Digital Access

Digital Access
Access kcchronicle.com and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Want to make sure you receive the latest local news? We’ve got you covered! Get the best in local news, sports, community events, with focus on what’s coming up for the weekend. Weekly mail subscription offers

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from Kane County Chronicle, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
Sign up for free email alerts. We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox.
Sports

It’s bump, set, spike for volleyball players

Geneva's Grace Hinchman (1) bumps the ball during a match against Rosary in the 2018 season.
Geneva's Grace Hinchman (1) bumps the ball during a match against Rosary in the 2018 season.

The start of the high school girls volleyball season initiates the drive toward Normal for the Class 2A and 3A state finals in November.

Here are previews of teams from around the Kane County Chronicle coverage area.

Batavia Bulldogs

Coach: Lori Trippi-Payne

2018 record: 14-22

Top returners

Name Year Position

Lauren Haefer sr. OH

Alexis Whelpley sr. MH

Priya Dave sr. S

Outlook: Their record perhaps isn’t the best indicator for how competitive the Bulldogs were a year ago, and with six seniors returning, Batavia should be poised for a bit of a bounce back. Haefer highlights the returners as a second-year captain.

“We will definitely be competitive with every team we play,” Trippi-Payne said. “Our schedule is very tough. Our first tournament at Metea Valley/Oswego East will feature two teams ranked in the top 100 in the nation ... so we will find out right away what that potential may be.”

Burlington Central Rockets

Coach: Kristen Peara

2018 record: 9-25

Top returners

Name Year Position

Kathryn Schmidt sr. MH

Rylie Hahn so. OH

Addy Nava so. OH

Outlook: The Rockets welcome a new coach in Peara after George Campos handled the duties last year. They have four seniors returning to their starting lineup and bring back a handful of sophomores for what they hope will be a fruitful season.

“Our move into the Fox Valley Conference will no doubt be challenging, but we are hoping for a surge of energy from our large group of younger players,” Peara wrote.  

Geneva Vikings

Coach: Annie Seitelman

2018 record: 21-17 

Top returners

Name Year Position

Cassidy Brown jr. OH

Grace Hinchman sr. L

Anna Loberg jr. S

Outlook: The Vikings lost in the regional finals last year, but are armed to return for a deeper run with a number of starters returning in Hinchman and others. Despite graduating some solid contributors in Emma Davine and Eli Ford, Geneva should be among the handful of top teams in the DuKane Conference.

“With several returners and a lot of new faces, we are excited about the depth and versatility this team has,” Seitelman said. “We are looking forward to this team’s potential.  

Kaneland Knights

Coach: Cynthia Violett

2018 record: 34-5

Top returners

Name Year Position

Grace Vranicar sr. L

Grace Franz sr. OH

Jordan Weber jr. MH

Outlook: The Knights have plenty of areas to adjust to, beginning with the move to the Interstate Eight Conference after the Northern Illinois Big 12 dissolved. Kaneland brings back a good deal of experience for a team that typically wins frequently in the regular season and beyond.

“We’re hoping to be in the running for first place this year in our new conference,” Violett said. “We’re a young, talented team.” 

Rosary Royals

Coach: Bill Allen

2018 record: 22-18

Top returners

Name Year Position

Sarah Konovodoff sr. L

Paige Gardella sr. S

Jessica Gardella sr. S

Outlook: The Royals were unfortunately disqualified from postseason play after they played too many regular-season matches, so while Rosary’s season was cut short, it had aspirations for a deep playoff run. Those will certainly continue this season, led by the Gardella sisters, and more.

“[We have expectations to] win a regional championship,” Allen wrote.

St. Charles East Saints

Coach: Jennie Kull

2018 record: 25-15

Top returners

Name Year Position

Anita Prybell jr. MH

Jessica Garland sr. L

Emily Stallman sr. DS

Outlook: The Saints enjoyed a magical run to supersectionals last year and will look to have another deep run this fall. Mckenna Slavik, the centerpiece of last year’s team, has moved on to Clemson, and standouts Samantha Urban, Calli Gentry and Kirsten Rogers also graduated. The Saints will need to retool while playing a difficult regular- season slate.

“We have a transfer student that was the libero for Glenbard North, Olivia Mueller,” Kull said. “She is also a defensive specialist. ... Defense will be our strength this year. We have a lot of newcomers, but they’re starting out working well together.”

St. Charles North North Stars

Coach: Lindsay Hawkins

Top returners

Name Year Position

Kyla Lannert sr. S

Cailey Johns jr. M

Maddie Gorniak sr. S

Outlook: After a sectional semifinals appearance last year, the North Stars graduated a number of high-profile contributors in Katie Lanz, GiGi Crescenzo and Grace Lilly. Lannert, Lauren Ringness, Maddie Gorniak and others are expected to help steady a North Stars team looking to return to state after success in 2017.

“We do have two sisters on our team this year: Nikole Custer and her little sister, Karlie Custer,” Hawkins said. “It will make for an interesting dynamic between the two of them and, as they are both some of the most athletic people I know, they will bring tons of athletic ability to our [team].”

St. Francis Spartans

Coach: Lisa Ston

2018 record: 25-10

Top returners

Name Year Position

Anna Calcagno sr. OH

Olivia Hojnicki jr. MH

Sierra Zygmunt sr. DS

Outlook: The Spartans fought all the way to a supersectional appearance after a phenomenal season. They’ll be back for another shot at state and are led by four-year starter Calcagno. Team defense is expected to be a strong attribute moving forward.

“Anna has elevated her game and will lead the way offensively,” Ston said. “I am excited to see this group compete. They have put in the work in the offseason and it is showing.” 

Loading more