This is another in a series of team previews as Illprepvb.com looks at the 2019 Illinois girls high school season.
Conference: West Central
Head coach: Briana Rexroat
Last season’s highlights: 25-12 overall, 5-3 in conference, lost to Quincy Notre Dame, 25-15, 25-14, in a Class 3A regional championship.
Top returnees: 5-4 sophomore setter Avery Rexroat, 5-4 senior libero Maggie Valillo, 5-7 junior middle hitter Lael McKee.
Top newcomers: 5-10 freshman outside hitter Kennedy Adair, 5-4 junior outside hitter Genna McCamant, 5-7 junior outside hitter Tatumn Lantz.
Coach’s quote: “We have moved down to 2A this season and are excited to get the season started.”
Outlook: Although she is only a sophomore, Avery Rexroat has strong court awareness and ball control which will help her young outside hitters succeed.
Did you know? Macomb joins the seemingly mass exodus from 3A to 2A, but could be staring at a showdown with another former 3A entry and last season’s tournament nemesis, No 1-ranked Quincy Notre Dame, in either a regional or sectional.
School: (Rockton) Hononegah
Head Coach: Kaylee Libby
Last season’s highlights: 26-8 overall, 16-2 in conference, lost to Huntley, 25-13, 25-20, in a Class 4A regional championship.
Top returnees: 5-10 senior outside hitter McKenzie Kidd, 5-6 senior libero Olivia Taylor, 6-1 sophomore middle blocker Emma Schroeder, 6-1 junior middle blocker Alexis Lewis, 5-10 junior outside hitter Jade Hoper.
Top newcomer: 5-11 junior setter Gillian DePauw.
Coach’s quote: “With 10 returning players, we look to have some depth and experience throughout the season. We hope to be competing for a top stop in the NIC-10 and make a run in the postseason.”
Outlook: Hononegah, Belvidere North and Rockford Guilford should battle it out for conference supremacy with each capable of advancing to a regional championship match and potentially beyond.
Did you know? Hononegah’s Emma Schroeder and Bradley recruit Kaitlin Leider of Belvidere North were teammates on the VC United 151 Elite team that finished fifth in the 15 Open division at the AAU Girls Junior National Championships earlier this summer.
School: (Chicago) Roosevelt
Conference: Chicago Public League
Head coach: Nathaniel Swoopes Jr.
Last season’s highlights: 20-8-1 overall, lost to Timothy Christian, 25-8, 25-12, in a Class 3A regional semifinal.
Top returnees: 5-2 senior setter Kelsey Isabel Perez, 5-0 senior libero Adamary Torres, 5-8 outside/middle hitter Tykira Bullock, 5-3 setter/outside hitter Sheila Perez, 5-4 outside hitter Evelin Herrera, 5-4 outside hitter Yasiris Ampier.
Coach’s quote: ”Last year, we were ranked No. 30 in the Chicago Public League after going 0-16 only three years ago. A lot of these seniors have helped transitioned the program. This year, we are one of the favorites to be conference champions, and we have several players on the watch to be all-conference and all-city.”
Outlook: Isabel Perez has been one Roosevelt’s best players since her sophomore year. She has very good setter skills, works very hard and is an amazing leader. Torres has been playing varsity for three years. She transitioned to Libero last season and has been doing an amazing job, recognized as one of the top players in the city. Bullock’s athleticism and ability to block has transitioned this program into one of the top programs in the conference. Despite its overall lack of size, Roosevelt has been on the rise since Swoopes took over the program
Did you know? The Rough Riders rock in the classroom. Torres has a 4.3 GPA, followed closely by Isabel Perez (4.1), Ampier (3.7), Sheila Perez (3.58), Herrera (3.0) and Bulllock (2.7, 1020 SAT).