Recruiting 101: What you can do to help college coaches find you

Former Benet setter Ally Van Eekeren is one of hundreds of former Illinois high school stars now playing at the collegiate level. Some are discovered by coaches. But many handle their own recruiting. (Photo courtesy of Creighton Athletics) By Randy SharerSpecial to Illprepvb.comMajor life choices that come up for the first – and perhaps only – time can be challenging.Take, for example, volleyball players looking to continue their careers in college.By the time they learn the ins-and-outs of the recruiting process, they may wish they’d had...

Former Geneva great finds herself in the last place she expected to be – home

Lauren (Wicinski) Kosecki led Michigan State to a pair of NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances after starring at Northern Illinois University for two seasons. (Photos courtesy of Michigan State Athletic Department) Lauren (Wicinski) Kosecki. By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.comLauren Kosecki had no intention of going home.The former Geneva star was enjoying life deep in the heart of Texas, teaching and coaching in the Houston area, where she met her husband, Matthew.“At the time, I was like, ‘I’m not coming home, I don’t want to be cold...

These girls go to extreme lengths (mostly by car) to achieve their dreams

Macomb's Kennedy Adair travels more than 80 miles one way to play for Iowa Select Volleyball Club in Davenport, Iowa. Mendon Unity's Emma Hoing By Randy SharerSpecial to Illprepvb.comPeople will go far in pursuit of an athletic dream.Yet to be determined is how far it’s worth going.For decades, the world of club volleyball has seen the “worth it” distance stretch to astonishing lengths for players hoping to land a college scholarship or merely improve as much as possible.Name a club and chances are at some point in its history it’s had...

Where are Illinois' top girls' volleyball recruits headed? (updated 5/29)

Nadia Goich (17, far court), a 6-foot-1 middle blocker from Lockport and 1st Alliance Volleyball Club, has committed to the University of New Hampshire. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Illprepvb.com is creating a list of the top players in Illinois in the Classes of 2021 and 2022 who have committed to a college or university to continue their volleyball careers. All coaches and club directors have been invited to provide the names of their players who should be on the list. The attached list features the names of players that have been submitted ...

Where are Illinois' top boys volleyball recruits headed? (updated 5/25)

Elijah Fleming of Bolingbrook and Sports Performance has committed to Lourdes University in Ohio. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Illprepvb.com is creating a list of the top boys players in Illinois from the Class of 2021 and beyond who have committed to a college or university to continue their volleyball careers. If you are a coach, club director or parent and know of a player who should be on this list, please contact us at Illprepvb@gmail.com.Class of 2021Josh Albers, 6-3, S, Rockford Guilford/VC United VBC, Rockford UniversityMatt Arens, 6-5,...

Where will Wrobel land on list of Sports Performance greats? 'That's up to her'

Plainfield North's Ella Wrobel (88) and her SPVB 18 Elite teammates are working toward winning a national AAU title next month in Orlando. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Kelly Murphy. Lauren Carlini. Colleen Ward. Kelsey Robinson. Taylor Landfair. Nellie Spicer. Tracey Marshall.Ella Wrobel?Sports Performance has produced some of the best volleyball players in the country. U.S. Olympians. All-Americans. NCAA champions.Could Wrobel be the next player to join that exemplary list?“Hopefully,” said Sports Performance’s Rick Butler. “That’s not up to me...

Presenting the Illprepvb.com/Michio Chicago VBA 2021 'Team(s) of the Year'

Would Benet have won its fifth Class 4A title in 10 years had not the fall season been postponed and the spring season shortened by the pandemic? We'll never know, but after watching the Redwings defeat Mother McAuley, which was unbeaten at the time, and later Marist in the East Suburban Catholic Conference Tournament finals, you would have to like their chances. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) The IHSA wouldn’t decide. There were no statewide polls to settle matters. Nobody drew straws or flipped a coin. Ask most fans and/or media, and you are u...

Presenting the Illprepvb.com/Sports Performance VBC Girls H.S. Player of the Year

Rachel Muisenga led Benet to a 51-1 record during her two years as the Redwings' setter, capped by a 23-25, 25-11, 25-22 victory over Marist in the East Suburban Catholic Conference Tournament championship game. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Benet's Rachel Muisenga By Matt Le CrenSpecial for Illprepvb.comThere is an aura that all great athletes project during competition.They play with a self-assuredness that ensures no challenge is too large for them to overcome, and no task too small for them to complete.For those fans who get to watch...

Presenting the 2021 Illprepvb.com/Michio Chicago VBA Girls All-State Volleyball Team

Nazareth's Izzy Decker (3) drives a ball past a pair of Marist defenders in a match earlier this season between two 2019 state semifinalists. Decker, a 6-0 outside hitter, is an honorable mention all-state selection. (Photo by Dave Ruggles). Today, we are pleased to announce the 2021 Illprepvb.com/Michio Chicago VBA Girls All-State Volleyball Team.Coaches across Illinois were invited to nominate players to the all-state team. Team members were selected based upon their accomplishments on the court and in the classroom as high school stude...

The boys are back in town, but who will wear the crown … if there's a crown to wear?

Marist won it all in 2019, and if the RedHawks are to successully defend their title (providing there is a state tournament beyond the promised regionals), it will be due in large part to 6-8 senior Nyherowo Omene (center, standing behind Marty Jepsen), the one holdover from that championship team. (Photo by Dave Ruggles). (Updated 4/23)Marist won the IHSA boys’ championship in 2019, the last time a state series was conducted, the last time a boys’ volleyball season was conducted in Illinois.Who would have won it all in 2020? We can only s...