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

Decatur St. Teresa junior Lexie Huck (28) led the Bulldogs to a third-place finish in IHSA Class 1A. (photo by Dave Ruggles) Today, we begin announcing the Illprepvb.com 2018 Girls All-State Volleyball Team with those players named to the Special 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 cl...

Revisiting past girls’ volleyball “Players of the Year”

West Aurora's Lauren Carlini (back row, far right) was a Player of the Year in 2012. Did you know that girls were not permitted to participate in interscholastic volleyball contests until 1973? Then during the 1974-75 school year, the IHSA sponsored its first volleyball tournament at Lantz Gymnasium on the campus of Eastern Illinois University. New Trier East won that affair, defeating Rich East 15-10, 6-15, 15-3. Eight years later, the Chicago Sun-Tines named its first “Player of the Year” when it recognized Mother McAuley’s Eva Murra...

Mission accomplished: Sterling beats Belleville Althoff to win Class 3A crown

Sterling defeated Belleville Althoff to win the Class 3A championship in its first appearance in the state finals. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) By Randy Whalen Special to Illprepvb.com Early in the season, Sterling sophomore Bree Borum was asked what the team's goal was this season. “To win state,” Borum said. Mission accomplished. The Golden Warriors held off a charge from defending Class 3A champion Belleville Althoff and emerged with a 25-21, 25-22 victory to capture the Class 3A state championship Saturday at Redbird Arena. “...

Pleasant Plains rains mainly on Galena’s parade in Class 2A title match

Pleasant Plains' Anna Kanilakan splits the Galena block during Saturday's Class 2A championship. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) By Randy Whalen Special to Illprepvb.com Before this season, the Pleasant Plains girl’s volleyball team hadn't won a sectional. Now the Cardinals are Class 2A state champions. Using a balanced attack, Pleasant Plains (34-6) put together some key spurts and went onto a 25-18, 25-20 victory over Galena in the IHSA Class 2A state championship match Saturday at Redbird Arena. It was the first state championship i...

Williams, Newark turn back Hartsburg-Emden to win Class 1A championship

Newark's Madi Malone puts down one of her 11 kills during Saturday's Class 1A championship match at Redbird Arena. (Photos by Dave Ruggles) NORMAL – When Hartsburg-Emden tied the second set of Saturday’s Class 1A championship game at 23-23, Newark’s 6-foot freshman outside hitter Megan Williams was ready. “I knew I was going to have to go in for one more play,” Williams said. “I felt confident in myself and in the passes that Meggie (Scott) was having. I knew it was going to get up to Olivia (Nelson), then whether it was me or Mattie Chap...

Sterling ‘golden’ against Joliet Catholic; Belleville Althoff passes Latin test

Defending state champion Belleville Althoff will face Sterling for the Class 3A state championship Saturday in Normal. By Randy Whalen Special to Illprepvb.com NORMAL – Sterling entered the season believing this was its year. Now the Golden Warriors are one win away. The trio of Borum sisters – Josilyn, Breelyn and Brooklyn -- banged 32 kills, and the Gould sisters – Gretchen and Grace – chipped in with 5 kills of their own as Sterling rallied down the stretch of the first set and went onto a 27-25, 25-20 victory over Joliet Ca...

Marist’s practice makes almost perfect; Downers North’s remarkable run continues

  Marist will defend its state championship Saturday after beating conference rival Benet 25-18, 25-15 in a Class 4A semifinal Friday. NORMAL -- This was not the same Marist team that lost to Benet 22-25, 25-22, 25-19 in an East Suburban Catholic Conference match in Lisle on October 16. “We’ve been practicing really hard these past three weeks,” said Marist coach Jordan Vidovic. “The girls were really motivated to improve and clean some things up. Tonight showed the kind of work we put in.” Marist (38-3) overcame an early 8-5...

Pleasant Plains stuns St. Thomas More; Galena romps in Class 2A semifinals

Pleasant Plains defeated defending Class 2A state champion St. Thomas More Friday in a semifinal at Redbird Arena. NORMAL – Down 24-23 in Game 3 of its semifinal against defending Class 2 State champion St. Thomas More Friday at Redbird Arena, Pleasant Plains found a way. A tip kill by 5-foot-8 junior middle hitter Anna Kanilakan, a service ace from 5-7 junior libero MacKenzie Houser and a kill to an open corner by 5-10 senior Allie Edwards gave Pleasant Plains a thrilling 25-22, 15-25, 26-24 victory over St. Thomas More and sent the ...

Hartsburg-Emden bounces St. Teresa; Newark routs Grayville in Class 1A semis

Hartsburg-Emden meets the media after defeating Decatur St. Teresa Friday at Redbird Arena. NORMAL -- Moments like these don’t come often for schools like Hartsburg-Emden, which has an enrollment of 75 students. Of course, it helps when one of those students is 6-foot senior outside hitter and University of Memphis recruit Anna Hayes. Hayes had 17 kills while hitting just a shade under .300 as Hartsburg-Emden (36-4) defeated Decatur St. Teresa 25-17, 25-14 to advance to the IHSA Class 1A state championship match Saturday at 10:30 a...

Marist, Belleville Althoff seek to defend state titles this weekend at Redbird Arena

Belleville Althoff reached the state finals with a 25-18, 23-25, 25-16 supersectional victory over Mt. Zion. Durand coach Molly Kelsey was reminded last Friday what many fans of Illinois volleyball already knew – the most deserving teams don’t always get to Redbird Arena.Durand, which finished third in Class 1A in 2017 and returned every starter save one from that team, saw its 37-3 season end in a 25-23, 24-26, 25-20 supersectional loss to Newark last Friday at Westminster Christian. “I, like many others, believe that this was a state serie...