The volleyball postseason begins on Monday for all classes, and District 88 schools Willowbrook and Addison Trail will both be in action in regional quarterfinals. Once the ball goes up for the playoffs, both the Warriors and Blazers will be looking to make a run all the way to Redbird Arena in Normal, home to the state finals for all classes Nov. 15 and 16.
Regional: South Elgin
First match: 7 p.m. Mon., Oct. 28, vs. No. 18 Fenton
Outlook: Willowbrook hasn't had a full lineup as often as coach Sue Bower would like, and as a result the Warriors haven't been able to consistently pick up wins.
"It's been up and down," Bower said. "We've had to make adjustments for injuries and sicknesses and things like that."
The Warriors finished 4-2 in the West Suburban Gold and received the No. 14 seed in the Geneva sectional. Junior Mia Railing has been a key attacker for a team that has three freshmen and a sophomore.
"We're young and we make those young mistakes," Bower said. "We can play really well and we can hang tough with some of the really good teams and then sometimes we don't play strong."
If the Warriors get past Fenton in a regional quarterfinal, No. 2 seed St. Charles North awaits in the semis Oct. 29. The regional title match is Oct. 31.
Regional: Addison Trail
First match: 6 p.m. Mon., Oct. 28, vs. No. 20 Bartlett
Outlook: The Blazers had a 10-20 record entering this weekend's Lake Park Invite.
Senior kills leader Juliana Selvaggi and sophomore setter Nina Capuani have been the standouts for AT, which opens with Bartlett in a regional quarterfinal. The Blazers beat Bartlett 25-22, 25-15 on Sept. 26.
If AT gets past the Hawks, No. 4 Geneva comes to Addison Trail for a semifinal Oct. 29. The regional championship match is slated for Oct. 31.
First match: 7 p.m. Mon., Oct. 28, vs. No. 19 Lake Park
Outlook: The Rams have had a rocky regular season, but are playing better volleyball now than they were earlier in the season.
East lost seven of its first eight matches in the DuPage Valley Conference, but has won three of five since. The Rams went 1-4 at their own Autumnfest tournament last weekend against a loaded field of teams. According to coach Marci Maier, the Rams' inconsistent play has come down to execution.
"Overall, we've been executing better," Maier said. "It's encouraging that we're playing better volleyball, but obviously we're not satisfied with that."
Senior Meghan Hanewall has been a dominant outside hitter and quality all-around player for the Rams. She always makes the Rams dangerous.
East picked up a win on senior night against Lake Park and carried a 14-20 record into Thursday's regional season finale at Wheaton Warrenville South. The No. 13 seed Rams will play Lake Park again in a regional quarterfinal. The winner gets No. 3 seed St. Charles East in the semi. The regional title match is Oct. 31.
Regional: Timothy Christian
Sectional: Coal City
First match: 7 p.m. Mon., Oct. 28, vs. No. 6 St. Joseph
Outlook: The Broncos have had a breakout season for the program, but winning the school's first regional title since 2004 will still take a monumental effort.
Montini finished the regular season 28-3 with wins over Glenbard West and Glenbard South, which both earned No. 1 seeds in Class 4A sectionals. Yet, the Broncos are just the No. 3 seed in the Class 3A Timothy Christian regional. Defending 3A champ St. Francis and a talented Nazareth team are ahead of the Broncos. If Montini gets past St. Joseph in the regional quarterfinal, it will take on Naz in the semi Oct. 29. The regional title match is Oct. 31.
Monica Loftus and Natalie Lopez have provided the Broncos with two elite attackers and plenty of height to form a tough block. That duo will ensure that no matter how good the opposition, Montini should have a chance in any match.