York, IC, TC hope playoff road leads to Normal
The volleyball postseason begins on Monday for all classes. York has a chance to make some noise in its Class 4A sectional. IC Catholic is shooting for a state title in Class 2A while Timothy Christian received harsh draws in Class 3A. The goal for all three teams is to reach Redbird Arena in Normal, home to the state finals for all classes Nov. 15 and 16.
First match: 7 p.m. Tues., Oct. 29, vs. No. 11 Larkin
Outlook: The experienced Dukes are stringing wins together late in the season and hoping that can turn into an extended playoff run.
York entered this weekend's Lyons Township Invite with a six-match winning streak. The last time the Dukes lost was to Glenbard West, which won the West Suburban Silver and is the top seed in the Geneva sectional. The Dukes finished with a 4-2 record in the Silver and are 19-9 heading into the weekend.
"We're playing more as a team," York coach Patty Iverson said. "We're where we want to be right now. We're doing nice things."
Outside hitter Amy Nosek, middle Molly Schlecht and setter Rachel Iverson power the offense. All are seniors in their third year on the varsity team. Fellow seniors Megan Hull and Claudia Zerdin also play plenty. That stability has helped the Dukes.
York, the No. 6 seed in the sectional, opens against Larkin and could face No. 3 St. Charles East for the regional title Oct. 31.
"We don't have any total stud teams, we've got good solid teams," Iverson said of the sectional. "Of everybody in our sectional, we had the toughest schedule."
Regional: Aurora Christian
Sectional: South Beloit
First match: 6 p.m. Tues., Oct. 29, vs. No. 4 Aurora Christian or No. 5 Walther Lutheran
Outlook: The Knights are in position to make a deep run in the Class 2A playoffs.
The talented senior trio of Kimmy Martino, Delaney D'Amore and Rory Manion, which just celebrated senior night with a 25-19, 25-22 win over Marian Central on Wednesday, is as good as it gets in 2A. Wednesday's win brought IC's record to 24-6 and 7-3 in the Suburban Christian Blue.
"We had a little lull in the middle of the season, but I think they're really coming along and we want to keep getting better so when the postseason starts we'll be ready," IC coach Jean Field said. "We've had good senior leadership."
IC, which closes the regular season by hosting an invite this weekend, is the No. 1 seed at the Aurora Christian regional. Westmont, which IC beat on Sept. 7, is the No. 2 seed. If IC advances past the Oct. 31 regional title match, it will travel to South Beloit for the sectional.
Regional: Timothy Christian
Sectional: Coal City
First match: 6 p.m. Mon., Oct. 28, vs. No. 4 Wheaton Academy
Outlook: The Trojans locked up at least a share of the Metro Suburban Conference title before Thursday's conference finale against Glenbard South.
Their reward? The No. 5 seed in a six-team regional.
Timothy is in arguably the toughest regional in the entire state across all four classes. The Trojans are in a Class 3A sectional that is seeded within each regional instead of ranking the sectional teams as a whole.
Defending Class 3A champion St. Francis is the top seed. No. 2 Nazareth, No. 3 Montini and No. 4 Wheaton Academy all have over 20 wins, like TC. For comparison, Glenbard South, a team Timothy beat earlier in the season, is the top seed in a Class 4A sectional.
The No. 5 seed Trojans face Wheaton Academy in a quarterfinal and the winner plays St. Francis in Tuesday's semifinal. The regional title match is Oct. 31.