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Schwab: Geneva volleyball player commits to University of Mobile

A husband-wife duo team up on the University of Mobile women’s volleyball coaching staff, and Geneva senior Hannah Buck had trouble recalling which one was the head coach.

Buck felt more certainty that the Mobile, Ala., school is the place for her.

On Thursday night, Buck, an outside hitter, committed to the Rams’ women’s volleyball program, where head coach Jon Campbell is assisted by Amber Campbell.

“Their coaching style is really nice because they help each other out,” Buck said. “They’re married so they can say whatever and they [won’t] get mad at each other.”

Buck said current Mobile players gave the tandem’s coaching style favorable reviews, and Buck was able to see for herself during a visit to campus with her mother, Lisa, last weekend.

Choosing a coastal locale was no accident. Buck picked the University of Mobile, an NAIA program, over Barton College (N.C.).

“I’m kind of interested in marine biology,” Buck said. “I always have liked marine life and stuff like that.”

It’s not only studying what’s in the water that appealed to Buck on her campus tour.

“I really liked it,” Buck said. “They have a pool on campus and the beach is close, so that was one of the deciding factors for me.”

The Rams’ program launched in 2005, and Jon Campbell has been head coach the entire time. Mobile went 24-13 last season.

Buck is in the midst of her club volleyball season with Fusion South in Batavia.

When it’s time to head off to school, she hopes she has a travel partner. Fellow Geneva senior Jordan Touro, a friend of Buck’s, has committed to the South Alabama baseball program. South Alabama also is located in Mobile.

“It was really nice because we can either drive down together or fly down,” Buck said. “Hopefully we’ll have the same breaks and stuff.”

Payne checks out Virginia Tech: St. Charles North senior boys basketball player Quinten Payne was scheduled to visit Virginia Tech on Friday, his father, Kent Payne, confirmed.

Payne, the Kane County Chronicle Boys Basketball Player of the Year, originally signed with Loyola, but was released from his letter of intent last month in conjunction with the announcement that his older brother, Cully Payne, would not return to the Ramblers for his senior season.

Virginia Tech, an Atlantic Coast Conference member, is coached by James Johnson, who will be entering his second season with the Hokies. Payne, a 6-foot-4 guard, averaged 19.8 points a game for the North Stars as a senior.

Berry snares second offer: St. Francis freshman quarterback Justin Berry received a scholarship offer from Arizona State during a recent visit to the Sun Devils’ campus.

Berry, of St. Charles, already holds a scholarship offer from Temple. He is hoping to challenge for the varsity quarterback spot with the Spartans in the fall.

Back-to-back: St. Francis boys basketball coach Bob Ward was named District 7 coach of the year for the second straight season by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.

Ward, who also has been the Kane County Chronicle’s Boys Basketball Coach of the Year for consecutive seasons, led St. Francis to a 22-8 record and IHSA Class 3A supersectional berth this season.

• Jay Schwab is sports editor of the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5382 or

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