills Tuesday, junior libero Madison Anderson, junior outside hitter Lauren Schultz, freshman rightside Sarah Schultz, and junior middle hitter Rachel Vander Wagen.

"Hopefully. the cohesiveness that this group developed won't go away when we come back in nine months," Thurlwell said. "We have a fantastic libero, we have some girls who can put the ball away, our serve receive has been fantastic all year, and all three of those girls are coming back.

"There's a good chemistry with this group that we're excited for," he added. "At the beginning of this year, we talked about going .500. That would be an OK season. Sure enough, we went .500.

"We also had a five-game winning streak, we beat a ranked team (Plainfield North in an earlier meeting) and a conference champion (Metea Valley)," Thurlwell said.

***

Can Homewood-Flossmoor keep it going?

Fresh off a 25-19, 25-20 win over No. 9 seed Oak Lawn, the eighth-seeded Vikings (24-11) will face No. 1-ranked Mother McAuley Thursday at 6:00 p.m. in the regional final at T.F. North.

Libero Skylar Hildebrand, who had seven digs against Oak Lawn, will be tested in the back row. Candace Tate (five kills vs. Oak Lawn) and Mackenzie Reed (three kills) will have to produce at the net and neutralize McAuley's powerful middles.

***

Still looking for a place to go this tournament season? Here is what's ahead (provided the top seeds win, which, of course, they do occasionally):

Thursday, October 31 (regional finals)

DeKalb vs. Huntley at Rockford Jefferson, 6:00 p.m.
Crystal Lake South vs. Crystal Lake Central at Dundee-Crown, 6:00 p.m.
Benet vs. Lockport at Plainfield East, 6:00 p.m.
Naperville North vs. Plainfield Central at Yorkville, 6:00 p.m.
Waubonsie Valley vs. Wheaton Warrenville South at Bolingbrook, 6:00 p.m.
Plainfield North vs. Metea Valley at Metea Valley, 6:00 p.m.
St. Ignatius vs. Lyons at St. Ignatius, 6:00 p.m.
Downers North vs. Riverside-Brookfield at Proviso West, 6:00 p.m.
Glenbard South vs. Hinsdale Central at Hinsdale South, 6:00 p.m.
Oak Park vs. De La Salle at Reavis, 6:00 p.m.
Sandburg vs. T.F. South at Andrew, 6:00 p.m.
Marist vs. Lincoln-Way East at Marist, 6:00 p.m.
McAuley vs. Homewood-Flossmoor at TF North, 6:00 p.m.
Lincoln-Way North vs. Lincoln-Way Central at Marian, 6:00 p.m.
St. Charles East vs. York at York, 6:00 p.m.
St. Charles North vs. Wheaton North at South Elgin, 6:00 p.m.
Geneva vs. Batavia at Addison Trail, 6:00 p.m.
Glenbard West vs. Schaumburg at West Chicago, 6:00 p.m.
Joliet Catholic vs. Providence at Aurora Central Catholic, 6:00 p.m.
St. Francis vs. Montini at Timothy Christian, 6:00 p.m.


Tuesday, November 5 (sectional semifinals)

DeKalb vs. Warren at Belvidere North, 6:00 p.m.
Boylan vs. Crystal Lake South at Belvidere North, 7:00 p.m.
Lake Zurich vs. Libertyville at Conant, 6:00 p.m.
Carmel vs. Stevenson at Conant, 7:00 p.m.
Benet vs. Waubonsie Valley at Plainfield South, 6:00 p.m.
Naperville North vs. Plainfield North at Plainfield South, 7:00 p.m.
Glenbard South vs. Lyons at Morton, 6:00 p.m.
Downers North vs. De La Salle at Morton, 7:00 p.m.
McAuley vs. Lincoln-Way North at Sandburg, 6:00 p.m.
Sandburg vs. Marist at Sandburg, 7:00 p.m.
Glenbard West vs. Geneva at Geneva, 6:00 p.m.
St. Charles North vs. St. Charles East at Geneva, 7:00 p.m.
New Trier vs. Niles North at New Trier, 6:00 p.m.
Loyola vs. Maine South at New Trier, 7:00 p.m.
Joliet Catholic vs. St. Francis at Coal City, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 7 (sectional finals)

DeKalb vs. Crystal Lake South/Boylan winner at Belvidere North, 7:00 p.m.
Lake Zurich vs. Carmel at Conant, 7:00 p.m.
Benet vs. Plainfield North at Plainfield South, 7:00 p.m.
Glenbard South vs. Downers North at Morton, 7:00 p.m.
McAuley vs. Marist at Sandburg, 7:00 p.m.
Glenbard West vs. St. Charles North at Geneva, 7:00 p.m.
New Trier vs. Loyola at New Trier, 7:00 p.m.
Lincoln-Way West vs. St. Francis at Coal City, 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 9 (supersectionals)

DeKalb vs. Crystal Lake South/Boylan winner winner vs. Lake Zurich at Huntley, 6:30 p.m.
Quincy vs. Benet at Normal Community, 1:00 p.m.
Glenbard South vs. McAuley at Lyons, 1:00 p.m.
Glenbard West vs. New Trier at St. Charles East, 7:00 p.m.
St. Francis vs. Chicago Christian at Joliet Catholic, 7:00 p.m.

timothy.jpgTimothy Christian will host a Class 3A regional referred to in many circles as the "Regional of Doom" because of the presence of defending state champion St. Francis and powerhouse teams from Montini and Nazareth.


Let the football folks complain all they want about seeding. They ain't got nothin' on volleyball.

Take Timothy Christian, for example. The Trojans are a respectable 27-8 and co-champions of the Metro Suburban Conference. Yet they are no better than a No. 5 seed in a six-team regional that they host beginning Monday.

St. Francis (32-3) is the No. 1 seed. Nazareth (28-6) is No. 2. Montini (28-3) is No. 3.

That's like putting Mt. Carmel, Lake Zurich and Glenbard West in the same four-team bracket of the Class 7A football playoffs. Or Loyola, Bolingbrook and Glenbard North in the same 8A football foursome. Three of the best volleyball teams in Class 3A in the same regional. Ridiculous.

But you won't hear volleyball coaches complain. Why? It wouldn't do any good. Glenbard South coach Chad Grant got so tired of butting heads with St. Francis in a regional every year that he opted to move up to Class 4A. At least there the Raiders have a shot to win a regional, he thought.

Lo and behold, Glenbard South not only has a chance to win a regional, the Raiders are the No. 1 seed in the Morton sectional. Meanwhile, Geneva and Batavia, which beat Glenbard South, are the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds at Geneva.

But the "Regional of Doom" is just one example of the folly that is the IHSA volleyball tournament.

How about the Antioch Class 3A super-sectional, where the top five seeds are Burlington Central, Johnsburg, Lakes, Regina Dominican and (Chicago) Latin? Montini and Nazareth would gladly hop a bus north to join that group.

Or the Gordon Tech regional, which could come down to Westinghouse or Gordon Tech (I didn't even know Gordon Tech had girls?). Timothy Christian won't even get a thank-you note for hosting and one of those two teams can walk home with a regional plaque?

Remember last year's Class 4A girls volleyball sectional at Neuqua Valley? The 23-team sectional that was overnight converted into four ridiculously unbalanced regionals?

The IHSA claimed the move was necessary to accommodate Yorkville, which was bumped up to 4A by the association's new 25-25-25-25 enrollment split when assigning schools to certain sports. The IHSA said that Yorkville was not located in the "Chicagoland Box."

The move sent Oswego East, Oswego, Plainfield East, Plainfield North and Yorkville to Plainfield North; Bolingbrook, Lemont, Lockport. Plainfield Central. Plainfield South and Romeoville to Romeoville; and Aurora East, Metea Valley, Rosary and West Aurora to Waubonsie Valley.

That left Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, Benet, Naperville Central, Neuqua Valley and Naperville North in one regional at Central. Three of the top four teams in the sectional - Benet, Central and Naperville North - in one six-team regional.

There was thought at the time that the IHSA would not treat boys basketball similarly, thus incurring the wrath of dozens of athletic directors and coaches and hundreds and hundreds of fans, and lo and behold, it did not.

But apparently, one year later, girls volleyball is still being treated like a second-class citizen.

***

Last weekend, Crystal Lake Central shocked Rockford Boylan 25-12, 25-22 to win the Doug Blundy Memorial Tournament. Central also beat Sycamore, Marian Central, McHenry and Richmond-Burton, none of which broke the 20-point barrier against the Tigers.

"Our team played some pretty great defense the entire match (against Boylan)," Central coach Lisa Reddish said. "I would say that our defensive players really stepped up this weekend."

Leading the way for Crystal Lake Central offensively was Lauren Leverenz, a 6-foot senior middle hitter who has committed to St. Louis University.

"Lauren is having a great season," Central coach Lisa Reddish said. "She's surrounded on the court by her best friends, most of which happen to be her teammates since we have 10 seniors on this year's varsity roster."

Leverenz had 19 kills Thursday in the Tigers' regular-season finale, a 25-23, 25-21 loss to rival Crystal Lake South. But the two teams should meet again next week in the championship game of the Dundee-Crown regional.

***

Look out for St. Charles North. The North Stars have put their mid-season slump behind them and won the Minooka Invite last weekend, beating Minooka 25-15, 25-23 in the semifinals and Normal West 25-17, 25-16 in the finals.

Taylor Krage led the North Stars with 37 kills, seven aces and 20 digs. Daley Krage added 23 kills, Sophia DuVall had 26 kills and 10 blocks, while Emily Carroll had 14 kills, 12 blocks, and 5 aces. Alex Seavey led the defense with 23 digs, Sydney Wohlert dished out 42 assists and Taryn DalDegan had 47 assists.

***

Joining MVP Courtney Joyce of Mother McAuley on the all-tournament team at last weekend's Autumnfest tournament hosted by Glenbard East were Ryann DeJarld (Mother McAuley), Meg DeMaar (Glenbard West), Natalie Schilling (Glenbard West) and Rachel Minarick (Waubonsie Valley).

Also, Carly Nolan (Crystal Lake South), Anne Hughes (St. Charles East), Katherine Mahlke (Downers Grove North), Caroline Wolf (Benet), Kelsey O'Neill (Loyola), Phoebe Havenaar (Naperville Central), Allie Marthaler (Providence) Julia Shemaitis (Joliet Catholic) and Emily Casaletto (Barrington).

***

Making plans to go watch some volleyball? Here are some matches you might like to go see (providing the top seeds win out, of course, which never happens):

Monday, October 28 (regional quarterfinals)

Plainfield East vs. Joliet West at Plainfield East, 7:00 p.m.
Yorkville vs. Aurora West at Yorkville, 7:00 p.m.
Bolingbrook vs. Joliet Central at Boingbrook, 7:00 p.m.
WW South vs. Romeoville at Bolingbrook, 7:00 p.m.
Timothy Christian vs. Wheaton Academy at Timothy, 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday, October 29, (regional semifinals)

Benet vs. Plainfield East at Plainfield East, 6:00 p.m.
Lockport vs. Naperville Central at Plainfield East, 7:00 p.m.
Naperville North vs. Yorkville at Yorkville, 6:00 p.m.
Neuqua Valley vs. Plainfield Central at Yorkville, 7:00 p.m.
Waubonsie Valley vs. Bolingbrook at Bolingbrook, 6:00 p.m.
Lemont vs. WW South at Bolingbrook, 7:00 p.m.
Plainfield North vs. Oswego East at Metea Valley, 6:00 p.m.
Metea Valley vs. Oswego at Metea Valley, 7:00 p.m.
Whitney Young vs. Riverside-Brookfield at Proviso West, 7:00 p.m.
Oak Park vs. Kennedy at Reavis, 6:00 p.m.
De La Salle vs. Reavis at Reavis, 7:00 p.m.
Sandburg vs. Andrew at Andrew, 6:00 p.m.
T.F. South vs. Richards at Andrew, 7:00 p.m.
Marist vs. Oak Forest at Marist, 6:00 p.m.
Lincoln-Way East vs. Shepard at Marist, 7:00 p.m.
McAuley vs. Crete-Monee at TF North, 6:00 p.m.
Homewood-Flossmoor vs. Oak Lawn at TF North, 7:00 p.m.
Lincoln-Way North vs. Marian at Marian, 6:00 p.m.
Lincoln-Way Central vs. Stagg at Marian, 7:00 p.m.
St. Charles East vs. Glenbard East at York, 6:00 p.m.
York vs. Elgin Larkin at York, 7:00 p.m.
St. Francis vs. Timothy Christian at Timothy Christian, 6:00 p.m
Montini vs, Nazareth Academy at Timothy Christian, 7:00 p.m.


Thursday, October 31 (regional finals)

DeKalb vs. Huntley at Rockford Jefferson, 6:00 p.m.
Crystal Lake South vs. Crystal Lake Central at Dundee-Crown, 6:00 p.m.
Benet vs. Naperville Central at Plainfield East, 6:00 p.m.
Naperville North vs. Plainfield Central at Yorkville, 6:00 p.m.
Waubonsie Valley vs. Lemont at Bolingbrook, 6:00 p.m.
Plainfield North vs. Metea Valley at Metea Valley, 6:00 p.m.
St. Ignatius vs. Lyons at St. Ignatius, 6:00 p.m.
Downers North vs. Whitney Young at Proviso West, 6:00 p.m.
Glenbard South vs. Hinsdale Central at Hinsdale South, 6:00 p.m.
Oak Park vs. De La Salle at Reavis, 6:00 p.m.
Sandburg vs. T.F. South at Andrew, 6:00 p.m.
Marist vs. Lincoln-Way East at Marist, 6:00 p.m.
McAuley vs. Homewood-Flossmoor at TF North, 6:00 p.m.
Lincoln-Way North vs. Lincoln-Way Central at Marian, 6:00 p.m.
St. Charles East vs. York at York, 6:00 p.m.
St. Charles North vs. Wheaton North at South Elgin, 6:00 p.m.
Geneva vs. Batavia at Addison Trail, 6:00 p.m.
Glenbard West vs. Schaumburg at West Chicago, 6:00 p.m.
Joliet Catholic vs. Providence at Aurora Central Catholic, 6:00 p.m.
St. Francis vs. Nazareth Academy at Timothy Christian, 6:00 p.m.


Tuesday, November 5 (sectional semifinals)

DeKalb vs. Warren at Belvidere North, 6:00 p.m.
Boylan vs. Crystal Lake South at Belvidere North, 7:00 p.m.
Lake Zurich vs. Libertyville at Conant, 6:00 p.m.
Carmel vs. Stevenson at Conant, 7:00 p.m.
Benet vs. Waubonsie Valley at Plainfield South, 6:00 p.m.
Naperville North vs. Plainfield North at Plainfield South, 7:00 p.m.
Glenbard South vs. Lyons at at Morton, 6:00 p.m.
Downers North vs. De La Salle at Morton, 7:00 p.m.
McAuley vs. Lincoln-Way North at Sandburg, 6:00 p.m.
Sandburg vs. Marist at Sandburg, 7:00 p.m.
Glenbard West vs. Geneva at Geneva, 6:00 p.m.
St. Charles North vs. St. Charles East at Geneva, 7:00 p.m.
New Trier vs. Niles North at New Trier, 6:00 p.m.
Loyola vs. Maine South at New Trier, 7:00 p.m.
Joliet Catholic vs. St. Francis at Coal City, 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 7 (sectional finals)

DeKalb vs. Crystal Lake South/Boylan winner at Belvidere North, 7:00 p.m.
Lake Zurich vs. Carmel at Conant, 7:00 p.m.
Benet vs. Plainfield North at Plainfield South, 7:00 p.m.
Glenbard South vs. Downers North at Morton, 7:00 p.m.
McAuley vs. Marist at Sandburg, 7:00 p.m.
Glenbard West vs. St. Charles North at Geneva, 7:00 p.m.
New Trier vs. Loyola at New Trier, 7:00 p.m.
Lincoln-Way West vs. St. Francis at Coal City, 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 9 (supersectionals)

DeKalb vs. Crystal Lake South/Boylan winner vs. Lake Zurich winner at Huntley, 6:30 p.m.
Quincy vs. Benet at Normal Community, 1:00 p.m.
Glenbard South vs. McAuley at Lyons, 1:00 p.m.
Glenbard West vs. New Trier at St. Charles East, 7:00 p.m.
St. Francis vs. Chicago Christian at Joliet Catholic, 7:00 p.m.



Benetmarian.jpgBenet's string of 11 consecutive regular-season tournament titles fell by the wayside last weekend at the Mizuno Cup. Can the Redwings start another streak this week at Autumnfest?

All eyes will be on Autumnfest at Glenbard East this weekend as top-seeded Mother McAuley tries to avenge its 26-24, 25-16 loss to Benet in last year's finals.

The Mighty Macs are the top seed in the tournament, which also features Benet, Crystal Lake South, St. Charles East, Waubonsie Valley, Lemont, Glenbard West, Joliet Catholic, Loyola, Huntley and Naperville Central, which ended Benet's 56-match win streak in regular-season tournaments last week.

Here is the way the tournament will shake out Friday:

Pool 1: Mother McAuley vs. Normal, 5:00 p.m.: Schaumburg vs. Normal, 6:00 p.m.: Mother McAuley vs. Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m.

Pool 2: Benet vs. Mt. Pulaski, 5:00 p.m.: Prairie Ridge vs. Mt. Pulaski, 6:00 p.m.: Benet vs. Prairie Ridge, 7:00 p.m.

Pool 3: Crystal Lake South vs. Barrington, 5:00 p.m.: Providence vs. Barrington, 6:00 p.m.: Crystal Lake South vs. Providence, 7:00 p.m.

Pool 4: St. Charles East vs. Hononegah, 5:00 p.m.: WW South vs. Hononegah, 6:00 p.m.: St. Charles East vs. WW South, 7:00 p.m.

Pool 5: Waubonsie Valley vs. West Chicago, 5:00 p.m.: West Chicago vs. Naperville Central, 6:00 p.m.: Waubonsie Valley vs. Naperville Central, 7:00 p.m.

Pool 6: Lemont vs. Glenbard East, 5:00 p.m.: Downers Grove North vs. Glenbard East, 6:00 p.m.: Lemont vs. Downers Grove North, 7:00 p.m.

Pool 7: Glenbard West vs. West Aurora, 5:00 p.m.: Huntley vs. West Aurora, 6:00 p.m.: Glenbard West vs. Huntley, 7:00 p.m.

Pool 8: Joliet Catholic vs. Willowbrook, 5:00 p.m.: Loyola vs. Willowbrook, 6:00 p.m.: Joliet Catholic vs. Loyola, 7:00 p.m.

Play resumes Saturday with four Bronze division quarterfinals at 8:00 a.m. The championship match is tentatively scheduled for 2:15 p.m.

***

Mercy Academy (Louisville, Ky.) retained the top spot in the Prepvolleyball.com Century Club National Rankings in the latest poll through October 10, but Mother McAuley slipped to No. 10 after losing to Assumption (Louisville, Ky.) in the finals of the Asics Challenge.

St. Francis checked in at No. 17, down a spot after losing to McAuley for the third time this season. Rounding out the Illinois contingent were No. 57 Benet (prior to losing to Naperville Central at the Mizuno Cup), No. 79 Naperville North and No. 90 New Trier.

Illinois teams dropping out of the top 100 included former No. 64 Breese Mater Dei, No. 89 Plainfield North (which lost to Plainfield Central prior to winning the Mizuno Cup title over Muskego, Wis.) and former No. 94 Waubonsie Valley.

***

Payton, which is still the only Chicago Public League entry to reach the state semifinals, suffered a dismal season one year ago, losing in the quarterfinals of the city playoffs then falling to Evanston in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament.

But the Grizzlies should roar again in the very near future thanks to 6-foot-3 sophomore Olivia Rozmus.

"She beats the ball and has become more and more comfortable out there on the pin after each week," Payton coach Joel Anderson said. "Obviously, she has only ever played middle in club and high school. She attacks well out of the back row."

Rozmus, who had 10 kills in Payton's 25-23, 15-25, 25-16 loss to Young in Wednesday's city semifinals, will be the Grizzlies' centerpiece for the next two years.

"We have some good sophomores and freshmen coming up so I'd expect us to be decent for a few years," Anderson said.

***

Senior setter Kate Federico of tournament champion Plainfield North was named the MVP of the St. Charles East Mizuno Scholastic Cup tournament last weekend at the Great Lakes Volleyball Center in Aurora.

Joining Federico on the all-tournament team were Dakota Santore and Lauren Robeck of Plainfield North; Morgan Kath and Michelle Fugarino of Muskego; Carly Jimenez and Dana Voltolina of St. Charles East; and Kelsey Wicinski of Geneva.

Also, Megan Wernette of Naperville North, Jessica Lindsey of Lincoln-Way East, Phoebe Havenaar of Naperville Central and Kayla Pheiffer of Lockport.

***

Southern Illinois University's Hannah Kaminsky of Woodridge, who led Benet to back-to-=back state championships, was named the Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Week, the league announced Monday.

The freshman setter recorded eight kills, 78 assists, three service aces, 14 digs and four block assists during seven sets of play.

Kaminsky tallied six kills on nine attempts during the Salukis' sweep of Drake. She added 32 assists, eight digs and three block assists. On Saturday,she dished out 46 assists to help guide the Salukis to a 3-1 win over the University of Northern Iowa.

This is the second time this season Kaminsky has been earned Freshman of the Week honors.

***

There will be more at stake than bragging rights on Wednesday, October 23 when Hinsdale Central hosts Hinsdale South at 6:00 p.m.

The two teams' annual "Volley for the Cure" match will benefit Hinsdale Hospital Foundation-Open Arms Breast Cancer Outreach Fund. The fund was established in 2011 to support breast cancer patients and their families by funding programs that bring hope and healing as families navigate the difficult journey through cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

Among the events will be a raffle, silent auction, bake sale and concessions. The teams will also be selling T-shirts. If anyone would like to donate items for the silent auction or raffle or would like to purchase T-shirts, please contact Kelly Moran at kmoran@hinsdale86.org.

***

Friends of Ryan O'Malley, who starred at Oak Park before graduating in 2007 and later played at Quincy University, are organizing a volleyball tournament on Saturday, October 19 at Top Flight Volleyball Club to help raise money to offset his expenses.

Top Flight Volleyball Club is located at 1360 Madeline Lane, Suite 400, in Elgin. The tournament is co-ed with two divisions - competitive and recreational. Each team must have three guys and three girls. The fee is $150 per team. The proceeds from the tournament will go directly to O'Malley's medical bills.

For more information, you can visit "Co-ed 6's Go Ball Out Bash!" on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/234975149987983/.

To make a donation, please visit Go Ball Out for Ryan O'Malley! at http://www.gofundme.com/goballout. You can also contact Nelson directly at km.nelson08@gmail.com.

***

Prairie Ridge is looking for a junior varsity team -- comprised of mostly juniors with some freshman, sophomores and seniors - for a round-robin tournament on October 4, 2014. The tournament will start at 8:00 a.m. with three matches before lunch and two afterward.

If you are interested, contact Stefanie Otto, Prairie Ridge varsity volleyball coach, at sotto@d155.org.

jendryk sisters 2.jpgThe Jendryk sisters - Jenna (left) and Jessica (right) - who both starred at Benet before moving on to the college ranks, met on the volleyball court on September 29 as Jessica's St. Louis University Billikens prevailed over Jenna's Dayton Flyers 15-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-21, 15-12. Jessica hit .545 for the match.


Friends of Ryan O'Malley, who starred at Oak Park before graduating in 2007 and later played at Quincy University, are organizing a volleyball tournament to help O'Malley in his fight against cancer.

O'Malley, 24, has been beset by major medical bills in his fight against cancer and his friends have organized a tournament on Saturday, October 19 at Top Flight Volleyball Club to help raise money to offset his expenses.

Top Flight Volleyball Club is located at 1360 Madeline Lane, Suite 400, in Elgin.

The tournament is co-ed with two divisions - competitive and recreational. Each team must have three guys and three girls. The fee is $150 per team. The proceeds from the tournament will go directly to O'Malley's medical bills.

"We are trying to get as many universities, colleges, high schools, volleyball clubs, friends and family members to spread the word to get more participants for the tournament," said family friend Kate Nelson.

For more information, you can visit "Co-ed 6's Go Ball Out Bash!" on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/234975149987983/.

To make a donation, please visit Go Ball Out for Ryan O'Malley! at http://www.gofundme.com/goballout.

You can also contact Nelson directly at km.nelson08@gmail.com.

***

There will be more at stake than bragging rights on Wednesday, October 23 when Hinsdale Central hosts Hinsdale South at 6:00 p.m.

The two teams' annual "Volley for the Cure" match will benefit Hinsdale Hospital Foundation-Open Arms Breast Cancer Outreach Fund. The fund was established in 2011 to support breast cancer patients and their families by funding programs that bring hope and healing as families navigate the difficult journey through cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

Among the events will be a raffle, silent auction, bake sale and concessions. The teams will also be selling T-shirts. If anyone would like to donate items for the silent auction or raffle or would like to purchase T-shirts, please contact Kelly Moran at kmoran@hinsdale86.org.

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If you're going to go all out to honor your coach as her 37th and final season of coaching comes to an end - decorating the gymnasium, inviting a number of school and district dignitaries and holding a special ceremony prior to the match - you best not mess it up by losing.

Conant didn't.

The Cougars honored Peggy Scholten by defeating Schaumburg 25-18, 26-24 Tuesday night, avenging a loss to the Saxons earlier this season. Scholten is retiring from teaching and coaching at the end of the school year.

***

Former Geneva standout and Michigan State outside hitter Lauren Wicinksi was named the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week last week after leading then-No. 15 Michigan State to road victories over No. 1 Penn State and No. 13 Ohio State.

The senior transfer from Northern Illinois averaged 4.1 kills and 1.4 digs per set. Wicinski is the third Big Ten student-athlete to be named National Player of the Week this season and second in a row. Northwestern's Stephanie Holthus earned the honor September 24.

***

Latin placed two players - sophomore outside hitter Catie Cronister and junior middle hitter Alexa Markman - on the all-tournament team at the eight team tournament it hosted last weekend won by Champaign Centennial.

Also named to the all-tournament team were Lexi Hall and Miaya Peacock of Centennial, Lauren Kent of Galena, Rory Manion of Immaculate Conception, Credence Stouffer of Lena-Winslow and Mariana Edmond of Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School of St. Louis, Missouri.

***

Here is a complete list of the pools at this weekend's St. Charles East Mizuno Scholastic Cup tournament at the Great Lakes Volleyball Center in Aurora:

Pool play Friday, October 11

Pool A: Benet vs. Barrington, 5:00 p.m., Naperville Central vs. Barrington, 6:15 p.m.; Benet vs. Naperville Central, 7:30 p.m.

Pool B: Plainfield North vs. Hinsdale South, 5:00 p.m., Neuqua Valley vs. Hinsdale South, 6:15 p.m.; Plainfield North vs. Neuqua Valley, 7:30 p.m.

Pool C: Joliet Catholic vs. Wheaton North, 5:00 p.m., Lockport vs. Wheaton North, 6:15 p.m.; Joliet Catholic vs. Lockport, 7:30 p.m.

Pool D: Lincoln-Way Central vs. Wheaton Warrenville South, 5:00 p.m., Muskego vs. Wheaton Warrenville South, 6:15 p.m.; Lincoln-Way Central vs. Muskego, 7:30 p.m.

Pool E: Naperville North vs. Rosary, 5:00 p.m., Hinsdale Central vs. Rosary, 6:15 p.m.; NMpaerville North vs. Hinsdale Central, 7:30 p.m.

Pool F: St. Charles East vs. Oak Forest, 5:00 p.m., Prairie Ridge vs. Oak Forest, 6:15 p.m.; St. Charles East vs. Prairie Ridge, 7:30 p.m.

Pool G: Lincoln-Way East vs. Rockford Guilford, 5:00 p.m., Edwardsville vs. Rockford Guilford, 6:15 p.m.; Lincoln-Way East vs. Edwardsville, 7:30 p.m.

Pool H: Bloomington vs. St. Charles East JV, 5:00 p.m., Geneva vs. St. Charles East JV, 6:15 p.m.; Bloomington vs. Geneva, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday's Gold, Silver and Bronze division quarterfinals begin at 8:00 a.m. with Pool A vs. Pool H and Pool B vs. Pool G. Pool C vs. Pool F and Pool D vs. Pool E play at 9:10 a.m.

The semifinals in all three divisions begin at 11:30 a.m. with the finals at 1:50 p.m.

***

Brooks (15-11) and Kennedy (16-7) are among the eight teams advancing to the quarterfinals of the Chicago Public High School Athletic Association girls volleyball playoffs. The quarterfinals will be played at 6:00 p.m. on Monday at the UIC practice gymnasium on 901 W. Roosevelt Road.

The quarterfinals feature top-seeded Payton (22-9) vs. Jones, Lane vs. Young, Kennedy vs. Taft and Brooks vs. No. 2 Northside College Prep.

The semifinals are Wednesday, October 16 at Attack Athletics at 2641 W. Harrison at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m., and the finals are Friday at Attack Athletics at 6:00 p.m.

***

Prairie Ridge is looking for a junior varsity team -- comprised of mostly juniors with some freshman, sophomores and seniors - for a round-robin tournament on October 4, 2014. The tournament will start at 8:00 a.m. with three matches before lunch and two afterward.

If you are interested, contact Stefanie Otto, Prairie Ridge varsity volleyball coach, at sotto@d155.org.

***

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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