MOD's acquisition by 3STEP provides greater opportunity for growth, says Jensen

MOD Elite G16 Blue outside hitter Sofia Rossi (11) of Maine South tries to avoid the block attempt of an Ultimate Asics G15 Gold defender during the Windy City Power League 16/15 Open division seeding event Sunday at the 1st Alliance Training Center in Darien. MOD Volleyball is the first Illinois club purchased by 3STEP Sports, a company that specializes in operating youth sports clubs and events. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) By Phil BrozynskiIllprepvb.com EditorFirst step? Marriage. Second step? 3STEP.A little more than two years after the ...

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

(Updated 1/25) Naperville North's Paige Lauterwasser (14) will continue her academic and athletic career at the University of Wyoming. (Photo b 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...

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

(Updated 1/16) Lincoln-Way East's 6-3 outside hitter Tyler Walenga has committed to Lewis University. (Photo byDave 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 Marist's Marty Canavan Marty Canavan, 6-5, OH/OPP, Marist/Ultimate VBC, Ball...

Illprepvb.com presents 70 heavenly players in the freshman Class of 2026

Montini's 5-11 freshman middle hitter Francesca Lorenzo is part of a young lineup that could challenge for another Class 2A championship this fall. On the home page is St. Charles North's outside hitter Haley Burgdorf, one of the leading attackers in the Class of 2026. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) Today, we complete our look at some of the top players in Illinois by listing (alphabetically) players in the Class of 2026.The list features players who are making an impact on their high school varsity teams this fall – either in the starting r...

A refugee from the war in Ukraine, Bondar finds safety, joy in the United States

Sonia Bondar, who fled war-ravaged Ukraine with her family last February, is able to put thoughts of the horrors back home out of her mind when she plays volleyball with her teammates at Vernon Hills. (Photos by VIP Photography) Sonia Bondar By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.comVernon Hills senior Sonia Bondar and her teammates stood in a circle as they got instruction from coach Chris Curry before a recent practice.The 6-foot opposite is just like the rest of the Cougars in many respects – tall, athletic and full of energy.The one di...

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,...