Grayslake C. off to strong start
With a 12-8 record to start October, the Grayslake Central girls volleyball team is hoping for a winning season under coach Arian Colton.
"We have been riding the wave of the season," Colton said. "In my experience, it is the teams that can endure the stretches that are challenging and band together to pull themselves out of those tough moments are the ones that find success at the end."
Colton believes her girls are doing that.
"We have had some losses to tough teams like Libertyville (earlier in the season) and Lake Zurich more recently," she said. "What we are noticing is that we are able to limit the runs that other teams make now much better than we did earlier in the season. As a team we talk about making strides every day -- even small ones."
The Rams' motto is 'focus on the good.'
"Volleyball is a game of errors," she said. "The team that can manage its own errors and capitalize on the errors of its opponents are the teams that will find success."
Senior middle hitter and captain Ella Tews is leading the team with 88 kills and a .340 hitting percentage. She also has 20 blocks.
"She sets the tone," Colton said. "Along with her 20 blocks, our defense is being paced by Madalene Meckl (freshman libero with 70 digs) and Catherine Guckenberger (senior defensive specialist with 68 digs). We pride ourselves on running down balls and converting those out of system balls into kills."
The Rams (2-1) remain in the hunt for a repeat Northern Lake Conference title.
In her first season as Hersey coach, Laura Gerber guided the Huskies to a perfect 5-0 record in the first half of Mid-Suburban League play. Among the team leaders are Erin Dela Riva (26 aces), Kami Wojtanek (.305 hitting percentage) and Kendall Mackey (33 blocks).
Front and back:
Marcelina Gorny has continued to dominate the net for the Lions. She has 32 blocks and 65 kills through 12 matches.
"She continues to bring all-out energy and power to every match," said St. Viator veteran coach Charlie Curtin whose team is hosting its 'Volley for the Cure' match against Wheeling.
Curtin's team also features one of the top liberos in the state, Reanne Valera, who has 118 digs in 12 matches.
"The way she covers the court and keeps us in plays is extraordinary," Curtin said. "There isn't a time she won't put her body on the line to save a ball."
Both players are still deciding where to continue their volleyball careers next year.
Back on track:
Maine West asketball and volleyball standout Jaclyn Riedl has bounced back from missing two seasons due to an ACL injury.
"She is doing great," said Warriors coach Nora Feyerer of her senior middle hitter. "She's strong, consistent, and a leader."
Riedl connected for 20 kills against Highland Park.
Junior middle hitter Lena Vukasin is also making an impact for the Warriors.
"She is stepping up big time," Feyerer said. "She's improved a lot since last season and is a huge force at the net."
Hawks playing well:
Hoffman Estates coach Pat Moran has his team one match above .500 at 10-9.
"We have a nice, competitive group," he said. "We were without two key starters for a good portion of the season so it was great seeing seniors Maya Schmidt, Chloe Cruz and Abby Major step up during that time. We are finally healthy and we are excited to move forward and improve for this second half of the season."
Right on target:
Stevenson right side hitter Ava Wysocki (78 kills, 54 blocks) is currently hitting an astonishing .474 for the season.
"Ava is one of the most dynamic kids we have had," said veteran Patriots coach Tim Crow. "Her leaping ability and quick swing is a great combination for success. Ava's ability to adjust to adversity and her emotional maturity is a huge asset to our team."
All-tourney Blue Devils:
Gabrielle Brewer (10 aces, 11 kills, 24 digs, 3 blocks, 109 assists), Lauren Shaw (3 aces, 43 kills, 10 digs, 2 blocks) and Ruth Ziegler (9 aces, 35 kills, 7 digs, 11 blocks) were all-tournament selections for Warren when it won the Glenbard West tournament.
Coach Yun Chen's Blue Devils have also been second in the Crosstown Invite at LIbertyville High School and fourth in the Summer's End Invite at Glenbrook North.