Photo by Dave Ruggles
1. SPVB 18 Elite (1)
SPVB 18 Elite just keeps rolling, going 4-0 over the weekend in the Great Lakes Power League Division I. Plainfield Central’s 6-foot-6 outside hitter Taylor Landfair, Bolingbrook’s 6-2 outside/rightside hitter Natalie Mitchem, 6-foot setter McKenna Slavik of St. Charles East and 5-10 Sarah Kushner did their typical yeoman’s work at the net while Benet’s 5-5 libero Hattie Monson dug everything in sight. SPVB 18 Elite capped the weekend with a 25-17, 25-13, 25-17 win over Gold Pool B winner FaR Out 16 Black. The defending national champions will eventually be tested at the Sports Performance President’s Day Challenge February 16-18, the Showcase March 1-3, the Bluegrass Festival March 9-10, the JVA World Challenge April 5-7, and during a trip to China.
2. 1st Alliance 18 Silver (3)
1st Alliance 18 Silver defeated Fusion 18 Red, 25-19, 25-17, and Wildcat Jrs. 18 Black, 25-22, 17-25, 15-8, before losing to Sky High Adidas 17 Black, 25-17, 25-18, Sunday at Velocity in the finale of the seeding event of the Windy City Power League 17-18 Open division. League play resumes February 24 at Sky High Volleyball Club in Crystal Lake. Fenwick’s 6-foot outside hitter McKenzie Moorman, Richard’s 5-10 outside Sarah Murczek and Whitney Young’s 6-3 middle Anya Korbut give 1st Alliance coach Nicasio Paquiz Jr. plenty of depth.
3. Michio Chicago 18 National (NR)
Michio Chicago 18 National – powered by Marian Catholic’s 6-1 Temitayo Thomas-Ailara and Sandburg’s 6-foot Erica Staunton — bounced back from an early morning 25-16, 25-20 loss to Sky High Adidas 17 Black to defeat Michio Chicago 17 National, 25-20, 30-28, and Fusion 18 Red, 25-16, 25-23, Sunday at Velocity in the finale of the seeding event of the Windy City Power League 17-18 Open division. League play resumes February 24 at Sky High Volleyball Club in Crystal Lake.
4. Fusion 18 Red (2)
Sunday was anything but a fun day for Fusion 18 Red, which followed Saturday’s surprising loss to Adversity G16 Adidas, 25-22, 18-25, 25-17, with losses to 1st Alliance 18 Silver, 25-19, 25-17, and Michio Chicago 18 National, 25-16, 25-23, at Velocity in the finale of the seeding event of the Windy City Power League 17-18 Open division. Fusion 18 Red was able to salvage the day with a 28-26, 25-23 victory over Sky High Adidas 16 Black.
5. (tie) Blue Steel U18 Edge (4)
A busy weekend in the Gateway League saw Blue Steel U18 Edge go 5-2 with losses to IL HPSTL 18 Select, 25-20, 25-23, and Rockwood Thunder 17 Elite. Overall, Blue Steel U18 Edge is 9-4 in this ultra-competitive league behind Belleville Althoff’s 5-9 setter Mary Wessel and 5-9 outside hitter Katie Wemhoener, 5-10 middle blocker Claire Diercks from Highland, Collinsville’s 5-11 Alyssa Grimm and Carbondale’s Maddie Misner, a 5-11 outside hitter and an Illprepvb.com first-team all-state selection.
5. (tie) Illini Elite 18 Cardinal (5)
Illini Elite 18 Cardinal went 4-0 over the weekend at the Great Lakes Power League Division I, winning the Silver division by defeating SPVB 15 Elite, SPVB 18 Navy, VC United 171 Elite and Illini Elite 17 Cardinal while dropping just one set along the way. Bloomington’s 6-1 middle hitter Lexi Packard and Memphis recruit 6-foot Anna Hayes from tiny Hartsburg-Embden were beasts all weekend for Illini Elite 18 Cardinal, which also got some big-time kills from Mahomet-Seymour’s 5-11 outside hitter Savannah Matthews.
5. (tie) IL HPSTL G18 IL Select (5)
IL HPSTL G18 Select went 2-3 at the Gateway League in St. Louis, Missouri, last weekend, but two of those losses were to a pair of the elite teams in the 18s field – HPSTL 18 Royal (25-15, 23-25, 17-15) and Rockwood Thunder 18 Elite (17-25, 25-17, 15-11). IL HPSTL G18 Select did win a head-to-head with Blue Steel U18 Edge, 25-20, 25-23, earning it a split with its southwestern Illinois counterpart in league play.
Teams to watch: Wildcat Jrs. 18 Black, Adversity G18 Adidas, UNO Girls 18 Elite, Sky High Adidas 18 Black, VC United 181 Elite, Chicago Elite 18 Elite, Epic United 18 Elite ROX, New WAVE 18 Tsunami.
1. Sky High Adidas 17 Black (1)
What a difference a day makes. After Wildcat Jrs. 18 Black got the better of Sky High Adidas 17 Black Saturday in Round 2 of the Windy City Power League 17-18 Open division at the 1st Alliance Training Center in Woodridge, the Crystal Lake crew rebounded to defeat Michio Chicago 18 National, 25-16, 25-20, Adversity G16 Adidas, 25-18, 25-18, and 1st Alliance 18 Silver, 25-17, 25-18 Sunday at Velocity. Led by Crystal Lake Central’s outside hitter Madde Blake and Huntley setter Taylor Jakubowski, Sky High is 10-1 through the first two weekends of the power league.
2. Illini Elite 17 Cardinal (NR)
Despite playing without Alabama recruit and 6-2 super middle Allie Trame of St. Thomas More, who was out with a foot injury, Ilini Elite 17 Cardinal went 3-1 over the weekend at the Great Lakes Power League Division I, defeating VC United 182 Elite, SPVB 18 Blue (23-25, 26-24, 25-20, 22-25, 15-8) and SPVB 16 C-Fed before losing to Illini Elite 18 Cardinal 25-16, 25-22, 25-20 in a Silver Pool first-place crossover.
3. Michio Chicago 17 National (2)
Ouch. After winning six of its first eight matches in the Windy City Power League 17-18 Open division, Michio Chicago 17 National went 0-3 Sunday at Velocity, losing to Adversity G16 Adidas 25-17, 25-21, Michio Chicago 18 National 25-20, 30-28, and Sky High Adidas 16 Black 25-21, 22-25, 15-13. Marist’s 6-2 outside Camryn Hannah and Michio will try to bounce back when league play resumes February 24 at Sky High.
4. IL HPSTL G17 Elite (3)
After a promising 4-2 start during Week One of the Gateway League in St. Louis, Missouri, IL HPSTL G17 Elite went 0-for-5 last weekend after moving up in class against the likes of Rockwood Thunder 16 Elite, HPSTL 18 Royal, IL HPSTL 18 Select, Rockwood Thunder 17 Elite and Rockwood Thunder 15 Elite.
5. 1st Alliance 17 Silver (NR)
1st Alliance 17 Silver joins the rankings behind by 5-11 outside hitter Patricia Cesarini from Lyons Township, libero Rachel Krasowski from Sandburg, setter Ella Sandt from Nazareth and 5-10 outside hitter Faith Johnson from Neuqua Valley.
Teams to watch: Adversity G17 Adidas, Cyclones 17 Black Adidas, Club 1 17 Skonkstrong, VC United 171 Elite, UNO Girls 17 Elite.
1. SPVB 16 Elite (1)
SPVB 16 Elite lost the services of Joliet Catholic’s 6-2 outside hitter Emily Wilson for four-to-five weeks due to a knee injury and struggled to adapt while suffering a 17-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-21, 16-14 loss to FaR Out 16 Black (Grand Rapids, Michigan) Saturday in the Great Lakes Power League Division I. But SPVB 16 Elite bounced back to beat FaR Out’s top 18s team, 25-19, 25-23, 25-23, early Sunday, then downed VC United 181 Elite 25-23, 25-21, 25-22 in a Gold Pool crossover. SPVB 16 Elite called up 5-8 outside Maya Sands from its 15s third team to fill in while Wilson recovers.
2. Adversity G16 Adidas (2)
Coach Melissa Masterson thought her team night have lacked a little confidence, but that should not be an issue after Adversity G16 Adidas surprised Fusion 18 Red, 25-22, 18-25, 25-17, Saturday in Round 2 of the Windy City Power League 17-18 Open division, then followed up that with a 25-17, 25-21 win over Michio Chicago 17 National and a 25-22, 25-27, 25-12 win over Wildcat Jrs. 18 Black Sunday at Velocity. Adversity G16 Adidas is big and powerful behind Newark’s 6-foot Maddie Malone and Benet’s 5-10 Kyla Kenney on the outside, 6-foot Gigi Barr from York and Benet’s Ann Marie Remmes in the middle and Latin’s 5-8 Ava Tortorello at setter.
3. 1st Alliance 16 Silver (5)
1st Alliance 16 Silver enjoyed a highly successful weekend in the Windy City Power League, winning the 15-16 Open division seeding event behind Marist’s 5-11 setter Molly Mather, 6-foot outside hitter Brooke Cooper from Hinsdale Central and 5-9 outside hitter Isabel “Izzy” Decker from Nazareth. 1st Alliance 16 Silver defeated Lions 15 Red, Lions 15-1 and Adversity G16 Purple Adidas to claim the top spot heading into the next league date February 24 at Sky High.
4. Michio Chicago 16 National (3)
Michio got its money’s worth Sunday Velocity, going three sets in all three matches. However, the crew dropped two of those three matches, an 18-25, 25-26, 15-10 loss to Lions 15-1 and a 16-25, 26-24, 16-14 decision to Lions 15 Red. Mother McAuley products 6-1 middle hitter Molly Boyd, 6-foot setter/outside hitter Molly McDermott, 5-10 outside hitter Connie LeBel and 5-8 defensive specialist/libero Anna Jaworowski bounced back to win their finale over Fusion 16 Red, 25-17, 20-25, 15-10.
5. Illini Elite 16 Cardinal (4)
A tough weekend for the girls from Bloomington, who went 1-3 Great Lakes Power League Division I, losing to VC United 151 Elite to fall into the Bronze division where they lost to FaR Out 18 Gold, 25-16, 19-25, 22-25, 25-17, 15-6 – a team to which it had lost in straight sets earlier — and SPVB 18 CTE, 25-21, 25-17, 25-14. But there are always growing pans with youth, especially since the team features 6-foot freshman Averie Hernandez from Normal West and eighth-grade outside hitter Kenna Wollard from Mossville Junior High.
Teams to watch: Sky High Adidas 16 Black, Adversity Adidas G16 Purple, Epic United 16 Elite ROX, Fusion 16 Red, UNO Girls 16 Elite, Prime Time 16 Blue, Chicago Elite 16 Elite.
1. SPVB 15 Elite (1)
SPVB 15 Elite dropped its first match in the Great Lakes Power League Division I to Illini Elite 18 Cardinal, 25-23, 25-15, 25-15, on Saturday, then bounced back to beat VC United 171 Elite and SPVB 18 Navy to finish second in Silver Pool A. SPVB 15 Elite then closed out the weekend with a 25-17, 25-22, 25-15 win over SPVB 16 C-Fed to finish third in Silver. If size matters, SPVB 15 Elite has it in Plainfield North’s 6-3 outside/rightside hitter Ella Wrobel, Rosary’s 6-3 outside/rightside hitter Caylee Sharkey and Romeoville’s 6-2 middle hitter Crystal Galaviz.
2. Lions 15-1 (2)
Lions 15-1 followed up an impressive 7-1 start – losing only to Sky High Adidas 15 Black – in the 15-16 Open division of the Windy City Power League by finishing third in the seeding event, falling to 1st Alliance 16 Silver 25-14, 25-14, in the semifinals before defeating Michio Chicago 15 National for third place. Lions 15-1 is led by Indiana recruit and 5-10 setter Kathryn Hurta from Lyons, 5-11 outside hitter Paige Pickering from Montini, 6-1 middle hitter Greta Hoogstra from Timothy Christian and 5-3 libero Gillian Grimes from Nazareth.
3. Michio Chicago 15 National (3)
Michio Chicago 15 National defeated Epic United 15 Elite ROX 25-13, 25-22 in a Bracket A quarterfinal of the 15-16 Open division of the Windy City Power League on Sunday before falling to Adversity G16 Purple Adidas, 25-18, 25-22, in the semifinals. Michio then lost to Lions 15-1 to finish in fourth place.
4. Sky High Adidas 15 Black (NR)
Sky High Adidas 15 Black (pictured left) went 2-1 on Sunday to finish second in Bracket B of the of the 15-16 Open division of the Windy City Power League, defeating Prime Time 16 Blue, 25-23, 25-21 and Fusion 16 Black, 25-21, 25-19, before losing to UNO Girls 16 Elite, 22-25, 26-24, 15-13.
5. Illini Elite 15 Cardinal (4)
Illini Elite 15 Cardinal is getting to play a lot of volleyball after making the 100-mile trip to Aurora. Illini Elite is 5-3 after two weeks of the Great Lakes Power League Division I, losing SPVB 17 Pre, 15-25, 25-23, 27-25, 25-19, on Saturday, and Illini Elite 16 White, 22-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-23, in Copper Pool B on Sunday, before closing out the weekend with a 26-24, 22-25, 25-23, 22-25, 15-3 victory over SPVB 16 Blue in its Copper Pool crossover.
Teams to watch: Lions 15 Red, Epic United 15 Elite ROX, Sky High Adidas 15 Black, Chicago Elite 15 Elite, Fusion 15 Red, UNO Girls 15 Elite.