Chicago Christian, Joliet West looking to make long tournament runs in 2019

Chicago Christian, which finished 9-2 and in third place at the UNO Summer League, hopes to return to the top of the Class 2A world in 2019. By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.comA decade ago, the Chicago Christian girls’ volleyball team was on top of the world.With seven seniors back from last season’s Class  2A sectional final squad, the Knights hope to get back there in 2019.Chicago Christian has certainly showed this summer that it’s capable of getting back to Redbird Arena. The Knights tuned up for the upcoming fall campaign by g...

Way-too-early look at some of the best girls’ volleyball players in Classes 1A-4A

There are hundreds of extremely talented girls' volleyball players in Illinois, but here is a place to start when listing some of the best of the best. More food for thought...The 2019 Illinois high school girls volleyball season doesn’t officially kick off until the first day of practice on August 12, but it’s never too early to list some of the best players in each class. Here is an early look at some of the best girls in Classes 1A-4A who you should hear -- and read -- a lot about this season. Plainfield Central's Taylor Landfair. ...

Minooka, Newark share a court at UNO, expectations for mid-November

Megan Williams and Newark, who rate as heavy favorites to repeat as IHSA Class 1A champions, are getting ready for the regular season at the UNO Summer League. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Newark's Madi Malone is expected to be at full strength when the regular season begins August 26. By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.com Two girls’ volleyball programs that have experienced a lot of recent success were on the court together Wednesday at the UNO Volleyball Center in Joliet.  Although neither Minooka nor Newark were at full stre...

LaSalle-Peru’s Haberkorn chasing history, Olson chasing elusive super berth

LaSalle-Peru has been one of the state's best Class 3A volleyball programs during Mark Haberkorn's 29 years at the helm and looks to continue that success in 2019. LaSalle-Peru's (from left) Kamryn Olson, Anna Quesse and Arika Richardson. A few years ago, someone asked LaSalle-Peru’s Mark Haberkorn when he was going to retire from coaching. Now they ask him if he’s going to stick around until he picks up win No. 1,000. “It’s funny,” he said. “You win 900, and all of a sudden the conversation switches.” Haberkorn, 68, who retired from tea...

Way-too-early look at some of the best girls high school teams in each class in 2019

Can Marist become the first team in IHSA to repeat in Class 4A? That will be one of the storylines to follow during the 2019 Illinois girls high school volleyball season. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) Food for thought...The 2019 Illinois high school girls volleyball season doesn’t kick off until August 26. But it’s never too early to speculate who some of the best teams in each class will be. A few notable schools have changed classes in 2019 thanks to the IHSA’s new classification system and the success factor, the latter affecting two school...

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USAV roundup: SPVB B15 Elite nearly pulls off hat trick, but falls in Open final

Sports Performance's 15 Elite team reached the championship match of the 15 Open division at the USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championships in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday before falling to unbeaten MB Surf Asics 15's. Sports Performance’s 15 Elite team did the improbable Saturday in the 15 Open division at the 2019 USA Volleyball Junior National Championships in Dallas, Texas. But it was asked to do the impossible. After beating two of the last unbeaten teams remaining in the tournament to advance to the finals, SPVB B15 Elite faced ...

46th AAU Junior Nationals roundup: SPVB 16 Elite, 16 C-Fed take home the big prize

SPVB 16 Elite and SPVB 16 C-Fed celebrate their national titles Friday at the 46th AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships in Orlando, Florida. You could hear “Mr. Cub,” Ernie Banks, yelling down from the heavens, “Let’s play two … and while we’re at it, let’s win ‘em both.”So Sports Performance’s top two 16s teams heeded Mr. Cub’s advice.SPVB 16 Elite defeated top-seeded A5 Mizuno 161 Gabe (Georgia) to rule the 16 Open division and SPVB 16 C-Fed claimed the 16 Premier division title over Laguna Beach 16Q (California) Friday at th...

The Future is ‘wow’ in the 16s division at the Asics Boys Summer Challenge

Future 16 Elite defeated Ultimate B16 Gold in the championship match of the Asics Boys Summer Challenge 16 division Sunday in Mokena. By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.comThe Future is now.With a healthy lineup, Future 16 Elite captured the championship of the Asics Boys Summer Challenge on Sunday at the Velocity Training Center in Mokena with a dominating 25-14, 25-22 victory over Ultimate B 16 Gold. “I’d say it was a pretty good day for us,” said Future coach Kate Wright. “We’ve got all our starters back on the court, a...

Transitioning from high school to club presents 18s with challenge at Velocity

Jack Yurkanin and Ultimate B18 Gold are using the Asics Boys Summer Challenge to get ready for nationals beginning June 30 in Dallas. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) This weekend’s Asics Boys Summer Challenge at Velocity Athletic Center in Mokena is serving as the final tune-up for several teams that have qualified for the USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championships, June 30-July 7, in Dallas, Texas. Among them is Ultimate B18 Gold, which finished second in the country as 17s last year and has its eyes on the big prize next week with a rost...