1. Naperville North will lose a big part of its team even before the state tournament starts. Six-foot-6 setter Gert Lisha has accepted an invitation to play in the upcoming FIVB World Championships for Albania’s Senior National Team. His last matches for the Huskies will be at Lincoln-Way East May 3-4.
“I was speechless when the Albanian national team offered me a spot,” Lisha said. “Leaving my teammates is a horrible feeling, but I couldn’t let this experience pass by. Everyone at Naperville North has been so amazing to me. Everyone took me in with open arms when I came in as a junior.
“Volleyball is my passion and I work extremely hard at it every day,” he added. “Even though I have this work ethic and passion for the game, I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without everyone who has helped me along the way.”
2. All four of Glenbard West’s (15-4) losses have come against private schools – Benet ,St. Francis, Brother Rice and Providence.
But those setbacks haven’t stopped the Hilltoppers’ Johnny Davis from thinking big heading into this weekend’s Benet invitational, where three of the four schools to which Glenbard West has lost – Benet, St. Francis and Providence – await.
“We’re going in thinking were going to win the tournament,” he said. “We got a good draw. We’re playing Benet Friday. We’re looking for some revenge there. The next day, we’re hoping to play St. Francis and get some revenge. We’re looking to come out swinging Friday and Saturday.”
3. A team to watch come state tournament time is Deerfield (15-3), which finished fifth at Downers Grove South last weekend after losing to eventual champion New Trier 25-21, 27-25 in the quarterfinals.
“We’re just starting to find our identity on defense and serve receive as we aren’t a very tall team,” coach Eugene Chung said. “This is one of the most coachable teams I’ve had and it’s great to have everyone on the same page so far this season.”