The volleyball postseason for Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South begins on Tuesday, and bragging rights are on the line as they face each other with a berth in the regional championship on the line.
Both teams start the playoffs with the same goal in mind – to reach Redbird Arena in Normal, home to the state finals Nov. 15 and 16.
Regional: Hinsdale South
First Game: 7 p.m. Tues., Oct. 29, vs. No. 9 Hinsdale South
Outlook: Hinsdale Central hopes its aggressive style of play will pay dividends come playoff time. A year after the Red Devils graduated six seniors – five of whom were starters – head coach Kelly Moran worked with the newcomers to sharpen skills and instill an aggressive mentality.
As a result, Central recorded quality victories over Wheaton Warrenville South and Wheaton North at the Mizuno Cup and a win over Downers Grove North at the Wheaton Classic.
The Red Devils also lost close matches to tough teams like St. Ignatius, St. Charles East and York.
Juniors Alex Davis and Lauren Fuller have filled in leadership roles vacated by last year’s graduating class, and Moran believes the squad has yet to play it’s best volleyball.
She hopes the Red Devils can put it all together come regionals, when they travel to Hinsdale South to open against their rival in the regional semifinals. If Central advances, they will most likely face top-seeded Glenbard South in the regional final Oct. 31.
Regional: Hinsdale South
First Game: 7 p.m. Tues., Oct. 29, vs. No. 8 Hinsdale Central
Outlook: With only three seniors returning from last year’s team, Hinsdale South retooled on the fly, developing a handful of juniors and underclassmen. If their current roster remains intact, the Hornets will boast a 2014 lineup with 11 seniors. But, as playoff loom, head coach Lisa Martinez has the team’s sights set on a regional matchup with rival Hinsdale Central. Should South win, it would advance to the Oct. 31 regional championship match.
“We know we are young, but it gave girls a chance to step up,” said Martinez. “We have done a lot of lineup tinkering and hope to be playing our best heading into regionals.”
Seniors Jackie Adelphia and Renee Bialas and junior Sarah Garringer led the team to an 11-17 record as of Monday.
Before the playoffs begin on Tuesday, the Hornets will have an opportunity to fine tune their play over the weekend at the Lyons Township Invitational. The Hornets will not have to travel come playoffs, as Hinsdale South is a host site for regional play.