The girls volleyball season starts next week. Here are previews of teams from around the Kane County Chronicle coverage area.
Coach: McKenna Kelsay
Last season’s record: 7-7
Top returners: Kyra Taylor, sr.; Amanda Otten, jr.
Key newcomers: Karli Balzanto, jr.; Claire Ellward, jr.
Worth noting: The Bulldogs lost high-level performers in Zoe Kramer and Ali Northrop to graduation but have a solid mix of returning and new talent. Batavia is projected to have considerable depth across the board, and Kelsay should have plenty of options for the lineup. Taylor and Otten headline some of the top returners.
“In the DuKane Conference, you know every match is going to be tough, so I’m looking forward to battling it out with this group this year,” Kelsay said.
Coach: Samantha Mainzer
Last season’s record: 9-5
Top returners: Rylie Hahn, sr., OH; Addy Nava, sr., OH.
Key newcomers: Leah Freesemann, fr., OH; Addison Krieger, fr., MB.
Worth noting: Central returns six of seven starters from last season, headlined by longtime varsity standout Hahn and Nava. Ashley Arceo and Rachel Stoneman, both setters, also are back, as is senior libero Abby Devol. Freesemann and Krieger are newcomers to watch. Brooke Hoffman, a transfer from Schaumburg Christian Academy, also could be in the mix. Central has 19 players on the varsity roster.
“The girls’ motto for this season is “we aren’t done yet,” meaning we want to make a statement again in the competitive FVC [Fox Valley Conference] this season,” Mainzer said.
Coach: Lauren Kosecki
Last season’s record: 15-1
Top returners: Madi Danielson, sr.; Lauren Benson, jr.
Key newcomers: Charlotte Potvin, so.; Sam Vanda, fr.
Worth noting: The Vikings were the class of the DuKane Conference last year, thanks to an excellent blend of talent and experience coming together. The Vikings graduated Kane County Chronicle Player of Year Anna Loberg, along with Devynn Day, but return Danielson, who was an all-conference selection. Benson is a highly talented player coming off a strong sophomore campaign. Former Geneva star Kosecki is in her first season as head coach. She took over for Annie Seitelman.
“Geneva volleyball has a brand-new team this year after graduating several key seniors. We are extremely young, and we are looking forward to the process of competing at the varsity level. The process has already started with hard work, trust and tradition,” Kosecki said.
Coach: Cynthia Violett
Last season’s record: 15-1
Top returners: Maddie Buckley, sr.; Meghan O’Sullivan, sr.
Key newcomers: Mackenzie Ewen, sr.
Worth noting: The Knights were Interstate 8 Conference champions and lost only once last season. Kaneland returns Buckley, a Ball State recruit, and O’Sullivan, a Grand Valley recruit, as a top duo on the outside. Both were all-area selections. Bella Ring and Mia Kane also return to give the Knights a solid foundation.
“Kaneland is looking to lead the conference again this year after returning a majority of our players from last spring. We’re looking forward to playing in tournaments and having a postseason this fall. I’m anticipating that we’ll make a run for the regional championship with the hope to make it to state,” Violett said.
Coach: Francisco Martinez
Last season’s record: 8-8
Top returners: Taylor Riddiford, sr., S; Caitlin Collins, sr., OH; Hope Wehrli, sr., M.
Key newcomer: Kylie Loquercio, sr., OH.
Worth noting: Rosary hummed along at .500 in the spring but brings back plenty of experience in a competitive conference. Riddiford, Collins and Wehrli headline the returners. The Royals expect significant production from Loquercio, who was unable to play in the spring. Martinez said she’ll “definitely be the player to watch.”
St. Charles East
Coach: Jennie Kull
Last season’s record: 10-3
Top returners: Lia Schneider, jr.; Kate Goudreau, jr.; Kendra Dziubinski, sr.
Key newcomers: Sarah Musial, so.; Maya Lopez, so.
Worth noting: The Saints graduated a number of high-level contributors, including Anita Prybell and Nina Scoliere, so Goudreau and Dziubinski will be relied upon for experience. Schneider, middle Isabella Mosquera, defensive specialist Taylor Swanson and outside hitter Alexis Crossen also are among the returners. Musial and Lopez are among the newcomers looking to carve out roles on the varsity level.
“[We] hope this young group can jell by the end of the season,” Kull said.
St. Charles North
Coach: Lindsey Hawkins
Last season’s record: 8-5
Top returners: Karlie Custer, jr., DS; Marissa Guajardo, sr., M; Jessica Parker, jr., S.
Key newcomer: Katie Scherer, so., OH.
Worth noting: The North Stars graduated Ally Warburton and Cailey Johns, who were among the top players on last year’s team. Warburton had 123 kills, 108 digs and 22 aces. The North Stars have good experience back in the middle, led by Guajardo and Moreno. Parker has St. Charles North excited about her growth at the setter position. Custer spent a portion of her summer in California training with the national youth Olympic development team.
“We graduated a few key players last year but we were also very young last year as well. So with a little more experience and being another year older, those returners are really looking strong,” Hawkins said.
Coach: Lisa Ston
Last season’s record: 11-7
Top returners: Nora Los, sr., MH; Jessica Schmidt, jr., MH; Shay McMillen, so., OH.
Key newcomer: Addy Horner, fr., RS.
Worth noting: The most notable graduation is libero Katlyn Sipes, an all-area selection who had 193 digs, 21 aces and 25 assists in the spring. The Spartans return some experience, particularly in the middle, with Los and Schmidt likely to anchor that spot on the court. McMillen is talented on the outside.
“We expect to compete for the conference title and look forward to watching this group improve throughout the year,” Ston said.
Source: The Daily Chronicle