Young SPVB 18 Elite's unbeaten run ends at Presidents' Day Challenge

SPVB 18 Elite saw its 15-match winning streak to open the 2020 season come to an end against Alabama Performance 18 Red in the 18/17 Power division championship match of the Presidents' Day Challenge Monday at the Schaumburg Convention Center. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Something about the “SPVB” lettering on the front of the jersey brings out the best in the opposition.Alabama Performance 18 Red’s best Monday was pretty darn good.Led by its trio of Division I recruits – 6-foot-3 outside hitter Merritt Beason (Florida), 6-3 middle hitter Gabr...

Kahl's original five plan to go out the same way they came in – together, and winning

SPVB 18 Kahl's Katie Kaburov (26) rips a kill between two Rolling Thunder 18 Blue defenders Sunday during the Presidents' Day Challenge at the Schaumburg Convention Center. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Greek philosopher Heraclitus coined the phrase “change is the only constant in life.”Although Heraclitus lived more than 2,500 years ago, he could have just as easily been talking about Sports Performance’s No. 2 18s team.After a successful run as 13s, Kayla Closset (Naperville Central), Gretchen Ketelhut (Plainfield North), Maddie Bourque (York...

Digtown 16 Red taking small steps at its first big tournament of the season

Digtown 16 Red is among the nearly 150 teams competing in the Presidents' Day Challenge hosted by Sports Performance at the Schaumburg Convention Center this weekend. https://youtu.be/YBY46NlzK3Y Volleyball is the No. 1 participation sport in the United States for high school-aged girls, and it continues to enjoy explosive growth, especially on the club level.Case in point? Digtown Volleyball Club in Yorkville.Three-year-old Digtown is the brainchild of Bob Coselman, whose daughter, Sydney, teamed with Sammi LaBolle to lead Sandwich ...

Sky High Adidas 18 Black coming to the end of a very long but successful journey

The nucleus of Sky High Adidas 18 Black has been together since they were 12-year-olds. They are trying to make their final season together one to remember. https://youtu.be/5mT8j2vTEaM “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh.Sky High Adidas 18 Black’s Camryn Hausler and Taylor Jakubowski have been teammates at the Crystal Lake Club for the better part of nine years. Maddie Blake, Josie Schmitendorf, Hausler and Jakubowski have been together for almost eight.But come May 4 – the day afte...

In time, Sandt hopes to deliver 1st Alliance 18 Silver a solid-gold finish

1st Alliance 18 Silver setter Elizabeth Sandt (37), one of only four team members who have experience playing with each other, likes the direction the team is going. https://youtu.be/SFjT9Wnvbjo Elizabeth Sandt saw only a few familiar faces when 1st Alliance 18 Silver got together for its first practice two months ago.“The team is pretty new this year,” said Sandt, a product of Nazareth Academy who guided the Roadrunners to a third-place finish in IHSA Class 3A last fall following the first-ever semifinal appearance in school history.“...

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Talented Adversity G18 Adidas studying diligently to pass chemistry test

Adversity G18 Adidas is loaded with talent, but putting it all together could take some time, said coach Melissa Masterson. https://youtu.be/CAIXJmHGmm4 Every time Adversity G18 Adidas takes the court this season, it will have the proverbial target on its back.“I think we have a lot of talent,” said Adversity’s 6-foot junior setter Rachel Muisenga from Benet, who is committed to perennial Big 10 volleyball powerhouse Penn State. “But it's going to be what we do with that talent that will determine how we come out.“Each match, we have...

Michio Chicago 18 National getting it done with defense and a 'no fear' attitude

Michio Chicago 18 National is unbeaten at 9-0 after two weekends of seeding in the Windy City Power League. https://youtu.be/M50k_E2ZVDc This is not last year’s Michio Chicago 18 National team.Gone from the team that went 5-3 and finished in 25th place at the USAV Girls 18s Junior National Championship in Dallas last April are such big bangers as Marian Catholic’s Temitayo Thomas-Ailara (Northwestern), Sandburg’s Erica Staunton (Northeastern) and Latin middle blocker Kelsey Watkins (Furman).But different is not always a bad thing.Afte...

EVC 15 National setting the tone for a 'little' club with 'big' aspirations

EVC 15 National is off to a 19-2 start this season, including a 5-2 record in the 15 Club division of the Windy City Power League. Brian Eich and his EVC 16 National team, which finished fifth in the 15 Aspire division last summer at the 46th AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships in Orlando, Florida. By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.com Brian Eich never got the chance to play high school volleyball because his school didn’t offer it until two years after he graduated.He and his friends played beach volleyball every weeken...

New faces, same expectations present challenge for SPVB 18 Elite

Sports Performance's top 18s team features (front row, from left) Gabriella Croll, Lilly Smith, Sarah Konovodoff and Lauren Hughes, and (back row, from left) head coach Seth Salmon, Audrey Rome, Adekola Barakat, Ella Wrobel, Zayna Meyer and Ellie Watson. Seth Salmon does not need a history lesson.“Gold, gold, gold, gold, silver, gold, bronze,” he said. “That’s a lot of recent history with them winning. It’s up to me to make sure it happens again.”Sports Performance’s 18 Elite team has been a regular atop the medal stand at the AAU Junior ...