Where are Illinois' top girls' volleyball recruits in the Classes of '23, '24 headed?

(Updated 9/23) Plainfield North outside hitter Lauren Jansen (11) has committed to North Dakota State University. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Illprepvb.com is creating a list of the top players in Illinois in the Classes of 2023 and 2024 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 so far.If you know of a player who h...

Where are Illinois' top boys volleyball recruits in the Class of '23 headed?

Glenbard East's Tyler Johnwick has committed to Missouri University of Science and Technology. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Illprepvb.com is creating a list of the top boys players in Illinois from the Class of 2023 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 2023 Glenbard East's Tyler Johnwick Tyler Johnwick, 6-7, MH, Glenbard East/Ultimate VB...

Penn State recruit Ava Falduto has little IC Catholic Prep thinking big

IC Catholic Prep's Ava Falduto will head to Penn State University to play libero when her high school career ends in two years. (Cover photo by Dave Ruggles) By Phil BrozynskiIllprepvb.com EditorState.Hall of Fame coach Jean Field led Immaculate Conception (now IC Catholic Prep) to Redbird Arena six times during her long and storied career, winning Class A championships in 1981 and 1984 and a Class 2A title in 2013.IC Catholic Prep has not been back since. Ava Falduto wants to change that.“Lucy (5-0 junior setter Russ) and I have been on v...

‘It’s a Miracle!’ Martensen returns two years after freak accident nearly claimed her life

Alleman head coach Morgan DeBruine, who is amazed Miracle Martensen (kneeeling, second from right) is even playing at all, now calls her one of the most versatile players on the team. Alleman's Miracle Martensen By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.comMiracle Martensen wasn’t always thrilled with her unique name.The Rock Island Alleman senior doesn’t personally know anyone else named Miracle.“It always kind of annoyed me when I was younger because my name was talked about so much,” Martensen said. “But now it’s cool that there is a meani...

Where are Illinois' top boys volleyball recruits in the Class of '22 headed?

(Updated 6/21) Glenbard West's Trevor Powell has committed to the University of Southern California. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Illprepvb.com is creating a list of the top boys players in Illinois from the Class of 2022 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 2022Julian Abulescu, 6-6, OH, Deerfield/Chicago Bounce VBC, University of California...

Where are Illinois' top girls' volleyball recruits in the Classes of '22, '23 headed?

(Updated 7/18) Six-foot-3 junior middle hitter Annie Eschenbach (17) of Benet Academy and 1st Alliance VBC has committed to Xavier University. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Illprepvb.com is creating a list of the top players in Illinois in the Classes of 2022 and 2023 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 so far.If...

It's the same old story … IHSA tournament an anti-climactic exercise in frustration

Occasionally, you get lucky and the two best teams in the state meet in the championship match. But neither top-ranked St. Francis nor No. 2 Marist even advanced to the 2021 quarterfinals after having to run a gauntlet in their respective sectionals. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) By Phil BrozynskiIllprepvb.com Editor Hey, boys volleyball fans, let’s play “Pick the Winner.”Can you pick the winner of the De La Salle sectional? Morton, Acero/Garcia, Acero/Soto, Catalyst/Maria, Cristo Rey Jesuit, De La Salle, Dunbar, Hancock, Horizon/Southwest,...

Grayson steps away (but not too far) after nearly three decades as a player, coach

Former Newark star and Horizon League freshman of the year Madi Malone said if her former coach decides to return to the sidelines, she would support her in "any way." (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Tonya Grayson won more than 500 games and 18 conference titles as head coach at Newark By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.comWhen Tonya Grayson took over the girls’ volleyball program at Newark in 2001, the Class 1A school in Kendall County was known as a basketball school.Two decades later, that is no longer the case.The Norsemen became a volleyba...

Gwen Adler proves that you don't have to specialize to be a special student-athlete

Gwen Adler (far left) and her Barrington teammates finished third this fall in the IHSA Class 4A volleyball tournament at Redbird Arena. (Photos courtesy of the Daily Herald) Gwen Adler (15, lower left corner) watches as teammate Campbell Paris puts a kill away in an IHSA Class 4A semifinal. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.comBoredom will never be a problem for Barrington sophomore Gwen Adler. Exhaustion may eventually trip her up, but not boredom.Adler is an outlier even by the energetic standards of teenager...

Isn't it about time the IHSA created a 'true' girls state volleyball tournament?

You don't always have to go to Normal to see what could be the game to determine the state champion. Class 4A powers Mother McAuley and Marist will likely meet in a sectional final November 3 at McAuley, while St. Thomas More and Norris City-Omaha-Enfield are perhaps destined for a supersectional clash November 5 at Casey (Westfield). (Photos by Dave Ruggles) (Editor’s note: Several coaches asked to remain anonymous, so Illprepvb.com decided to protect all the identities of all contributors). It’s time for the IHSA to take another look...