Lions 15-1 roster is unique; UNO 16s, Sky High 15s, New WAVE 15s planning to peak

Lions 15-1 features an unusual roster in 2020 that includes three middle hitters and three setters. https://youtu.be/xC98jBFNf6U Last summer, Lions 15-1 finished fifth in the Open division at the USA Volleyball Junior National Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana.However, last year’s Lions 15-1 team and the 2020 edition bear little resemblance to each other.“The biggest difference right away is the height,” head coach Laura Burgarin said. “Last year, I had 6-foot-3, 6-2, 6-1 across the front row. I’m working with a little smaller g...

Lenny eyes another run at USA title; Ultimate, VC United, CVC making strides

SPVB B18 Lenny features five players who return from last year's team that finished third in the 18 USA division at the USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championships in Dallas, Texas. https://youtu.be/uD9zQD2XUUY There’s something about Lenny.Whether it’s chemistry, continuity or just top-to-bottom talent, Sports Performance’s “No. 2” team is hardly what most observers would consider a “second team.”SPVB 18 Lenny has been a fixture in the top brackets in the B18-Palos Points Series at Palos Courts this season. Saturday, after losi...

Former Sandburg star tackles new role as assistant coach at Pepperdine

Matt Pollock (back row, No. 18) was named to the Chicago Sun-Times All-Area Boys Volleyball Team in 2008. (Sun-Times photo by Jean Lachat. Cover photo courtesy of JVC Civita Castellana) Matt Pollock played professionally overseas after graduating from Pepperdine. (Photo courtesy of JVC Civita Castellana) By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.comMatt Pollock is excited.But the Orland Park native and 2008 Sandburg graduate is not only excited about his new job as assistant men's volleyball coach at Pepperdine University, where he starr...

Sterling connection has Fusion 17 Red thinking big during the 2020 club season

The addition of four players from Sterling's Class 3A championship team, including Brooklyn Borum and Lexi Rodriguez, has Fusion 17 Red poised to make a run at a national championship in 2020. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) They’re getting the band back together in Batavia.Freshman Grace Egan, libero Lexi Rodriguez and twin sisters Brooklyn and Breelyn Borum teamed up to lead Sterling to its second consecutive IHSA Class 3A championship at Redbird Arena last fall.Now they’re getting together to try to go one better.The Sterling quartet, Belvider...

Adversity reaches into ranks of former Olympians to add new coach to staff

Adversity Volleyball Club has hired former Olympian and Pepperdine Hall of Famer Tom Sorensen to coach its boys and girls teams. (Photo by Dave Ruggles of Adversity 18 Adidas at last year's Winter Volleyball Championships) Tom Sorensen during his playing days at Pepperdine University. By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.comFew youth volleyball clubs can say they have a former Olympian on staff.Adversity is one of them.The Vernon Hills-based club recently hired Pepperdine Hall of Famer Tom Sorensen to coach both boys’ and girls’ teams. ...

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Ultimate B16 Gold, vying to be top dog at Palos Courts, sees unbeaten streak end

Ultimate B16 Gold finished third Saturday at the Palos-B16 Point Series #3. https://youtu.be/6uDvC1_hKmo It had to happen sometime.Ultimate B16 Gold entered Saturday’s Palos-B16 Point Series #3 on the heels of 17 consecutive wins to start the season. After extending its win streak to 18 with a 25-15, 25-20 victory over SPVB B16 Charlie, Ultimate ran afoul of MVC 16-Jake, 14-25, 25-19, 15-7.Ultimate rebounded to beat Adversity 16 Adidas, 25-19, 25-13, in its finale Saturday, and will look to start another long win streak, and avenge it...

SPVB 16 Elite is likely to face some adversity as it seeks to repeat last season's success

SPVB 16 Elite, which added five new faces to the roster that finished second in the nation as 15s last summer. Question: Which was the only team from Illinois to reach an open division championship at the 2019 USA Volleyball Junior National Championships in Dallas, Texas, last summer?It wasn’t Ultimate B18 Gold, which won the 2019 Boys Winter Volleyball Championships at McCormick Place on January 19-21 and topped the final Illprepvb.com boys club rankings. The boys from the south side finished 10th at nationals.It wasn’t Chicago Bounce 17 R...

Boys' club volleyball season takes center stage with B18-Palos Point Series #3

Chicago Bounce 18 Red defeated Ultimate B18 Gold, 25-23, 20-25, 15-11, in its opener Saturday at Palos Courts to ensure a return trip to Bracket A on Sunday. Most coaches like to break down the boys’ club volleyball seasons into three parts – the preseason, the qualifier season and nationals.The preseason continued Saturday at Palos Courts in Palos Heights with the B18-Palos Point Series #3.The B18-Palos Point Series will wrap up Sunday before breaking for the holidays with a couple of newcomers joining holdovers Future 18 Elite, UNO Boys 1...

Illprepvb.com dusts off the crystal ball with a look at the 2020 girls' season

(Photos by Dave Ruggles) Which teams will have firepower aplenty come the fall of 2020? Will Decatur St. Teresa and Breese Mater Dei meet for a second consecutive year in the IHSA Class 2A championship match? The IHSA’s arbitrary “rolling of the peas” could be the only impediment.Will Benet repeat in Class 4A one year after the Redwings prevented Marist from winning a third consecutive IHSA championship? Can Sterling join St. Francis as the only teams to three-peat in 3A? Can Norris City-Omaha-Enfield get back to Redbird Arena without Emile...