“Do 18 for 18.” Volleyball community loses a ‘fiery competitor’ and a rising star

Beth Dunlap (far left), who played for Downers Grove North and 1st Alliance Volleyball Club, died from injuries she sustained after being struck by a car outside school Tuesday morning. “Do 18 for 18 … 18 extra sets, hits, sprints, whatever.” That was the message from the father of Beth Dunlap to the players from any club or age while his daughter was fighting for her life after being struck by a car outside the school early Tuesday morning. “Beth is No. 18 for her high school volleyball team at Downers Grove North,” her father con...

Illinois boys club teams head to St. Louis this weekend with seeding, bids at stake

The last hurrah. This weekend’s 19 Dennis Lafata Boys Bid Classic at the America Center in St. Louis, Missouri, is the final tournament of the season for boys’ club teams in Illinois before they break for the spring high school season. For some teams – like Ultimate B18 Gold, UNO Boys 18 Elite, SPVB B18 Elite, Chicago Bounce 17 Red, SPVB B18 Lenny, SPVB B16 Elite and SPVB B15 Elite – it’s an opportunity to solidify their seeding at the USA Boys Junior National Championships June 30-July 7 in Dallas, Texas. For other teams -- like A...

Odds & ends: Sky High stars motivated; Staunton, Jablonski still shopping

Photos by Dave Ruggles Sky High Adidas 17 Black pulled off the ultimate Houdini act Sunday at the Windy City Power League. One day after “disappearing” in a 25-17, 17-25, 25-16 loss to Wildcats Jrs. 18 Black, in Round 2 of the Windy City Power League 17-18 Open division, Sky High "re-emerged" to beat Michio Chicago 18 National, 25-16, 25-20, Adversity G16 Adidas, 25-18, 25-18, and 1st Alliance 18 Silver, 25-17, 25-18, at Velocity Volleyball Club in Mokena. “Honestly, all of the girls on our team work incredibly hard,” said Sky High Adida...

Cyclones storm to 18/17 Club title at President’s Day; Triple Ace ties for third

Cyclones 17 Black Adidas (pictured here against Rolling Thunder 18 Blue), went 3-6 and finished 34th in the 18/17 Club division. Rolling Thunder went 4-4 and finished 11th. Photo by Dave Ruggles When Cyclones 18 Black Adidas took the court two weeks ago, the Plainfield-based club dropped two of its final three matches at the Windy City Power League, including a 25-12, 25-11 debacle against Epic United 18 Elite ROX. “We had a rough weekend,” said Cyclones 18 Black Adidas’ 5-foot-7 middle hitter Madilynn Mueller from Kaneland. “So we've ...

SPVB 18 Blue, Triple Ace 18 Black seeking President’s Day 18/17 Club division gold

Photos by Dave Ruggles By Randy Whalen Special to Illlprepvb.com It was a clean sweep for the SPVB 18 Blue team as it won all three matches Sunday at the President’s Day Tournament hosted by Sports Performance Volleyball Club at the Schaumburg Convention Center. SPVB 18 Blue advanced to Gold Pool A on Monday and is one of six teams remaining in contention for the 18/17 Club division crown. That's right where the team expected to be. “I feel like our team is super strong,” said 5-foot-10 outside/rightside hitter Kenzie Duggan from P...

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18/17 Club division takes center stage at President’s Day tournament

Photos by Dave Ruggles Balance 18’s was a little off kilter early Saturday morning in its President’s Day 18/17 Club division tournament opener at the Schaumburg Convention Center. “This is only our second tournament together,” said Balance 18’s libero Mia Roffolo from Barrington. “This is a fairly new team. There are only three returning players from last year, so I think we’re still clicking together. “We started off a little slow, but I think we made up for it pretty fast and we came back stronger,” said the University of Connecticu...

Where are the boys from the Illinois high school Class of 2019 heading?

Michael Papes (No. 99, pictured above) of UNO Boys 18 Elite and Providence Catholic is committed to William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Photos by Dave Ruggles Illprepvb.com is creating a list of the top boys players in Illinois who have committed to a college or university to continue their volleyball careers. If you are a coach, club director or parent and know of a player who should be on this list, please contact us at Illprepvb@gmail.com. Class of 2019 Ryne Anders, 5-7, L, Oswego/Club 1 B18 Skronkstrong, Loras College M...

SPVB 16 Elite wins B16-Palos Point Series, sets sights on USAV nationals

Hitmen 16 Elite defeated Serve City 16 National Sunday to finish second overall in the B16-Palos Point Series. Don’t stop now boys. SPVB 16 Elite defeated MVC 16-Jon, 22-25, 25-11, 15-9, in the championship match of Bracket AA of the B16-Palos Point Series #4 Sunday at Palos Courts in Palos Heights to wrap up the overall series title. But it’s just one step in what SPVB 16 Elite hopes will be an appearance atop the final standings at the USA Boys Junior National Championships, June 30-July 7, in Dallas, Texas. “We have milestone...

SPVB stops Ultimate run as B16-Palos Point Series #4 heads into final day

Serve City 16 National (above) finished fourth in Bracket A Saturday at the B16-Palos Courts Points Series #4. Ultimate B16 Gold knocked off No. 2 Hitmen 16 Elite and No. 3 Serve City 16 National, and No. 4 Bounce 16 Red leapfrogged Serve City by winning the third-place match, but SPVB 16 Elite remained the top dog after the penultimate day of the B16-Palos Points Series #4 Saturday in Palos Heights. Ultimate B16 Gold, seeded No. 7 in Bracket A on Saturday, defeated Hitmen 16 Elite, 25-18, 25-19, and Serve City 16 National, 25-17,...