Lincoln-Way West overcomes mistakes and a (finally) healthy Providence team

(Photos by Dave Ruggles) By Randy Whalen Special to Illprepvb.com Shorthanded No. 2-ranked Lincoln-Way West remained unbeaten heading into this weekend’s big Wheaton-Warrenville South Tiger Classic, but it wasn’t easy. Minus middle hitter Chris Dargan and setter David Flores, who are on spring break trips with their families, Lincoln-Way West's depth showed through again Monday as it toppled Providence 27-25, 25-22, in a battle of schools located fewer than 2 miles apart in New Lenox. Just as he had done two days earlier in a 25-22...

Short-handed LWW tops R-B at Joliet West; MVP Howard, Loyola reign at Vernon Hills

(Photos by Dave Ruggles) By Randy Whalen Special to Illprepvb.com Without a pair of starters, the Lincoln-Way West boys volleyball team showed its depth. The No. 2 ranked Warriors rallied past a very game Riverside-Brookfield team on Saturday to capture the championship of the Joliet West Tiger Challenge. The Warriors (6-0) who return all but two players from last season’s IHSA quarterfinal team, were playing without middle hitter Chris Dargan and setter David Flores. Both were gone on spring break family trips. “These guys are ...

Barrington relies on relentless defense; Glenbard East’s Maier wins No. 500

Marci Maier lost her window seat, but she gained career win No. 500. While No. 18 Glenbard East was rallying from a 23-21 deficit in the third set to defeat Plainfield Central, 23-25, 25-17, 29-27, Friday at Barrington in pool play of the Barrington/Vernon Hills Tournament, Maier missed her check-in time for a flight out of town Saturday night. “Group B, number 52,” she said. “I’m going to end up with a middle seat.” But coupled with her team’s 25-18, 25-19 victory over Prospect later in the evening, Maier could take some solac...

Harrington, No. 1 Glenbard West break late tie to slip No. 3 Lincoln-Way East

By Randy Whalen Special to Illprepvb.com As advertised. In a matchup between two teams that have combined to win the past five IHSA championships, No. 1-ranked Glenbard West pulled away down the stretch Thursday to defeat Lincoln-Way East 22-25, 25-21, 25-22, in a scintillating match before a pack-the-place crowd in Glen Ellyn. Ben Harrington (16 kills, 6 digs, 3 blocks, ace) led the way for Glenbard West (2-0). But the junior outside hitter had plenty of help down the stretch as the Hilltoppers rallied for the final 4 points. ...

The Latest 1st Alliance Volleyball Club/Illprepvb.com Girls Club Rankings

The Windy City Power League 18/17s Division and the Great Lakes Power League Division I are in the books, and Illinois girls club teams are now focusing on the Mideast Qualifier this weekend in Indianapolis and the JVA World Challenge in Louisville on April 7-9. Meanwhile, here are the latest 1st Alliance Volleyball Club/Illprepvb.com Girls Club Volleyball Rankings as of March 18. (Previous ranking in parenthesis) 1. SPVB 18 Elite (1) SPVB 18 Elite wrapped up the Great Lakes Power League Division I championship with a 25-16, 25-22,...

Here is Illprepvb.com’s ranking of the top 25 boys volleyball teams in Illinois

Lincoln-Way East was Illprepvb.com’s No. 1 team in the preseason in 2018, and despite a couple of early-season losses, the Griffins carried home the big trophy when the dust settled at Hoffman Estates in June. Will history repeat itself? If you’re a fan of Glenbard West, which had won the previous three IHSA championships, you sure hope so. But teams like Lincoln-Way West, Barrington, Oak Park-River Forest, New Trier and the defending champions hope to have some say in the matter. Here are the top 25 teams in the preseason according t...

Jepsen, Marist turn back Sandburg in an early south side showdown

(Photo by Dave Ruggles) By Randy Whalen Special to Illprepvb.com Before the Marist boys’ volleyball team kicked off its season, there was one bit of business that took place on the court – a ring ceremony for the last fall’s Marist girls volleyball team, which captured its second consecutive state championship. Watching the girl’s team honored planted a seed for RedHawk boys’ star player, Marty Jepsen. “Oh yeah, oh my gosh, that would mean so much to me,” Jepsen said. “Not for me as an individual, but for the memories of being with...

Frazzled early, St. Francis pulls it together late to beat Wheaton North

Ceiling redirections, service errors and momentum swings. Tuesday’s nonconference matchup between St. Francis and host Wheaton North had them all. But the biggest factor may have been a seemingly innocent 5-point run by St. Francis midway through Game 2 following a Wheaton North service error that allowed the Spartans to break an 11-11 tie and put some distance between themselves and the Falcons. No. 10 St. Francis seized the momentum and scored 23 of the next 30 points on its way to a 19-25, 25-17, 25-19 win over No. 20 Wheaton N...

Loyola likes chances with healthy Howard; Plainfield North, Oswego set for SPC chase

Jack Howard returns from an injury-shortened junior campaign to lead Loyola in the Catholic League. (photo by Dave Ruggles) 2019 boys volleyball previews continue to trickle in to Illprepvb.com. Here's a look at Joliet Central, Loyola, Oswego and Plainfield North. School: Joliet Central Conference: Southwest Prairie Head coach: Kris Lundgren Last season’s highlights: 5-26 overall, 1-12 in conference, lost to Providence, 22-25, 25-15, 25-13, in a regional quarterfinal. Top returnees: 6-1 senior outside hitter Kolby Thompson, 5-7 sen...

Downers Grove North ‘leis’ the hammer down on Naperville Central

Maybe it was the Hawaiian shirts. “It was a good opener for us,” said Downers Grove North’s 6-foot-1 senior outside hitter Griffen Liszka. “Everyone played really well. I think we exceeded our team’s expectations for the first game.” But what about the Hawaiian shirts? “The whole Hawaiian thing is kind of the staple of our team,” he said. “But we usually do things for every match.” If the rest of the season goes as well for No. 17 Downers Grove North as its opener did Monday against visiting Naperville Central, the Trojans m...