Epic United Volleyball is a ‘hidden’ gem nestled along the Illinois/Indiana border

Epic United draws girls from throughout southeast Cook County in Illinois and northwest Lake County in Indiana. Tucked away in the southeast corner of Cook County and the northwest part of Lake County Indiana is a little gem of a volleyball club – Epic United Volleyball. “We like to call ourselves the ‘hidden’ club,” said co-owner, coach and club director Ryan Summers.Epic United Volleyball is a combination of the old Altitude Volleyball and Diamond Elite Volleyball Academy. The 2013 merger was an effort to provide area players and parents...

Illini Elite gets ready for 2019 campaign with new facility, loads of young talent

Illini Elite recently moved into its new 34,000-square-foot facility in downstate Bloomington. When lllini Elite Volleyball Club in downstate Bloomington opened its doors in 1998, 13 girls showed up for tryouts. Today, the club’s programs have grown to include more than 60 teams with more than 650 players and coaches. It is now one of the largest volleyball clubs in Illinois by membership and is widely regarded as the premier volleyball club in central Illinois. Reflecting that success and to accommodate its growth, last month the club...

Marist ends Downers Grove North’s magical run, repeats as Class 4A champion

Marist's 6-2 junior Camryn Hannah had 7 kills as Marist won back-to-back Class 4A state titles Saturday. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) NORMAL – Almost as much as it wanted a second consecutive Class 4A state championship for its volleyball team, the Marist fans wanted 5-foot-5 junior Tess Brennan. The diminutive defensive specialist didn’t disappoint. Inserted into the match to serve with Marist leading 22-11 in the second set, Brennan served out the match following consecutive hitting errors by Downers Grove North and a kill by 5-10 junior...

VC United begins its second year with great expectations, opportunities

VC United, led by former Club Fusion coach Eric Schulze (far right), is providing an opportunity for Rockford-area volleyball players to get to the next level. VC United executive director/owner Eric Schulze isn’t looking to build VC United in to a “mega-club,” just an “elite” one. “We want be among the nation’s elite clubs,” said Schulze, a fixture in the Illinois club and high school scene for two decades. “I believe that were capable of doing it out here with the athletes who are in Rockford and to the south and the west of us. ...

Sports Performance 18 Elite preparing for run at another national title

Six-foot-6 Taylor Landfair (back row, middle) and SPVB 18 Elite are seeking the club's sixth AAU championship in seven years in the 18 Open division. Dynasties.Michael Jordan’s Bulls. Magic Johnson’s L.A. Lakers. The 1957-66 Boston Celtics. Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers. The New York Yankees (pick your favorite decade). The UCLA Bruins under John Wooden. The NHL’s Montreal Canadiens (1953-1979).  Somewhere in there, you can add Sports Performance’s 18 Elite volleyball team.The Aurora-based club’s 18 Elite team won eight USAV 18 O...

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Peering into the crystal ball at some teams to watch in 2019

Marist lost only once to an Illinois team and three times all season while repeating as state champion. Which are the teams to be seen in 2019?Can Marist three-peat? Or will Benet, Belleville Althoff or a more seasoned Edwardsville team derail the RedHawks in their bid to make history?Can Class 3A champion Sterling weather the loss of Josilyn Borum and Gretchen Gould and defend its state title, or will Joliet Catholic or Nazareth supplant the Warriors?Will St. Thomas More be factored up to 3A, or will 6-foot-1 Allie Trame and the Sabers ge...

Illprepvb.com announces Player, Team, Coach of the Year and All-State First Team

Althoff's Karinna Gall led the Crusaders to a second-place finish in the IHSA Class 3A tournament. (photo by Dave Ruggles) Today, we continue to announce the Illprepvb.com 2018 Girls All-State Volleyball Team with our Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Team of the Year and those players named to the First Team. Coaches across Illinois were invited to nominate players to the Illprepvb.com all-state team. Team members were selected based upon their accomplishments on the court as high school players, not on any future potential or curren...

Marist’s Hannah, Althoff’s Wemhoener head Illprepvb.com All-State Second Team

Camryn Hannah led Marist to a second consecutive IHSA Class 4A championship. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) Today, we continue to announce the Illprepvb.com 2018 Girls All-State Volleyball Team with those players named to the Second Team. Coaches across Illinois were invited to nominate players to the Illprepvb.com all-state team. Team members were selected based upon their accomplishments on the court as high school players, not on any future potential or current recruitment status. Players represent all four IHSA classes and hail from every cor...

Illprepvb.com announces the 2018 Girls All-State Honorable Mention Volleyball Team

Naperville North's Sarah Kushner (second from left) is among the players named all-state honorable mention. Today, we continue to announce the Illprepvb.com 2018 Girls All-State Volleyball Team with those players named to the Honorable Mention team. Coaches across Illinois were invited to nominate players to the Illprepvb.com all-state team. Team members were selected based upon their accomplishments on the court as high school players, not on any future potential or current recruitment status. Players represent all four IHSA classes and h...