Barrington in the market for a new coach

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Benet (pictured after winning Autumnfest) has won 27 of its last 30 matches heading into Tuesday’s sectional semifinal at Romeoville.

Barrington, which at one time produced players like UCLA All-American Nellie Spicer. Penn State’s Laura Holloway and current Michigan setter Lexi Zimmerman, will be looking for a new coach next fall.

Chris Bronke, who took over the program five years ago when former head coach Karen Traub left after 10 years to move to Texas, announced last week that he will resign at the end of the season.

Bronke, a former assistant at Prairie Ridge under Stephanie Otto, went 33-10 in his rookie season, guiding Zimmerman and the Fillies to a Mid-Suburban League championship and a fourth-place finish in the Illinois High School Association Class AA tournament.

However, the Fillies are just 63-82 during the past four years, although Barrington rebounded from a 2-9 start this fall to post a 20-17 record after losing in the regional chamionship to Cary-Grove.

“I look forward to spending more time with my wife and pursuing more advanced degrees to further my career,” said Bronke, an English teacher at Barrington. “I wish the program nothing but success in the future.”

Barrington athletic director Mike Obsuszt said a search for Bronke’s successor will begin soon and he expects to have a new coach named well before the 2011 season begins next August.


Joliet Catholic’s 6-foot-2 senior middle hitter Lainey Wyman set a new single-season block record with 94 block kills this fall, surpassing the previous mark of 85 set by Claire Randich in 2008.

Wyman has also taken over the top spot on career block kill list from current Illinois middle hitter Nicole Kump, who had 210 between 2004-2006. Wyman is currently at 226.

“Lainey has been an amazing blocking presence in our matches this year, and has literally turned around several matches with her block,” Joliet Catholic coach Chris Scheibe said.

Wyman has been named to the East Suburban Catholic All-Conference Team along with junior teammates Kelly Feigh and Lauren Robertson.


An injury to Genna Pavone early in the season forced (Orland Park) Sandburg coach David Vales to scramble a little bit, but Vales found the answer in the combination of 5-foot-9 junior Kara Kentner and 5-11 sophomore Paige Bendell.

“With the absence of Genna, these two have really carried the load for us,” Vales said.

The pair have helped lead Sandburg (29-8) to the sectional at Shepard where the Eagles will face Mother McAuley in a semifinal at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

Vales also reached the 100 victory mark in four years with the girls’ program after succeeding former coach Kelly Mendoza. He also has another 250 victories in eight years at the head of the boys program at Sandburg.


Lincoln-Way East 5-foot-10 junior rightside Lauren Bherens tied a school record with 22 kills in a victory over Downers Grove South at the Rich East tournament earlier this season. This is Bherens’ third season on varsity.


(Chicago) DeLaSalle’s 5-foot-8 senior setter Jenna Duddleston was named the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference White Division Player of the Year after leading the Meteors to a third consecutive White Division regular season title and third place in the GCAC Red tournament.

It was the second consecutive season that Duddleston received the honor.

Duddleston had a season-high 30 assists in a 25-21, 25-27, 27-25 victory over GCAC rival Resurrection in September and had 26 assists and six kills in a 25-22, 29-27 victory over Riverside-Brookfield at the Maine East tournament.

The third-place finish in the CGAC Red tournament was the highest finish by DeLaSalle in its eight-year existence as a co-ed school. Arianna Hayden and Maggie Popp were also named all-conference for DeLaSalle (30-7).

DeLaSalle has advanced to the sectional at Lyons where it will face St. Ignatius in a semifinal at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday.


Congratulations to Marist’s Caroline Niedospial, who was named the East Suburban Catholic Conference “Player of the Year.”


Evanston’s 6-foot-4 junior middle blocker/outside hitter Casey Durham recently verbally committed to the University of Pittsburgh. Huntley junior Amy Dion, one of the state’s top liberos, recently committed to Maryland.


This is why I am not in the prediction business. Two of my 16 favorites to reach the final four in the IHSA four-class state tournament failed to make it out of the regional — (Port Byron) Riverdale in Class 2A and Moline in Class 4A,

Moline, which was 34-2 and nationally ranked, dropped a three-setter in the regional final to the hosts at Quincy.

I thought it was only tough to play at Quincy in boys basketball.


Once again, here are the national rankings from John Tawa:

1. Cary-Grove (Cary, Illinois)

Current record: 35-0; Last week’s ranking: 1

The Trojans begin defense of their 2009 4A state title with regional play beginning today. Since dropping a set to Wisconsin Division II champion Catholic Memorial on Sept. 4, Cary-Grove has recorded 27 straight sweeps, including wins over Louisville Assumption, Marist, Mother McAuley, a healthy St. Charles East (get well Erienne Barry) and Huntley twice. It’s no wonder that C-G has risen to the top of the national rankings! There is yet more work to be done for the Women of Troy, however. Three playoff matches loom this week, including a possible Tuesday sectional semifinal with Huntley.

15. Marist (Chicago, Illinois)

Current record: 33-2; Last week’s ranking: 15

Marist won the Trojan Invite on Saturday, taking a three-set win in the final over Hinsdale Central. Ashley Holder had 26 assists and sophomore middle Rachel Dalton had six kills and two blocks for the RedHawks in the final. Ally Davis had 15 kills to lead Hinsdale Central. Marist is playing so well that Southtown Star volley guru Tony Baranek predicted that the team would win the state 4A title, dethroning national No. 1 Cary-Grove in the process. “I’ve watched this team several times this season, and they ALWAYS seem to have the steadiest heads when it gets past 20,” he said. “I’m calling the upset with a fair amount of confidence.”

16. Lyons Township (La Grange, Illinois)

Current record: 34-1; Last week’s ranking: 16

Lyons concluded its regular season Saturday with wins over New Trier and Normal Community at the Lyons Invite. Senior OH Jocelynn Birks concluded the regular season with 382 kills to go along with a shiny 49 percent kill percentage.

The Next 75 (with random notes inserted)

31. Mater Dei (Breese, Illinois)

Current record: 35-1; Last week’s ranking: 30

Random note: The Knights won the Quincy Notre Dame Tournament over the weekend and have won 15 straight since a Sept. 28 loss to nationally-ranked St. Joseph’s ended their aspirations of an undefeated season.

40. Benet (Lisle, Illinois)

Current record: 29-6; Last week’s ranking: 44

43. Moline (Illinois)

Current record: 33-2; Last week’s ranking: 46

63. Mother McAuley (Chicago, Illinois)

Current record: 28-7; Last week’s ranking: 64

86. Joliet Catholic (Joliet, Illinois)

Current record: 28-7; Last week’s ranking: 87

99. York (Elmhurst, Illinois)

Current record: 31-4; Last week’s ranking: 42

Teams on the bubble (listed state-by-state, alphabetically)

Illinois: Althoff, Crystal Lake Central, Edwardsville, Hersey, Hinsdale Central, Hinsdale South, Huntley, Lanark Eastland, Libertyville, Lincoln, Marian Central, Quincy, Sandburg, St. Francis

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