Benet leaves little doubt as to who’s No. 1, beats WW South for Class 4A crown

Sophie Gregus (21) led Benet with 8 kills during Saturday's IHSA Class 4A championship match at Redbird Arena. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Benet juniors Kyla Kenney (left) and Caroline Doyle collide while going for a dig during Saturday's championship match. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) NORMAL – Benet saved the last point for Colleen McGuire.And the 5-foot-10 senior outside hitter delivered.“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” McGuire said. “This is my last point, and being able to go out on that is something I never could have even asked for. It’s ...

Sterling repeats as Class 3A champion; Nazareth downs U-High for third place

Joliet Catholic's Bella Ray (14) tries to hit through the block of Sterling's Brooklyn Borum (10) and Kierra Collins (15). Photo by Dave Ruggles) By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.com NORMAL – Sterling believed all season. Now the Golden Warriors are back-to-back IHSA Class 3A champions. Brooklyn Borum bashed 16 kills, and what Grace Egan imagined came through as the freshman outside hitter added 11 kills and 5 digs, as Sterling stopped Joliet Catholic with a 25-16, 25-19 victory Saturday in the Class 3A championship match at R...

IHSA finals preview: who will raise a championship trophy this weekend?

Camryn Hannah (6) and her Marist teammates will go for their third consecutive Class 4A championship this weekend at Redbird Arena. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Wheaton Warrenville South’s Bill Schreier has won more state titles than any other Illinois volleyball coach … on the boys’ side.But the veteran coach has not taken a girls’ team to the IHSA semifinals since 2002, when the Tigers finished fourth. That changed last Friday when Wheaton Warrenville South (32-8) overcame deficits of 8-2 in Game 1 and 18-10 and 21-13 in Game 2 to defeat Huntl...

St. Teresa eases past Mater Dei for 2A crown; Newark goes back-to-back in 1A

Sophomore Tori Mohesky had 8 kills for Breese Mater Dei in its Class 2A championship loss to Decaur St. Teresa. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) NORMAL – Decatur St. Teresa and Breese Mater Dei were no strangers before taking the floor at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University for the Class 2A championship game, having met at the Quincy Notre Dame tournament on October 22."It was helpful that we played them a couple of weeks ago,” said Decatur St. Teresa setter Lexie Huck. “We knew what they were going to bring, and we knew w...

Benet stops two-time defending champ Marist; WW South reaches 4A final

Benet's Sophie Gregus hits over the block of Marist's Ellie Kurpeikis and freshman Kamryn Chaney (Photo by Dave Ruggles). NORMAL – The Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." Benet coach Brad Baker had his own spin on preparation Friday in the catacombs of Redbird Arena. “It’s one thing to know what to do, it’s another thing to do it,” he said. Benet did it. Behind a smothering Game 1 defense and an 11-4 run in Game 2 that wiped out a 17-11 deficit, Benet defeated two-time defending Cl...

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Sterling makes itself at home against Nazareth; Joliet Catholic downs U-High

Sterling's Brooklyn Borum smashes one of her 12 kills past the block of Nazareth's Izzy Decker (3) and Danielle Wojtycki (8). (Photos by Dave Ruggles) By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.com NORMAL – The Borum twins felt right at home Friday at Redbird Arena.That showed as they led Sterling back to the IHSA Class 3A championship match.The Borums combined to bang home 19 kills as the defending state champion Golden Warriors defeated Nazareth, 25-18, 25-19, in the first 3A semifinal at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University...

Mater Dei win is a rocky horror; St. Teresa, Newark, Illini Bluffs gain title games

Rockford Lutheran's Lauren Spangler hits against the block of St. Teresa's Addison Newbon (35) and Valerie Nutakor (25). (Photo by Dave Ruggles) NORMAL – Breese Mater Dei coach Chad Rakers didn’t have time to think about what went right. “I’m still thinking about all the things we have to fix (before tomorrow),” he said. The first thing, he said, is nerves. “This can be a big, scary place at times,” he said. It was almost a chamber of horrors for his Knights. Breese Mater Dei watched St. Joseph-Ogden erase an 18-11 deficit in Game 2, the...

Decker, Hurta punch Nazareth’s first-ever ticket to IHSA semifinals

Izzy Decker (3) had 14 kills to help lead Nazareth over St. Francis in a Class 3A supersectional Friday in Wheaton. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.com Nazareth is going to state. It’s going to take a little while for that to sink in. The Roadrunners advanced to the IHSA semifinals for the first time in school history by knocking off St. Francis, 25-19, 25-21, Friday to win the Class 3A supersectional in Wheaton. Nazareth (27-7) will play Sterling at 4:00 p.m. next Friday at Redbird Arena in Normal. “It feels unr...

Wheaton Warrenville South follows the script, mounts big rallies to defeat Huntley

Wheaton Warrenville South setter Sarah Burau clutches the supersectional plaque after the Tigers rallied to defeat Huntley Friday at Streamwood. Wheaton Warrenville South has practically elevated that whole rising from the grave thing to an art form.  “It’s crazy,” said Wheaton Warrenville South setter Sarah Burau. “One of the things were really good at is getting down in the beginning, which we should not be good at. So we’ve learned to come back, which again, we shouldn't have to be good at.” But if practice, even at something bad, ...