Byas comes up big for Lincoln-Way East; Molnar seals Downers South's victory

Lincoln-Way East (near court) won the far south suburban sectional title for the sixth time in the past eight years Tuesday, turning back Marist (far court), 23-25, 25-22, 25-21. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.comJared Byas made sure Lincoln-Way East was the team that was moving on. The Lincoln-Way East outside hitter had a match-high 18 kills and added 8 digs and 10 service points as the Griffins punched their ticket back to the IHSA quarterfinals with a thrilling, 23-25, 25-22, 25-21, victory over Marist in ...

Showdowns are set: Glenbard West vs. Barrington, Marist vs. Lincoln-Way East

Downers Grove South's Matt Molnar and the Mustangs advanced to the sectional final at Hinsdale Central against the host Red Devils by defeating Oswego on Saturday. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) By Phil BrozynskiIllprepvb.com EditorWhen preparing his remarks for the team’s banquet last week, Barrington coach Charlie Spry asked outside hitter Jack O’Riordan about his favorite memory from the 6-foot-8 senior’s four years in the program.“He said his favorite memory was going to the state tournament as a freshman and watching the varsity play,” Spry...

Oswego's Allen gets in Downers North's way; New Trier, Lockport move on

New Trier rallied after dropping the first set to defeat Maine South, 19-25, 25-19, 25-22, for the regional title at Maine South. By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.comLindenwood recruit Ian Schuller has come through hundreds of times for Downers Grove North this season.He’s as reliable a hitter as you will find at the high school level.But even a mailman would have trouble delivering if Oswego’s Reshawn Allen was standing in the way.Allen has recorded 101 blocks this season, an astounding amount for any player, especially one his size. Th...

Kehoe is key to Oswego's comeback; Downers North rides Schuller past Neuqua

Oswego's Anthony Ramirez (6) had 4 kills in the Panthers' regional semifinal win over Naperville North in a Downers Grove North regional semifinal Wednesday. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) By Phil BrozynskiIllprepvb.com EditorSometimes it takes more than a powerful outside hitter or a strong blocking middle making play after play to turn a match around.Sometimes it takes a 5-foot-6 defensive specialist.After his team dropped an error-plagued first set to Naperville North, Oswego 5-6 junior Connor Kehoe toed the service line to begin the second.B...

Late for graduation? 'No way,' says Tomaszewski. Lockport also advances

Logan Clarida (20) and his Lincoln-Way West teammates will meet Lockport for a regional title Thursday after they defeated Plainfield North in a semifinal Tuesday. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) By Randy WhalenSpecial to Illprepvb.comDon't be late!Andrew Tomaszewski made sure the Lincoln-Way West seniors weren't to their graduation.Tomaszewski, a senior setter, served an ace on match point as the Warriors avenged a season-opening loss to Plainfield North by toppling the Tigers, 25-22, 25-23, Tuesday in the opening semifinal of the Lockport Regiona...

Staying in touch with sport he loves, lifelong friendships keep Febonio in the game

Mark Febonio (right), seen here conversing with fellow official Dave Harlan, has been officiating Illinois high school volleyball for 24 years. He says he will continue to officiate volleyball after his job takes him to California this summer. Editor's note: The IHSA tournament gets underway Monday, so we thought we'd begin by taking a look at one of the people who make the tournament possible. By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.comMark Febonio didn’t get the chance to play high school volleyball while he was growing up in Massachusett...

'Don't make Jack mad,' said Wegh. So Barrington tops Buffalo Grove for MSL title

West winner Barrington repeated as Mid-Suburban League champion Thursday, outlasting East winner Buffalo Grove in Barrington. https://youtu.be/rZEqqiYHHdI By Phil BrozynskiIllprepvb.com EditorBarrington’s junior setter Carsten Wegh only had one thing on his mind late in the third set of the Mid-Suburban League championship game Thursday.Maybe two things.“I was just trying not to mess up,” Wegh said. “I was trying to get a good ball. Jack (O’Riordan) was pretty fiery, so I was trying to not make him mad.”Trailing 22-20, West division ch...

Benet, Rogers get the last word against Glenbard East, and the word is … 'Ole!'

Glenbard East's Trevor Real (6) smashed 10 kills Wednesday against visiting Benet, but the visitors prevailed in three sets. (Photo by Dave Ruggles) By Matt Le CrenSpecial to Illprepvb.com As Benet’s resident artist, Drew Rogers was put in charge of designing T-shirts for the Redwings’ senior night.It was a way for the Maryville University-bound outside hitter to demonstrate that his creativity is not limited to the volleyball court.“I was like, ‘What’s our slogan for the year?’” Rogers said. “It’s got to be, ‘Ole.’”The Redwings began...

Maine West reaches heights not heard of since Jordan's second coming with the Bulls

Maine West honored its nine seniors before Tuesday's game against visiting Maine East. The Warriors' 22-25, 25-26, 25-17 victory was the team's 24th of the season, tying the school record set in 1995. https://youtu.be/OVrNPGczPFc By Phil BrozynskiIllprepvb.com Editor1995. A year to remember.Windows 95 was released. The space shuttle “Atlantis” docked with the Russian Mir Space Station. The Dow Jones hit 5,117. Gas was $1.09 a gallon. And Michael Jordan hung up his baseball cleats and returned to the Chicago Bulls, eventually leading t...

Plainfield East beats the Saturday blues, tunes out Hinsdale South at Richards

Plainfield East's Tyler Volling (21) was named the MVP at the Richards tournament. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) By Phil BrozynskiIllprepvb.com EditorSaturdays have not been kind to Plainfield East.“We dominate that narrative,” said Plainfield East’s 6-2 junior setter/rightside Nathan Grutza.Heading into the quarterfinals Saturday at Richards, Plainfield East was 20-1 on weekdays but a pedestrian 5-4 on Saturdays.The Bengals went 1-2 on Saturday at Marist (losing to Marist and Downers Grove South to finish fourth), 2-1 at Smack Attack (losing to...