The Benet girls volleyball team is looking for its third straight state title while Bolingbrook and Lisle are hoping to see each other at Redbird Arena in Normal, home to the state finals for all classes Nov. 15 and 16.
Regional: Aurora Christian
Sectional: South Beloit
First Game: 7 p.m. Mon., Oct. 28 vs. No. 6 Luther North
Outlook: Lisle girls volleyball returned just one starter from the 2012 squad and started the season with just one win in a dozen matches. But after the rocky start, the Lions played .500 volleyball for the remainder of the season, finishing 10-20 overall and earning a No. 3 seed in the Class 2A regional.
“We had an up and down season,” head coach Matt Hrubesky said. “We won the Ridgewood tournament, winning five matches without dropping a set. We have taken [the] conference leaders to the edge, and then we have lost some matches [that we should have won].”
Senior outside hitter Summer Stitt paces the Lions on both offense and defense.
Additionally, sophomore middle Robyn Griffin leads the team in blocks with junior Nina Breihan emerging as a solid offensive weapon.
Captain and junior setter Hannah Kiesling continues to grow in her role as floor leader.
Lisle will face Luther North in the first round of regional play. If they win, the Lions will take on rival Westmont Tuesday night for a shot at the Oct. 31 regional final match.
Regional: Plainfield East
Sectional: Plainfield South
First Game: 6 p.m. Tues., Oct. 29, vs. No. 15 Plainfield East or No. 17 Joliet West
Outlook: Lofty expectations hover over the Redwings, the two-time defending 4A state champions. But another successful regular season – including a second place finish in the East Suburban Catholic Conference and titles at the Benet Invitationanal and the Wheaton Classic tournaments – has the Redwings eyeing another title trip.
Benet enters regional play as a the No. 1 seed in the Plainfield South sectional, earning a first round bye and awaiting the winner of the Plainfield East-Joliet West match. The regional title match is Oct. 31.
After graduating six seniors from last year’s state championship team, the Redwings reloaded, adding freshmen Sara Nielsen and Veronica Snelling and sophomore Tiffany Clark. Nielsen has run the Benet offense as the setter.
Meanwhile, upperclassmen Whitney Battoe, Brittany Pavich and Rachel Fara have assumed an attacking role for Benet.
Sectional: Plainfield South
First Game: 6 p.m. Mon., Oct. 28, vs. No. 20 Joliet Central
Outlook: Bolingbrook traded wins and losses for most of the regular season, ending with two victories at the Minooka Invitational.
The girls will close the season on the road at Lockport and Lincoln-Way East, then start regional play against Joliet Central on Monday.
The Raiders tout a roster comprised mostly of juniors and seniors, which should help them come playoff time. Seniors Kennedi Hulittle, Krissa Gearring and Leah Rose will be counted on to lead the team in the playoffs.
Bolingbrook enters its first regional match as the favorite against Joliet Central.
Should the Raiders advance, they will face No. 4 Waubonsie Valley in a regional semifinal on Tuesday. The regional championship match is Oct. 31.