Where are Illinois' top girls' volleyball recruits headed? (updated 10/19)

Amanda Rice from Lemont and Adversity Volleyball Club has committed to North Carolina State. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Illprepvb.com is creating a list of the top players in Illinois in the Classes of 2021 and 2022 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 has committed to a coll...

Where are Illinois' top boys volleyball recruits headed? (updated 10/13)

St. Francis' K.J. Glab has committed to Purdue University-Fort Wayne. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Illprepvb.com is creating a list of the top boys players in Illinois from the Class of 2021 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 2021Matt Arens, 6-5, OH, Lockport/Ultimate VBC, Lindenwood University Aiden Benson, 6-6, MH, St. Francis/Sports Performanc...

Illprepvb.com presents the Illinois High School Volleyball Coaches Hall of Fame

St. Francis' Peg Kopec won 12 state titles during her 42-year career, including titles in four classes -- A, AA, 3A and 4A. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Tribune) Two years ago, Illprepvb.com was approached to collaborate on the creation of an Illinois High School Volleyball Coaches Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, nothing ever came of that phone call. But we feel now, as we did then, that the creation of a coaches’ Hall of Fame was long overdue. So here it is – the initial class of the Illprepvb.com Illinois High School Volleyball Coach...

Chicago Elite Volleyball Club continues to thrive despite pandemic, uncertainty

Chicago Christian and Chicago Elite Volleyball Club graduate Lia Moore (far right) is now playing at Michigan State. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.comWith most youth sports on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, volleyball club coaches naturally wondered if their enrollment would go down this fall.That has not been the case at Chicago Elite.“We thought we’d be a little bit hurt in numbers just because what’s the point of playing club if there’s not going to be any tournaments,” said Chicago Elite boys di...

Providence provides pioneering former Brother Rice coach with new start

Paul Ickes' 2007 Brother Rice team, led by Sun-Times Player of the Year Josh Scaletta (back row, fifth from left), was 39-0 heading into the IHSA quarterfinals before being upset by New Trier, a team it has defeated earlier that season. By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.comPaul Ickes is going back to his roots, and the former Brother Rice volleyball coach could not be happier.Ickes, 56, who won 552 matches and took five teams to the IHSA state finals, is now at Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox. He is a theology teacher and wi...

Seattle-bound St. Francis standout Sipes sets sights on successful senior season

Katlyn Sipes and her St. Francis teammates reached a Class 3A supersectional in 2019 before falling to eventual third=-place finisher Nazareth. (Photo courtesy of Daily Herald). Olivia Sipes is making quite a name for herself following in her older sister's footsteps. Katlyn Sipes cannot explain it.Unlike her sister Olivia, age 10, who followed Katlyn into volleyball after watching her older sister compete at the local and national level, youngest sister Beatrice, age 8, rejected volleyball for a sport dominated by men.“She plays ice hoc...

Back-to-back seasons present challenge for several high school coaches

Marist coach Jordan Vidovic, who won girls' and boys' state titles during the 2018-19 academic year, is hoping for some degree of normalcy in 2021. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Lockport boys' and girls' volleyball coach Nick Mraz. By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.comThis high school sports year will be like no other, especially in volleyball.Because of the coronavirus, the girl's season was moved to the IHSA’s reconfigured “spring” season and the boys will play during the “summer.” This will create a non-stop bevy of high school volle...

Mother, coach, business owner, confidant – Isaacson's life is busy, but balanced

Naperville Central won a Class 4A regional title in 2019 behind Southeast Missouri recruit Kayla Closset, who said that coach Brie Isaacson always had faith in her even when she didn't. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Naperville Central girls' volleyball coach Brie Isaacson By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.comBrie Isaacson’s life is both full and fulfilling.The Naperville Central girls’ volleyball coach has guided the Redhawks to two state championships and has owned her own club, Club 1 in Plainfield, for the past 12 years.She’s done it whi...

High school volleyball coaches preparing for a season of uncertainty

Wheaton Warrenville South coach Bill Schreier does not expect to watch his teams participate in an IHSA-sponsored state tournament in 2021. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Marist boys' and girls' coach Jordan Vidovic. By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.comNo one has won more IHSA boys volleyball championships than Wheaton Warrenville South coach Bill Schreier. He has also led the Tigers to a pair of top four finishes in girls’ volleyball.But Schreier is not optimistic he will be adding any hardware to the trophy case in 2021. “I would have...

Rodriguez leaving Sterling early to join highly-touted recruiting class at Nebraska

Sterling libero Lexi Rodriguez announced that she will graduate early and start her college career at Nebraska in January, bypassing her senior season for the two-time defending IHSA Class 3A champions. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Sterling's Lexi Rodriguez The next time Sterling’s Lexi Rodriguez digs a ball in anger will not happen in the Land of Lincoln.It will happen in Lincoln, Nebraska.Rodriguez, ranked No. 10 in the 2021 recruiting class according to Prepvolleyball.com, announced last week that she will graduate from high school early ...