NORMAL – Since gutting out a three-game win over Montini in the regional championship match Oct. 31, St. Francis' girls volleyball had made a habit of topping its playoff foes in dominating fashion. The trend continued Saturday night as the Spartans topped LaSalle-Peru 25-19, 25-7 to capture their second consecutive Class 3A state title.
NORMAL – In its quest for a third consecutive state title, Benet's girls volleyball team fell just short in a 25-22, 25-19 loss to Mother McAuley in Saturday's Class 4A championship match at Redbird Arena. The Redwings finished the season with a 36-6 record. Mother McAuley finished 40-2 and did not lose to a team from Illinois all season.
WHEATON – Playing in a steady downpour throughout the game, Wheaton North could never get its offense on track in a 16-6 loss to Lake Zurich Saturday night in a Class 7A quarterfinal game. The Falcons ended the 2013 campaign with a 9-3 record while the Bears advance to take on Glenbard West in the semis.
DOWNERS GROVE – A stingy defense was not enough to power the Downers Grove North football team into the state semifinals on Saturday. Although the Trojan defense surrendered just seven points to Mt. Carmel on Saturday, the North offense could not move the ball, gaining only one first down en route to a 7-0 loss.
LOMBARD – Talent and skill is always necessary, but winning a state title requires some luck. Montini escaped with a 22-21 win against Joliet Catholic in a Class 5A quarterfinal on Saturday afternoon in Lombard. The Broncos will host Sycamore in a semifinal next weekend.
SCHAUMBURG – Head coach Chad Hetlet said Schaumburg would be the toughest test of the season for his Glenbard West football team. It didn't take long for the Hilltoppers to pass the test as they went on to win 42-21 and advance to the state semifinals.
NORMAL – Nearly 30 years later, IC Catholic is once again the girls volleyball state champion. The Knights made relatively short work of Edwards County, winning 25-15, 26-19 in the Class 2A state championship match Saturday at Redbird Arena. It was their first state title since 1984.
NORMAL– St. Francis' girls volleyball team made short work of Breese Central Friday night to move on to Saturday's Class 3A state championship match. The Spartans (38-3) will face LaSalle-Peru (35-3), a 25-18, 25-17 winner over Chicago-Payton in the other state semifinal, in the state championship match at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
NORMAL – Benet's girls volleyball team will play for its third consecutive state title after a 25-22, 25-18 win over Crystal Lake South in a Class 4A state semifinal Friday night at Redbird Arena. The Redwings (36-5) will face Mother McAuley (39-2) in the state championship match Saturday at 8:55 p.m.
LISLE – Benet’s Caroline Wolf understands that defense wins championships. Under the tutelage of Benet head coach Brad Baker, assistants Kyle Reid and Kim Sayers, and former Redwing liberos such as 2012 graduate Sheila Doyle, Wolf has developed the defensive moxie that defined the Redwings during back-to-back state title runs in 2011 and 2012.
Broncos sophomores complete perfect season
With one of the best girls volleyball programs in the state, Benet continues to produce all-area nominations. But the talent is abundant on the South team, as Bolingbrook, Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, Hinsdale Central, HInsdale South, Lemont and Lisle and Westmont are also represented.
LOMBARD – Watching Meghan Hanewall play volleyball now, it would be easy to assume she’s been spiking and digging balls since she could walk. Despite her refined skills, Hanewall didn’t start playing major club ball until after her freshman season of high school volleyball.
Montini, Timothy Christian, York and IC Catholic all won over 20 matches this year. As a result, those teams are well-represented on the all-area team. Players from Addison Trail, Glenbard East and Willowbrook round out the team.
Montini junior wide receiver Leon Thornton had a huge day for the Broncos against rival Marian Central on Saturday. Thornton, the Oak Trust Credit Union Athlete of the Week, spoke with sports reporter Dan Santaromita about his big game, the team’s big win and the upcoming Joliet Catholic game.