No. 2 U-High derails Normal West’s three-peat bid at Intercity Tournament

Normal West's Ellie Rink (9) notched 9 kills against Normal University High, but it wasn't enough as Jozey Bossingham (20) and Isabella McKinney (right) helped the Pioneers win, 25-20, 27-25, en route to the Intercity Tournament title at Normal West on Monday. (Photo by Randy Sharer)  By Randy SharerSpecial to Illprepvb.comNORMAL – Normal University High produced points from sources both expected and unexpected on Monday to down Normal West en route to winning the 44th annual Bloomington-Normal Intercity Tournament at Normal West.“It’s...

Presenting the latest Michio Chicago VBA/Illprepvb.com Girls H.S. Rankings

Sophomore Laney Snow (18) and Normal University HIgh were scheduled to visit Normal West on Monday as part of the Bloomington/Normal Intercity Tournament. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) By Phil BrozynskiIllprepvb.com EditorLeave it to the IHSA.What’s their latest outrage?How about assigning defending Class 2A champion Genoa-Kingston, last year’s runner-up IC Catholic Prep and No. 3-ranked Timothy Christian to the same sectional? We suspect that’s one way to placate certain members of their constituency.Not that those teams will get any sym...

Sports Performance VBC/Illprepvb.com present fifty-four fabulous freshmen

Crystal Lake South's freshman outside hitter Bobbi Wire (16) goes up for a kill against a pair of Huntley defenders. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) y Phil BrozynskiIllprepvb.com EditorIt’s hard to imagine any freshman class having the impact on their varsity teams the way the Class of 2026 had one year ago.That class of freshmen included St. Charles North’s Haley Burgdorf, Benet Academy’s Lynney Tarnow, Marist’s Elayna Davidson, Lincoln-Way East’s Maggie Simon, Geneseo’s Lizzie Rapps, St. Thomas More’s Cassidy Monahan, Normal U-High’s...

Hersey’s van den Herik plans a comeback; Burgdorf embraces underdog role

Hersey captured the title of its siix-team round robin turnament Saturday while awaiting word on the future of 6-1 outside hitter Claie Van den herik (8). By Phil BrozynskiIllprepvb.com EditorNever bet against Hersey’s Claire van den Herik.Van den Herik, a 6-1 outside hitter, was poised to make a triumphant return to the court this fall after an ACL tear to her left knee during a summer league game prior to last season robbed her of her junior year.“I went up (for a kill), then all of a sudden when I came down, I heard a pop,” van den Her...

Bullington, Marist take down McAuley; Benet pulls inside job on Glenbard West

The MVP of the Crimson Classic hosted by Plainfield North earlier this year, Marist's Bella Bullington lit up Mother McAuley to the tune of 25 kills Thursday in the RedHawks' 25-20, 24-26, 25-16 victory. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.comBella Bullington brought it. Did she ever.The 6-1 junior outside hitter put down a staggering 25 kills as Marist defeated Mother McAuley, 25-20, 24-26, 25-16, in the always intense neighborhood match before a raucous crowd Thursday on 99th and Pulaski.It was the f...

Here are the latest Michio Chicago VBA/Illprepvb.com Girls H.S. Rankings

Junior libero Mari Rodriguez and the undefeated Huntley Red Raiders host Barrington on Wednesday in a remacth of last year's supersectional meeting at Dundee-Crown. (Photo by Dave Ruggles). By Phil BrozynskiIllprepvb.com Editor“Well, at least we haven’t been sent to the ‘sectional of death.’”That’s how one suburban Chicago coach reacted to the release of the regional, sectional and supersectional sites by the IHSA last Friday. Similar sentiments are likely being felt by coaches throughout Illinois regardless of their team’s class, ...

Shorthanded by illness, Oak Lawn still leaves Evergreen Park feeling blue

Evergreen Park, which features six sophomores, lost to Oak Lawn for the second time in three days Tuesday, this time in a South Suburban Conference clash. By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.comA makeshift lineup proved to be no problem for Oak Lawn.With two starters out due to illness, the Spartans had players step up -- including sophomore Maryam Hussein in a new position -- as they cruised to a 25-11, 25-11 victory over Evergreen Park in a South Suburban Conference matchup Tuesday in Oak Lawn.Hussein, who is usually a rightside hitt...

Sophomores Stiernagle, Tarnow lead Benet past Marist for Wheaton Classic title

Benet Academy won its 10th Wheaton Classic championship Saturday, defeating Marist, 25-20, 25-18. By Phil BrozynskiIllprepvb.com EditorThere is some symmetry with Benet Academy winning its 10th Wheaton Classic championship while being led by a pair of 10th graders.While neither 6-1 sophomore setter Ellie Stiernagle nor 6-5 sophomore middle hitter Lynney Tarnow reaped all-tournament honors, both were instrumental in Benet Academy’s 25-20, 25-18 victory over previously unbeaten Marist in the Wheaton Classic championship match Saturday.T...

Timothy Christian’s Vander Wal has another championship on her bucket list

Hope Huizenga (6) had 5 kills as Timothy Christian defeated Chicago Christian Tuesday in Palos Heights. (File photo by Dave Ruggles) By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.comAbby Vander Wal would make any team better.The 6-foot-3-inch junior outside hitter was named the tournament MVP in helping to lead the USA Girls U19 National Team to the World Championship last month in Osijek, Croatia. As an encore, she joined the USA Girls U21 National Team at the end of August and helped the team to a sixth-place finish in the world at the finals i...

Free-swinging Heyworth rattles Eureka in Heart of Illinois Conference stunner

Setter Allison deFreese (3) gave Eureka 27 assists and 11 digs at Heyworth on Tuesday during a 25-19, 23-25, 25-12 Heart of Illinois Conference loss. (Photo by Randy Sharer)  By Randy SharerSpecial to Illprepvb.comHEYWORTH – It’s hard to say whether Heyworth’s free-swinging style caused Eureka to turn tentative or it was Eureka’s tentativeness that emboldened its host on Tuesday.Whatever the case – perhaps some of both – Heyworth knocked off Eureka, 25-19, 23-25, 25-12, behind senior Ava Riddle’s 28 assists, 14 digs and 2 aces.“I saw th...