Stagg, Lincoln-Way East advance; Bolingbrook gets Neuqua after upsetting Downers North

Bolingbrook junior setter Paolo Mondini had 31 assists in the No. 10-seeded Raiders' 25-20, 22-25, 25-22 win over No. 7 seed Downers Grove North Tuesday in Bolingbrook. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.comMike Kazanecki loves pressure situations.The Stagg outside hitter was at his best Tuesday against Oak Forest. Now he will get another shot against the defending state champions.Kazanecki clubbed a match-high 10 kills and added 6 digs and 3 aces as Stagg defeated Oak Forest, 25-20, 25-19, in the second semifinal...

Metea Valley, Naperville Central live to fight another day at Waubonsie Valley

(Photos by Dave Ruggles) Naperville Central, which had beaten Waubonsie Valley 25-22, 25-11 less than a week ago, probably expected more of the same in both teams’ IHSA regional opener Monday in Aurora. More of the same is not what the Redhawks got, however. “That was too tight for our liking,” said Naperville Central’s 6-foot-2 junior outside hitter Carter Stenmark. Naperville Central (23-13) squandered a 10-6 lead in Game 1 and a 12-7 lead in Game 3, but held on to defeat Waubonsie Valley for the third time this season, 23-25...

Marist seeking history, the rest is all a mystery as IHSA tournament starts with a bang Monday

There are plenty of storylines to watch when the IHSA tournament gets underway Monday at 32 regional sites throughout the state. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) The IHSA boys volleyball tournament gets under way Monday, May 20, and when the dust settles May 31 with the eight sectional survivors gathering at Hoffman Estates, some of the best teams in Illinois will have been making vacation plans for more than a week. Meanwhile, there are many questions that will be answered along the way: Will all top eight sectional seeds reach the Elite Eight? W...

Wardlow, Bolingbrook are not going to be an easy out, as Lincoln-Way West will attest

Bolingbrook, which set a school record for wins this spring, has shown it can't be taken lightly in the IHSA tournament. (Photos by Dave Ruggles). Bolingbrook’s 6-foot-5 outside hitter Rico Wardlow played “about five or six sports” growing up, but … “I wasn't really good at any of them,” he said.That’s when his parents took him to a volleyball camp at Bolingbrook High School the summer before his freshman year.“I will never forget that day,” said Bolingbrook coach Molly DeSerf. “Rico came to camp as a freshman. His dad brought him. His dad...

Hersey routs defending league champ Barrington to wear the 2019 MSL crown

Hersey avenged two earlier losses to Barrington to win the Mid-Suburban League championship Wednesday in Arlington Heights. Junior outside hitter Ben Ridgway was the lone bright spot for Barrington Wednesday at Hersey. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Hersey setter Jakub Migus said his team was overthinking too much earlier in the season, particularly on defense.Now the Huskies can think of themselves as Mid-Suburban League champions.Migus had 22 assists, 2 kills and a block, junior outside hitter Tim Nugent had 9 kills, and No. 23 Hersey (27-7 o...

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Lincoln-Way West keeps title hopes alive by pulling inside job on Lincoln-Way East

Lincoln-Way West broke a 1-1 tie in this season's series with rival Lincoln-Way East with its win Tuesday, but more importantly, the Warriors kept their Southwest Suburban Conference title hopes alive. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) Lincoln-Way West libero Tyler Vedder. By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.com Dargan dominated the middle. Running the game plan to perfection, Chris Dargan had 9 kills and 3 blocks and fellow middle hitter Shane Wegrzyn added 6 kills as host Lincoln-Way West moved a step closer to earning at least a sh...

Adversity founder Mike Hulett remembered as a coach, friend and mentor

Adversity founder Mike Hulett passed away suddenly on May 9. (photo courtesy of USA Volleyball) Michael R. Hulett, founder of Adversity Volleyball Club and the former head coach for the U.S. Men's and Women's Sitting Volleyball Teams who passed away suddenly May 9, was remembered as a friend, a mentor and an inspiration."The Adversity family and volleyball community experienced a significant loss with Mike's passing," said Adversity girls' program director Melissa Vandrey Masterson. "We lost a mentor, a coach, and more importantly, a friend...

Sandburg, Riverside-Brookfield rule invites; Barrington speeds past New Trier

Barrington setter Kyle Vasquez dumps one over the net during the the Broncos' win over New Trier Saturday at North Central College. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.comThis is the time of the season a team wants to hit its stride. Sandburg certainly is.The Eagles scored the final 3 points of the match and slipped past Downers Grove North, 18-25, 25-21, 25-23, to capture the championship of the Richards Tournament on Saturday in Oak Lawn.Junior rightside hitter David Vales, who is the son of the Eagles’ coach by ...

Bulthuis, Chicago Christian soldier onward, but Timothy earns the win at night’s end

Six-foot-6 middle hitter Zach Bulthuis (No. 79, shown here playing with Ultimate B18 Gold), is enjoying this high school season with his Chicago Christian teammates. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Chicago Christian's Zach Bulthuis will continue his playing career at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dave Ruggles). By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.comZach Bulthuis had a big smile.He had every reason to. An outside hitter on the Ultimate B18 Gold team, Bulthuis never got to officially experience playing for his high school team...