Girls volleyball: Scouting postseason in DuPage County, Fox

With the regular season coming to a close, all eyes in the girls volleyball world now turn to the postseason, which kicks into full gear on Monday with the start of regional tournaments.

While we'll save the answers for the teams to settle on the court, some pressing questions loom.

• Is this the year Benet captures its fifth state championship in program history?

• Can St. Francis repeat in Class 3A?

• Can IC Catholic Prep unseat Genoa-Kingston in Class 2A?

Class 4A St. Charles North sectional:

Benet (31-2), the top-ranked team in the Daily Herald Top 20, and defending state runner-up, won the Wheaton Classic, the Scholastic Cup and Autumnfest.

Just formalities for the Redwings as they run to Redbird and their fifth state title in coach Brad Baker's 17th season?

Don't tell Baker that, despite his team's dominance throughout the regular season, which has been led by the unmatched play of junior libero/outside Aniya Warren. The Indiana recruit has secured MVP honors at all three of the aforementioned tournaments.

"There are some awfully talented teams in our sectional," Baker maintains.

He's right, of course, starting with No. 2 Glenbard West (29-3), which handed Benet of its two losses back on Aug. 26. The Hilltoppers, led by freshman phenom setter Cara Herbert, have lost this season only to Benet (twice) and Ozark of Missouri.

This entire sectional is a volleyball fan's dream. If seeds hold, Benet will face a talented Naperville North (18-13) team for a regional title at Benet, and Glenbard West will battle host and No. 8 seed Naperville Central (17-14).

The other two regionals that feed to SCN promise to be ultra-competitive, as No. 3 and regional host Metea Valley (25-7), the DuPage Valley champ, figures to take on No. 6 St. Charles North (21-13), and No. 4 Wheaton Warrenville South (20-13) should meet up with No. 5 Geneva (21-13) at Addison Trail.

The SCN sectional winner advances to the Barlett supersectional on Nov. 3 to face the Glenbrook South sectional champ. New Trier (22-6) and Loyola (20-14) are the top seeds at GBS.

Class 4A Hinsdale Central sectional:

Oak Park-River Forest (26-6), the only team to beat Willowbrook (33-1) this season, is the top seed and hosts a regional that includes No. 9 seed Glenbard East and setter Hannah Meyer, who went over 1,000 career assist mark last weekend.

Willowbrook, led by the hard-hitting Kenny sisters, Calli and Hannah, is the No. 2 seed and also a regional host. Lyons Township (26-5) is the No. 3 seed and will play at the Riverside-Brookfield regional, while fourth-seeded Hinsdale Central (20-10) and fifth-seeded York (23-10) are at the Morton regional.

The winner at Hinsdale Central will advance to the Bolingbrook supersectional to face the winner of the Oswego sectional. Joliet West, Lockport, Oswego and Romeoville are the top four seeds at Oswego.

Class 4A Huntley sectional:

Top-seeded Huntley (28-4) will travel to the Rockford East regional.

Red Raiders coach Karen Naymola said Tuesday she expects to have junior standout outside Georgia Watson back for the playoffs. Watson has been sidelined with a back injury.

No. 2 seed Hononegah will host a regional that includes Hampshire, while Warren and Jacobs are the top two seeds at Jacobs, and Libertyville carries the top seed into the Grant regional.

Class 4A Hoffman Estates sectional:

Barrington (28-4), third at state last year, is the top seed here and a regional host, as well as the supersectional venue. No. 2 seed Stevenson (26-6) is at the Larkin regional, while No. 3 seed Hersey (22-6) is at the Streamwood regional. Hoffman Estates is the 4-seed and plays at the Buffalo Grove regional.

Class 3A St. Francis sectional:

Coach Lisa Ston's Spartans (26-8) will begin their quest for a repeat state title and the 14th in program history as the top seed at the Ridgewood regional.

Wheaton Academy (26-4) is the No. 2 seed and plays at the Fenton regional, while No. 3 seed Deerfield (26-7) and No. 4 Burlington Central (18-14) are each regional hosts.

Class 3A Woodstock North sectional:

This sectional winner will, along with the winner at St. Francis, head to Antioch for a supersectional.

The top seeds at Woodstock North are Crystal Lake South (20-10), Belvidere North (27-6), Lakes (20-9) and Grayslake Central (18-11).

Class 3A Lemont sectional:

Lemont (26-9), Kaneland (24-10), St. Laurence and Hinsdale South are the top four seeds here.

Class 2A Genoa-Kingston sectional:

One of the most anticipated matchups in the state, barring upsets, will be on the Cogs' court on Oct. 30 when defending state champ Genoa (33-1) takes on IC Catholic Prep (25-3) in a rematch of last year's riveting state title match that Genoa won in 3 sets.

The Cogs are led again by Tennessee Tech recruit Alyana Pierce, while ICCP's attack continues to run through Penn State signee Ava Falduto.

Timothy Christian (24-6) wears the dark horse tag here. The Trojans are led by junior standout Abby Vander Wal, a Texas commit who, with Falduto, excelled for the USA Volleyball U19 and U21 teams this past summer.

Class 1A Harvest Christian sectional:

Harvest (20-8) is the heavy favorite to win its own sectional. St. Edward (14-15-3) is also in this field.

  St. Charles North's Sidney Wright, left, and Haley Burgdorf block a shot by Geneva's Charlotte Potvin on Tuesday. Both teams begin regional play next week. John Starks/
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.