Phil Brozynski’s girls volleyball notebook

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Wayne Saunders misses the good old days.“I wish we still played teams like Marist, Joliet Catholic and Benet,” the Nazareth coach said. “Playing them made us a better team.”

The East Suburban Catholic Conference realigned into two divisions this fall – North and South – which means the Roadrunners do not face their former foes, who are in the South division. Nazareth improved to 3-0 in the North with its victory Tuesday over Carmel.

The North division includes Nazareth, Fenwick, Marian Central, St. Viator and Carmel, who play a home-and-home series. The South division includes Benet, Joliet Catholic, Marist, Marian Catholic, Bishop McNamara and Providence.

****In games late Wednesday, Libertyville earned its 20th victory of the year by defeating Wauconda 25-9, 25-14 in an North Suburban Conference Crossover. Alex Basler led the way with five kills and two blocks and Liz Apgar added 10 assists, two kills and three digs.Also, Hinsdale Central defeated WW South 25-14, 22-25, 25-18 behind Alex Davis’ 18 digs, Lauren Fuller’s 15 kills and 19 assists from Brooke Istvan.***Kacie Stoll, HannaMarkewycz and Dani Van Laten were named to the all-tournament team as Timothy Christian won the Manteno Invitational last weekend.Timothy Christian defeated Kankakee 25-8, 25-13, Coal City 25-13, 25-12, Beecher 25-14, 25-20 and Manteno 25-20, 25-12 before stopping Illiana Christian in the championship match, 25-18, 25-14.

Stoll led the Trojans with 35 kills and 24 digs, Markewycz added 48 digs and six aces, and Van Laten had 113 assists, eight aces and 15 digs. Timothy also got 22 kills and 12 blocks from Kaitlyn Gehrke and 31 kills from Juliana Stremler.

The only loss this season for Timothy Christian (23-1) was at Chicago Christian.

***St. Ignatius’ 5-9 freshman rightside Jill Bennett was among the super freshman mentioned in a recent article on Prepvolleyball.com.

***Caitlin Piechota, a 2011 graduate of Batavia, became the 13th student-athlete in Western Carolina University volleyball history to reach the 1,000-kill mark. She also became the ninth Catamount to have 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs when WCU defeated Gardner-Webb on September 24.

The last Catamount to reach 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs was Sara Komosinski (2000-03) who finished her career with 1,470 kills and 1,192 digs. Piechota now has 1,006 kills and 1,088 digs.

Piechota led the Catamounts (7-7) in kills with 15 and tied for the lead in digs with 12 against Gardner-Webb.

***Among the tournaments on tap this weekend are the Asics Challenge at Mother McAuley, the 27th Annual Schwartzwalder Tournament at Illinois Math and Science Academy, and a nine-team tournament at De La Salle.Friday’s pool play at McAuley at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. feature No. 2 seed Assumption, Sandburg and Joliet Catholic in Pool 2, McAuley, Downers Grove North and Wahlert (Iowa) in Pool 3, and St. Thomas (Fla.), Henry Clay (Ky.) and Huntley in Pool 6.

At Palos Courts, No. 1 seed St. Francis, Lone Peak (Utah) and Cary-Grove are in Pool A, Sacred Heart (Ky.), Nazareth and Lincoln-Way East are in Pool 4, Corona Del Mar (Calif.), Hillcrest (S.C.) and Stagg are in Pool 5, Catholic Memorial (Wis.), Newport Harbor (Calif.) and Lincoln-Way Central are in Pool 7 and Notre Dame (Ky.), Marist and Pius XI (Wis.) are on Pool 8.

Play resumes at 9 a.m. on Saturday with the Gold division at McAuley, the Silver at McAuley and Brother Rice and the Bronze at Palos Courts.Twelve teams are at IMSA, including IMSA, Aurora East, Aurora Christian and Westmont in Pool 1, Wheaton Academy, Newark, Serena and Leyden in Pool 2, and Christian Liberty, Joliet Central, Kennedy and defending champion Freeport Aquin in Pool 3.Play begins at 8 a.m. and continues until approximately 2 p.m. The playoff sessions begins at 2:30 p.m. with the title match tentatively set for 4:30 p.m.De La Salle should roll unchallenged through its own tournament, which includes the Meteors, Curie and Argo in Pool A; Jones, Eisenhower and Thornwood in Pool B; and Morgan Park Academy, Morton and T.F. North in Pool C.Pool play begins Friday at 5, 6 and 7 p.m. The championship round is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday with the first-place teams from pool play playing each other, the second-place pool finishers playing each other and the third-place teams in pool play meeting each other.***Maine South is seeking a boys volleyball team to fill a spot in the Hawk Invite on May 23, 2015, the final Saturday prior to the start of regional play. Teams already in the field include Hersey, Loyola, Maine South, Bartlett, Maine West, Maine East and Shepard.If interested, contact Maine South boys volleyball coach Gary Granell at ggranell@maine207.org.

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