White's hot start fires Lions 15-1 past Adversity at GLR regional qualifier

Lions 15-1 defeated Adversity G15 Adidas, 25-18, 25-11, to win the 15 Girls division at the GLR Girls Regional Qualifier Sunday at the UNO Volleyball Club in Joliet. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) https://youtu.be/vFmlDefwjn8 Photos from Lions 15-1 vs. Adversity G15 Adidas championship match and Sky High Adidas 15 Black vs. Sky High Adidas 15-1 NS fifth-place semifinal. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) By Phil Brozynskifor Illprepvb.comWhat came over Ellie White?“Thank you,” was all the Lions 15-1 setter/outside hitter could say after her hot star...

Volleyball 'kind of runs in the family,' says coach's 'independent' daughter

Ella Strausberger (front row, far right) and her Sports Performance 15 Elite teammates. Naperville Central boys volleyball coach Roger Strausberger and his daughter, Ella. By Phil BrozynskiIllprepvb.com EditorShe grew up in the gym watching her dad coach.She played soccer and volleyball as a youngster, but decided to focus on volleyball because she said it "kind of runs in the family.”She’s training as a setter, and sometimes father and daughter sit down and talk about strategy and how to run an offense.Naperville Central boys’ volleybal...

Barnes named Big Ten's top defender; Wuensch fuels Wichita State's hot start

St. Francis graduate Laney Malloy (7) leads Southeast Missouri State in kills. (Photo courtesy of Southeast Missouri State) By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.comSenior Lauren Barnes continues to impress for the top-ranked Wisconsin, which improved to 10-0 with a 25-10, 25-16, 21-25, 25-22 victory over Michigan State on February 21.Barnes, a Naperville resident who replaced fellow Benet graduate Tiffany Clark as the Badgers’ libero, recorded a career-high 28 digs in that match and was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.“Defensi...

Adversity G18 Adidas has all the ingredients for a successful run to nationals

Adversity G18 Adidas' second-place finish in St. Louis imparted a few lessons to a team that has set its sights on an Open bid to the USA Volleyball Girls 18 Junior National Championship. Putting together a volleyball roster can be a little like making pot roast … sometimes it takes a while for all the ingredients to come together.Adversity G18 Adidas just needs a bit more seasoning.After losses to MAVS KC 18-1 (Kansas City, Missouri) and Premier Nebraska 18 Gold (Omaha) knocked Adversity out of bid contention at the Northern Lights Q...

Tiny Emden's fearless Barry packs a big punch in her not-so-big frame

Normal U-High's hard-hitting Lily Barry, who plays outside hitter for her high school and Illini Elite 16 Cardinal club teams, projects as a libero at the Division I level. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) By Randy SharerSpecial to Illprepvb.comWatching 5-foot-6 Lily Barry wallop a volleyball says a lot about the 16-year-old member of the Bloomington-based Illini Elite Volleyball Club.“She doesn’t hold back in anything that she does,” said club director Andy Erins, who is trying to convince the sophomore from Normal University High School by way o...

1st Alliance 18 Black punches its ticket to nationals at Beast of the Southeast

1st Alliance 18 Black won the 18 USA division at last weekend's Beast of the Southeast Invite. 1st Alliance 18 Black defeated Rage-Westside 18 Jen (Belmont, California), 25-23, 25-20, on Sunday to win the 18 USA division at the Beast of the Southeast Invite & U18 National Qualifier in Atlanta, Georgia, and earn a bid to the USA Volleyball Girls 18s Junior National Championship in Columbus, Ohio, April 23-25.“This was truly a team win … from the players to the parents,” said 18 Black coach Matthew Madia. “From the start, this team real...

1st Alliance 16 Silver's dramatic win highlights busy weekend for local clubs

Club teams from throughout Illinois scattered across the Midwest and beyond to compete in President's Day tournaments. Texas. Nebraska. Missouri, Indiana. Michigan.Illinois teams scattered to the corners of the Midwest – and 1,000 miles to the south – to compete in tournaments over the President’s Day weekend. Four ocal teams earned championships, including Adversity G17 Adidas (17 Open in St. Louis), VC United 161 Elite (16 Premier in Indianapolis) and Springfield Shock 15 Under Armour (AAU STL Crossfire Super Regionals).But none was w...

Former St. Francis star shares passion, knowledge as coach with U.S. team

Former St. Francis star and U.S. national team associate coach Erin Virtue (back row, third from right) said the team's goal this year is to do something the women have never done -- win an Olympic gold medal. Erin Virtue coached on the collegiate level for 12 years before accepting a position with the U.S. national team. By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.comEven though she played for legendary coach St. Francis coach Peg Kopec in high school, Erin Virtue didn’t think about coaching until her senior year at Illinois.The star setter w...

Heldmann, Beaty know they're doing a good job … if nobody notices them

Jon Heldmann of Bolingbrook has worked several boys state tournament games, including this 2019 semifinal between Glenbard West and New Trier. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Bill Beaty became interested in officiating after his daughter finished her playing career at Divernon High School. By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.comLike most officials, Jon Heldmann and Bill Beaty prefer to remain anonymous, hiding in plain sight as the action goes on around them.“Honestly, if we’re doing our jobs, we don’t want people to hear about us,” Heldmann sai...