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  • Smooth sailing for VanDixhorn, Tsorotiotis and Stevenson tandem May 29, 2014 8:11 PM
    There was an air of inevitability about the first day of the boys tennis state tournament from almost the moment Ben VanDixhorn, Stefano Tsorotiotis and Colin Harvey and Andrew Komarov took the courts at three venues as they calmly dispatched three opponents to advance into Friday’s round of 16. While at Rolling Meadows on Thursday, Libertyville’s VanDixhorn (32-4) conceded just 10 games during his three matches, six coming at the hands of the terrific sophomore Mack Galvin (35-5) of Rolling Meadows during a 6-4, 6-2 decision which allowed the 3-4 seed to get home early for some much needed rest in anticipation of a 9 a.m. match with Noah Rosenblat (Deerfield) at tourney host Hersey in Arlington Heights. “I felt really good right from the start today, and my plan from the beginning was to get through as quickly as I could in order to get out of the sun and heat and begin to prepare for an important second day here,” said VanDixhorn. “It’s a little different for me than last year, when I came in as more of an unknown. This time around there’s a target on my back, but I feel like my training and our schedule has helped me both physically and mentally for three days of tennis.” The other half of the Cats’ one-two punch, Tsorotiotis (27-3) was equally dominant in action at Hoffman Estates High School. The freshman rolled over three foes and next meets Christian San Andres (Downers Grove South); Tsorotiotis eliminated him 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals of the Pitchford 32 earlier this season. All of the front draw in singles will be played at Hersey on Friday, while the first round of doubles in the championship bracket are at Buffalo Grove, with the winners moving over to Hersey to join the rest of the field. Stevenson’s Harvey/Komarov (25-3) asserted themselves quickly Thursday morning at Elk Grove, with straight-set victories over Naperville Central, Normal University, and finally Belleville West to book their place opposite 9-16 seed Jonah Philion/Miles Blum of Oak Park-River Forest. “We were pushed a little during our first two matches, and that’s something we haven’t seen in our first two trips to the tournament,” said Komarov, who with Harvey was a state runner-up last spring. “But it felt to get out of here early.” Stevenson’s Adam Maryniuk/Matt Harvey (21-4) put in a terrific day’s work during their maiden state voyage as a tandem by sweeping all three of their matches in Palatine to set up a key Friday morning contest against 1-2 seed Lope Adelakun-Chase Hamilton (20-0) of Hinsdale Central. The Patriots’ perfect first day in doubles, coupled with two victories from Benjamin Bush in singles, helped the club hold onto eighth place at day’s end with 16 points, while the defending champions from Hinsdale Central and North Suburban Conference champ Lake Forest have 24 points apiece. New Trier is right there with 22 points, followed by Downers Grove South (20) and Highland Park and Glenbrook North (18 each). The news was very good for Lake County schools when play was completed late in the afternoon, as Kevin Hunt (Carmel, 23-4) and the doubles teams from Vernon Hills (David Dobrik/Nikita Lunkov) and Warren (Samuel Gudeman/John Westerberg) all responded to first-round defeats with a vengeance to win three straight in the backdraw to stay alive another day. After a heart-breaking three-set loss to Batavia (Adam Maris-Ryan Sterling) the Cougars reeled off a trio of two-set wins at Wheeling and next face Chicago Latin in an 8 a.m. matchup at Prospect High School with the hope of more success ahead. “Batavia was a very deceptive, but very good team, and their ability to chip and lob and get almost everything back ultimately did us in,” said Vernon Hills coach Doug Gerber. “But we came back to win the first set in a tie-breaker, then fell behind 0-3 in the second set against another good team from Quincy, and I thought the reason for our success today was the guys just left that first match loss behind them and moved on very well.” Gudeman, competing at state for a third time, and his teammate Westerberg will open today with Normal Community. Hunt, a junior, meets Brandon Woznicka of Chicago Taft, who won three state matches last year. Warren’s Neil Shah/Scott Seiler (18-8) were eliminated on Thursday, as was Grayslake Central senior Miguel Tolentino, who ended his season at 25-11. Antioch sophomore Braden Ward (22-9) saw his hopes of playing a second day here disappear following back-to-back losses at Hoffman Estates to East Suburban Catholic Conference runner-up Jack Geissler (Joliet Catholic) and a two-time qualifier from Marmion Academy, John King. “Braden came out with a lot of energy and confidence in what I felt was a winnable match, but in that second set, a few points we should have won didn’t go our way, and (Geissler) began to get into a comfort zone, which is a dangerous thing to have happen to you here,” said Antioch coach Neil Lesinski. “Braden has had a terrific sophomore year, his improvement has come in every area of his game. But sometimes you have days like this.”

     
  • Softball / Lake County roundup May 28, 2014 11:34 PM
    Bri Dreschler went 3-for-4 with a double, and Grant’s softball team pulled out a 5-4 win over second-seeded Prairie Ridge in a Class 4A regional semifinal at McHenry on Wednesday. McKenzie Sancken was 2-for-4 with a double and 2 RBI for No. 3 Grant (24-9), which advances to Saturday’s 11 a.m. regional final against the winner of today’s game between top-seeded McHenry and No. 4 Grayslake North.

     
  • Baseball / Lake County roundup May 28, 2014 10:59 PM
    Vernon Hills coach Jay Czarnecki said his team “survived a great baseball game” Wednesday. The Cougars outlasted Fenton 3-2 in 11 innings in their Class 3A regional semifinal.

     
  • Selfless play helps Vernon Hills advance May 28, 2014 10:20 PM
    Coaches love a player like Dylan DeBoer. That’s because the nearly 6-foot-3 outside hitter for Vernon Hills is strictly playing for the sake of the team. “It’s whatever we need him for,’’ said Vernon Hills coach Chris Curry. “Sometimes we hardly notice him.” That wasn’t the case on Wednesday night in Mundelein. On tap was the regional final matchup at Carmel. For the fourth time this season, the Cougars met up with Lake Zurich. And it was DeBoer’s night to stand up and be noticed. His 10 kills led all players. And for the fourth time this season, the Cougars (28-9) beat the best Bears team since volleyball came to that school.

     
  • Softball / Lake County roundup May 27, 2014 10:17 PM
    Softball Grayslake Central vs. Guerin susp.: At Grayslake Central, the Class 3A regional semifinal was suspended going into the top of the fourth with Grayslake Central leading 10-0. The game will be resumed at 4 p.m. today. Afterward, Regina Domincan will play Fenton. Warren vs. Loyola, susp.: At Loyola, the Class 4A regional semifinal started but was stopped in the top of the first due to lightning. After an hour and a half, the coaches agreed to suspend the game. The game will resume at 4:30 p.m. today at Loyola Academy’s Munz Campus in Glenview. The Mundelein vs Waukegan game will start at 6:30 p.m., after the completion of Loyola vs. Warren. Libertyville vs. Hersey, susp.: At Carmel, the Class 4A regional semifinal was suspended after 3 innings. Grayslake North vs. Round Lake, ppd.: At Grayslake North, the Class 4A regional play-in was called for the second day ib a row. No pitch was thrown in the game, which will be played at 4 p.m. today.

     
  • Vernon Hills, Lake Zurich to meet for regional title May 27, 2014 10:16 PM
    Max Spiglanin and Mike Heinz hammered 10 and 9 kills, respectively, as Vernon Hills’ boys volleyball team downed Libertyville 25-19, 25-16 in regional semifinal play at Carmel Catholic on Tuesday night.

     
  • Baseball / Lake County roundup May 24, 2014 10:57 PM
    Junior Justin Blasinski stole the show on senior day for Lakes’ baseball team. Blasinski provided the the game-winning RBI on a bases-loaded single to center field in the bottom of the eighth inning, as the Eagles defeated visiting Marian Central 4-3 Saturday.

     
  • VanDixhorn makes his case; Stevenson wins sectional May 24, 2014 6:53 PM
    Ben VanDixhorn made his statement to the boys tennis state tournament committee for a highly sought-after 3-4 seed with a three-set victory over teammate Stefano Tsorotiotis to capture the singles crown in Saturday’s Stevenson sectional, held at the Vernon Hills Athletic Complex. Stevenson won the team trophy, finishing ahead of Libertyville 21-14n Next were Mid-Suburban League champion Barrington (10), with Vernon Hills rounding out the top four with 7 points.

     
  • Bright finishes for Brey; Grayslake C. takes team title May 23, 2014 11:30 PM
    Somehow after running 3 miles, and doing so fast enough to qualify for the boys track and field state meet, St. Viator senior Nick Brey still had enough energy to jump in the air and chest-bump his teammates. “For some reason, after any race I have the energy somewhere to do that,” the Marquette-bound Brey said. “It started at conference last week with one of our sophomores, but I just wanted to keep it up.” Brey came up with a pair of second-place finishes at the Class 2A Grayslake Central sectional Friday night, but both were under the state cut and qualified Brey for a pair of events at state for the first time. His 4:28.96 in the 1,600 broke the school record set by Tim Phillips in 1979. Brey’s 9:33.07 clocking was not quite a school mark, but was plenty good for a state-qualifying berth.

     
  • Kohn connects twice as St. Viator edges Vernon Hills May 23, 2014 10:51 PM
    Lauren Kohn proved the difference between St. Viator and Vernon Hills, thanks to her second goal at 64 minutes in the Lions’ 2-1 victory against Class 2A girls soccer regional host Vernon Hills on Friday. The victory put the Lions (12-7-2) in Wednesday’s Grayslake North sectional semifinal, where they will meet either Deerfield or Crystal Lake Central at 6:30.

     
  • Drama aplenty through Day 1 of Stevenson sectional May 23, 2014 10:26 PM
    It was a nearly perfect day for Stevenson tennis Friday afternoon, but the story of the day was the success of the Vernon Hills doubles team of David Dobrik/Nikita Lunkov. In dramatic fashion and on their home courts, the duo rode the wave of momentum right into next weekend’s state tournament. The sectional host Patriots easily advanced their two doubles teams plus sophomore Benjamin Bush in singles, while the Libertyville duo of Ben VanDixhorn and Stefano Tsorotiotis left little doubt as to their status at the Vernon Hills Athletic Complex. Junior Kevin Hunt of Carmel will make his first appearance at state after a hard-fought straight-set victory over Brian Weisberg of Stevenson, while Barrington’s No. 1 team of Ishaan Jaglin-Scott Apmann (9-5) will join Hunt for their maiden voyage to the big show.

     
  • Evanston woman guilty of selling fatal heroin dose to Vernon Hills teen May 21, 2014 7:23 PM
    A Lake County jury has found an Evanston woman guilty of selling the heroin that led to the overdose death of a 15-year-old Vernon Hills High School girl in 2011. Michelle Lee, 21, faces up to 7 years in prison when she is due to be sentenced July 10.

     
  • Heinz, Vernon Hills a hit against Lake Zurich May 21, 2014 10:00 PM
    On this night, Vernon Hills High School administrators could have invited a few college defensive players to show off their skills. And frankly, even with those folks’ considerable talents, they might not have been able to dig senior Michael Heinz’s kills. His hits were simply too hard to handle. It was advertised as the two best teams in the conference met with a North Suburban Conference title at state. Visiting Lake Zurich was unbeaten in the conference and the Cougars had just one loss. Lake Zurich battled toe to toe with Vernon Hills in the early going. And then Heinz, setter Ryan Opitz, blockers Lem Turner and Max Spiglanin and rising sophomore Jared Bennett took over the match. Coach Chris Curry’s club won its sixth league title in the past 7 years with an impressive 25-21, 25-12 victory.

     
  • VH strikes quickly, ousts Wauconda May 21, 2014 11:13 PM
    A quick goal for the Vernon Hills girls soccer team provided a spark opening up the Class 2A regional semifinals. The Cougars scored in the opening minute, then followed up with another later as Natalie Orozco and Haley Lieberman both found the back of the net. Sixth-seeded Vernon Hills blanked No. 11 Wauconda 2-0 in a regional semifinal hosted by the Cougars on Wednesday night. No. 3 seed St. Viator shut out No. 14 Regina 5-0 in the other semifinal. St. Viator (11-6-3) meets Vernon Hills (13-5-2) in the regional final at 6 p.m. Friday.

     
  • Lake Zurich clinches NSC title game berth May 20, 2014 11:09 PM
    Amanda Guercio and Mallory Parsons homered, and Lake Zurich’s softball team clinched a berth in Thursday’s North Suburban Conference championship game by beating visiting Mundelein 8-3 Tuesday.

     
  • Evanston woman on trial in fatal overdose of Vernon Hills girl May 20, 2014 2:25 PM
    An Evanston woman is on trial for allegedly selling heroin to a 15-year-old Vernon Hills High School student who died of an overdose in 2011. Michelle Lee, of Evanston, faces up to seven years in prison if found guilty by a jury of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.

     
  • Worth the wait for Prairie champ Grant May 20, 2014 10:23 PM
    Grant’s baseball team had been waiting 10 years to win another North Suburban Conference Prairie Division championship, so a pair of lightning delays wasn’t going to dampen the Bulldogs’ enthusiasm. Nor was an abbreviated game. After the umpires called Tuesday’s showdown in Fox Lake at 7:40 p.m., 20 minutes after the game was stopped with Grant leading Vernon Hills 8-1 in the bottom of the fifth, players rushed out of the home dugout hollering happily and jumping. They then bounced through the handshake line and hustled to right field, where they laughed it up and posed for a team picture in front of the outfield fence.

     
  • Boys volleyball / Lake County roundup May 17, 2014 10:02 PM
    Glenbard West cracked a pretty mean streak. Vernon Hills had won its Cougar Classic volleyball tournament for the last four years. But Glenbard West swept the four-time defending champs in the title match on Saturday, 25-16, 25-22. Vernon Hills, which had won the championship in seven of the previous eight years, last finished second in 2003.

     
  • Softball / Lake County roundup May 16, 2014 11:49 PM
    Softball Warren 12, Vernon Hills 2: Sabrina Trevino’s 2-run homer in the sixth inning ended the North Suburban Conference crossover. Jana Wagner pitched a 2-hitter for host Warren (19-8). Vernon Hills fell to 6-23. Grant 8, Richmond-Burton 2: Bri Dreschler and McKenzie Sancken homered for the host Bulldogs in the nonconference game. Dreschler also doubled and finished 3-for-4, while Sancken was 2-for-4. Deanna Rodriguez went 2-for-3 for Grant (16-8), and Caityn Moran helped her own cause with a double. Moran struck out 10, allowed 5 hits and walked three.

     
  • Balliu, Lakes loom large in NSC meet May 15, 2014 10:37 PM
    Lakes scored 98.5 points to edge out two-time North Suburban Conference boys track and field champ Grant, which who finished with 91 on Thursday at Mundelein. NSC Lake Division champ Warren ran third with 69 points.

     
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