By Phil Brozynski
One of the most eagerly-awaited moments of the spring sports season took place Monday the Illinois High School Associations rolling of the peas.
The rolling of the peas determine the bracket position for each of the eight state final quarterfinal qualifiers. In boys volleyball, the peas created three potentially brutal quarterfinal matches.
The first three quarterfinals on May 30 could look something like this: Providence, Marist or Sandburg vs. Glenbrook North; Brother Rice vs. Wheaton Warrenville South; and Glenbard East or Hinsdale Central vs. Neuqua Valley, Naperville North or Naperville Central.
The final quarterfinal of the day will feature the winner of the St. Ignatius Sectional (possibly 2007 quaterfinalist Whitney Young) vs. the winner of the Stevenson Sectional (most likely either Buffalo Grove or Warren).
The Lincoln-Way Central Sectional (Providence, Marist, Sandburg, Andrew and Lincoln-Way Central) and the Naperville North Sectional (Neuqua Valley, Naperville North, Naperville Central, Benet, Waubonsie Valley) are easily the most loaded fields in this years tournament.
On the other side of the coin, Brother Rice should have an easy time getting through the Mt. Carmel Sectional, and Young could only have to contend with Oak Park, St. Patrick and Fenwick to advance from St. Ignatius.
Evanston coach Mike McDermott would like the see the North Shore develop into a volleyball stronghold much like the western suburbs.
Glenbrook North has a strong program and New Trier is always pretty good, but Id like to see the North Shore become as deep and strong as the western suburbs with the DuPage Valley Conference and all the other great teams down there, McDermott said.
McDermott brought his Evanston team to Lisle last weekend to play a nonconference match with Benet. Although the Wildkits lost 25-22, 25-20, McDermott has a couple of pieces to build around in 6-8 junior John Prout and sophomore outside hitter Charles Hopson.
Paul Springer, a 6-5 senior and one of the best players on the North Shore, led the Wildkits (3-5) with seven kills and three aces in the match.
In personnel matters, Kathleen Russell, who led Barrington to the state championship match and a 33-3 record in 2005, is now a varsity assistant coach at Warren for head coach Yun Chen.
At Benet, former Naperville Central standout Mickey Perillo is serving as an assistant coach for Amy Van Eekeren, who was Perillos high school coach.