1st Alliance Volleyball Club/Illprepvb.com 2018 Final Girls Rankings

                                                                                                                 (Photo by Dave Ruggles)Sixteen teams that were ranked in the preseason made the 1st Alliance Volleyball Club/Illprepvb.com final rankings for 2018. Seven teams ranked in the preseason were among the other teams worth mentioning. The final rankings are partly based on each team’s finish in the IHSA tournament, and partly based on a team’s body of work during the entire season.1st Alliance Volleyball Club/Illprepvb.com 2018 Fin...

Marist, Belleville Althoff seek to defend state titles this weekend at Redbird Arena

Belleville Althoff reached the state finals with a 25-18, 23-25, 25-16 supersectional victory over Mt. Zion. Durand coach Molly Kelsey was reminded last Friday what many fans of Illinois volleyball already knew – the most deserving teams don’t always get to Redbird Arena.Durand, which finished third in Class 1A in 2017 and returned every starter save one from that team, saw its 37-3 season end in a 25-23, 24-26, 25-20 supersectional loss to Newark last Friday at Westminster Christian. “I, like many others, believe that this was a state serie...

Sterling ‘golden’ against Joliet Catholic; Belleville Althoff passes Latin test

Defending state champion Belleville Althoff will face Sterling for the Class 3A state championship Saturday in Normal. By Randy Whalen Special to Illprepvb.com NORMAL – Sterling entered the season believing this was its year. Now the Golden Warriors are one win away. The trio of Borum sisters – Josilyn, Breelyn and Brooklyn -- banged 32 kills, and the Gould sisters – Gretchen and Grace – chipped in with 5 kills of their own as Sterling rallied down the stretch of the first set and went onto a 27-25, 25-20 victory over Joliet Ca...

Marist’s practice makes almost perfect; Downers North’s remarkable run continues

  Marist will defend its state championship Saturday after beating conference rival Benet 25-18, 25-15 in a Class 4A semifinal Friday. NORMAL -- This was not the same Marist team that lost to Benet 22-25, 25-22, 25-19 in an East Suburban Catholic Conference match in Lisle on October 16. “We’ve been practicing really hard these past three weeks,” said Marist coach Jordan Vidovic. “The girls were really motivated to improve and clean some things up. Tonight showed the kind of work we put in.” Marist (38-3) overcame an early 8-5...

Pleasant Plains stuns St. Thomas More; Galena romps in Class 2A semifinals

Pleasant Plains defeated defending Class 2A state champion St. Thomas More Friday in a semifinal at Redbird Arena. NORMAL – Down 24-23 in Game 3 of its semifinal against defending Class 2 State champion St. Thomas More Friday at Redbird Arena, Pleasant Plains found a way. A tip kill by 5-foot-8 junior middle hitter Anna Kanilakan, a service ace from 5-7 junior libero MacKenzie Houser and a kill to an open corner by 5-10 senior Allie Edwards gave Pleasant Plains a thrilling 25-22, 15-25, 26-24 victory over St. Thomas More and sent the ...

Hartsburg-Emden bounces St. Teresa; Newark routs Grayville in Class 1A semis

Hartsburg-Emden meets the media after defeating Decatur St. Teresa Friday at Redbird Arena. NORMAL -- Moments like these don’t come often for schools like Hartsburg-Emden, which has an enrollment of 75 students. Of course, it helps when one of those students is 6-foot senior outside hitter and University of Memphis recruit Anna Hayes. Hayes had 17 kills while hitting just a shade under .300 as Hartsburg-Emden (36-4) defeated Decatur St. Teresa 25-17, 25-14 to advance to the IHSA Class 1A state championship match Saturday at 10:30 a...

Joliet Catholic defense erases third-set deficit, denies Normal U-High

Joliet Catholic is one step closer to its first trip to Redbird Arena since 2015 following Wednesday's sectional championship victory over Normal U-High. By Randy Sharer Special to Illprepvb.com COAL CITY - When it really needed to, Joliet Catholic repeatedly sent the ball back against Normal University High in the Coal City Class 3A Sectional championship match Wednesday. The resulting 25-23, 21-25, 25-20 victory for the Angels lifted their record to 26-13 while the Pioneers fell to 29-8. The outcome denied 2017 state third-place...

Decatur St. Teresa thwarts Windsor-Stewardson-Strasburg’s bid to get back to Redbird

Windsor-Stewardson-Strasburg, which finished second in Class 1A last year, lost Wednesday in the sectional finals at Effingham St. Anthony. By Zach Rainey Special to Illprepvb.com EFFINGHAM -- After spending the past 10 years in Class 2A and not winning a regional for the last three, Decatur St. Teresa is finding Class 1A to its liking. St. Teresa (27-10) defeated 2017 Class 1A runner-up Windsor-Stewardson-Strasburg 25-13, 25-27, 25-14 Wednesday to win the Effingham St. Anthony Class 1A Sectional. “It's kind of been our M.O. al...

Doah’s block sends Marist past Marian Catholic … again

Defending state champion Marist defeated Marian Catholic for the third time this season Wednesday. By Randy Whalen Special to Illprepvb.com “The best feeling in the world.” It was for No. 1-ranked Marist and rightside hitter Katie Doah. The senior came off the bench to be in the front row at a crucial time and played her position to a tee in putting down the match-winning block. That put the finishing touch on Marist's 25-12, 25-23 victory over Marian Catholic in the championship of the Eisenhower Class 4A Sectional on Wednesda...

Marist, Marian Catholic to meet for the third time after winning at Eisenhower

Marist and Marian Catholic will meet for the third time this season in the finals of the Eisenhower Class 4A Sectional. By Randy Whalen Special to Illprepvb.com Marian Catholic girls’ volleyball coach Ryan Summers put it best. "We out-Temi-ed them," he said. Temitayo “Temi” Thomas-Ailara was amazing with 25 kills as the Spartans rallied for a 22-25, 25-16, 25-19 victory over Sandburg in the second semifinal of the Eisenhower Class 4A Sectional Monday in Blue Island. The victory set up a third meeting this season with Marist,...