Volleyball is one sport immune to bad spring weather. High school boys teams get started next week, so here's a look at what to expect from area teams this season.
Coach: Ken Dowdy
2013 record: 13-18
Jason Bowles sr. OH
Joe Duda sr. S
Sebastian Guzman sr. L
Evan Wendell sr. OH
The Dukes bring back nine seniors, including four starters. That experience will be tested with a tough early schedule that includes matches against Payton, Lake Park, Lyons Township, Benet, Downers Grove North and Glenbrook South.
"We'll know where we need to improve to compete in a tough West Suburban Silver," coach Ken Dowdy said. "We should be very competitive as the season progresses. We're really fortunate to have a tremendous senior class, and their leadership since last spring has been great."
The four returning starters, Jason Bowles, Joe Duda, Sebastian Guzman and Evan Wendell, will lead the team, but they should have help from a supporting core fill with varsity returners. Bobby Krissinger and Casey McNamara will take up the middle hitter position. Sean Lyons, Kevin Peronto, Mike Pasternock and Omar Carbajal, a transfer from Addison Trail, should contribute.
"Our defense should be one of the best in the area, and Sebastian has the ability to be one of the best libero's in the state," Dowdy said. "Duda runs the offense with precision and it should lead to an efficient offense headed by Bowles and Wendell."
Glenbard East Rams
Coach: Marci Maier
2013 record: 23-13
Brad Cardott sr. DS
Sterling Glover sr. OH
Cory Soehren sr. S
The Rams graduated many key seniors, including Penn State freshman Joey Farrell, but there is still plenty of talent in the program. Setter Cory Soehren and outside hitter Sterling Glover are the team's top returners, and a junior class that helped the JV team win the DuPage Valley Conference and go 27-1-1 last season will boost the squad.
Soehren had 633 assists last year and Glover had 107 kills. Fellow seniors Brad Cardott, who had 101 digs last season, 6-foot-5 Erik Fiebrandt and Alex Bojan are also back. Junior Adam Eboli is another returner.
"We graduated many seniors, however we have five seniors returning," Glenbard East coach Marci Maier said. "We have high hopes for the season. We should be a better defensive team and have a balanced offense, so we hope to compete for a regional title and beyond."
Coach: Steve Dowjotas
Ryan McAuley sr. RS/S
Jimmy Soukup jr. MH
Matt Vogrin jr. RS/S
The still developing Montini program has five returners and nine varsity newcomers, including a staggering six freshmen.
Senior Ryan McAuley and junior Matt Vogrin will share setting duties while also getting some time as hitters. Six-foot junior Jimmy Soukup will be a key contributor at middle hitter.
"We are looking to continue to grow ... and get experience for our freshmen to continue to rebuild our boys volleyball program at Montini," coach Steve Dowjotas said.
Addison Trail Blazers
Coach: Tom Hubner
2013 record: 16-19
Anthony Chiaramonte sr. OH
Alex Dickmann jr. OH
Kevin Grygo sr. S
Kannon Nelms so. MH
John Valintini jr. OH
Jack Vrchota jr. MH
After enduring a season with a young team last year, the Blazers are set for bigger and better things this spring.
Talented junior outside hitter Alex Dickmann had 300 kills last season and will lead the way again. The 6-foot-4 Dickmann has represented the United States at the youth level. A strong supporting cast is with him.
"We return every position from last year and we only graduated one outside hitter that played significant time," coach Tom Hubner said.
Hubner set goals of a West Suburban Gold title and a trip to state for his team.
"We will see how the team gels as the season progresses as to whether we can meet any of those goals," he said.
Coach: Ryan Bazon
2013 record: 26-11
Anthony Acitelli jr. L
Tommy King jr. S
Ryan Wakely jr. OH
Ben Wozniak sr. OH
The Warriors have the task of replacing a 12-man senior class that won 52 games in the past two years on varsity.
This season, Willowbrook has just one senior joined by 11 juniors on the roster. Outside hitter Ben Wozniak is the team's lone senior, but is a good one. He had 243 kills, 223 digs, 35 blocks and 17 aces a year ago.
Newcomers Ryan Wakely, Anthony Acitelli and Tommy King should play big roles in their first year on varsity.
"Our teams expectations this year are to again be competitive in the West Suburban Gold and to continue building on our successes," coach Ryan Bazon said. "This group of players has seen increasing success over the years and we are eager to [continue that] as a team and program."