The 18th state volleyball championships are this weekend at Hoffman Estates. Here are a few nuggets of data to digest before Friday’s quarterfinals begin.
The matchups look like this:
Neuqua Valley vs. Wheaton Warrenville South, 1 p.m.
St. Patrick vs. Morton, 2 p.m.
Buffalo Grove vs. Glenbard North, 5 p.m.
Maine South vs. Marist, 6 p.m.
Defending champ Wheaton Warrenville South, runner-up Buffalo Grove and Neuqua Valley are all return from a year ago.
Four No. 1 seeds advanced and four No. 2 seeds qualified. Somewhere, an ESPN analyst is upset about all the chalk.
Losing the first game doesn’t seem to be as big of a deal as imagined. Four of the quarterfinalists (Buffalo Grove, Wheaton Warrenville South, Maine South and Morton) all played at least two of their four matches in the regional and sectional rounds in which they lost the first game.
Marist is one of five teams to have lost its opening game in the sectional final.
Morton’s short. Eleven players are less than 6-feet and the team’s tallest two players are 6-1. By contrast, WWS’ Neill Nystrom is 6-10. Jonathan Hernandez leads Morton team with 278 kills at 5-9.
Maine South, St. Patrick and Glenbard North all lost season-opening matches. St. Patrick was 7-4 after 11 games but comes into the state tournament on a 17-match winning streak. The Shamrocks have won their last 34 games.
Finally, this is for the stat heads.
Most kills: Neuqua Valley’s Rob Bauer (334)
Most assists: WWS’ Joe Kelly (1,023)
Most digs: BG’s Joe Duda (421)
Enjoy the matches.