Category Archives: Volleyball

Dudzinski digging Wichita State


On Nov. 9 at the Kaneland High School library, varsity volleyball player Katy Dudzinski officially signed to play for Wichita State next year. She is surrounded by her mother, Barb, her father, Dave, and brother, Robbie. Her friends, coaches and teammates came to help her celebrate. Brother Dave suits up for the Holy Cross basketball team in Massachusetts. Photo by John DiDonna

Volleyball falls in regional to Glenbard S. in three games

Photo: Katy Dudzinski (left) and teammate Keri Groen show their blocking skills during the annual Spikefest on Saturday, in which KHS took third place. The Lady Knights’ season concluded on Tuesday. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In coach Todd Weimer’s regime, the fact that Kaneland was one point away from a regional match victory shows the significant progress KHS has made on the court.

However, it remained at one point on Tuesday, as third-seeded Glenbard South staged a four-point rally on its way to a 19-25, 25-17, 26-24 thriller at St. Francis High School in Wheaton, Ill.

The Lady Raiders face regional host St. Francis on Thursday, Oct. 27.

Kaneland finished the season at 19-15, matching last year’s total, with a 6-4 mark in Northern Illinois Big XII play.

After a 15-4 start to 2011, KHS dropped 11 of its last 15 contests against a stacked schedule.

Kaneland fell behind in game one 14-9 before closing to 17-14. KHS then scored 10 in a row and closed it on a Katy Dudzinski kill for game point.

The Lady Knights fell behind as GS rallied in game two, down 24-15 before the Raiders cinched it.

An even third game saw good front line play, but Glenbard South made good on its service time. Kaneland was down 19-14, but rallied to tie it at 21 and take a 24-22 lead, but could score no more.

“We just couldn’t get out of it, and we’re very disappointed,” Weimer said. “We had a bunch of curveballs thrown at us, some injuries and mismatches. I’m upset that we lost, we really wanted to play St. Francis. It’s hard.”

Kaneland also hosted the annual Spikefest on Saturday out at Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove, finishing in fourth place out of eight squads with a 2-3 record.

Weimer’s Lady Knights took care of Aurora Christian 25-20, 25-10, and Hampshire 26-24, 25-7, before losing to tournament champ Metea Valley 25-19, 22-25, 15-9, and then Oswego East 25-20, 25-16. KHS fell to Geneva in the third-place game by a final of 26-24, 25-6.

Metea Valley beat Oswego East in the championship match 25-18, 25-23.

Kylie Siebert and Katy Dudzinski were named to the 2011 All-Tournament team.

Siebert had 80 digs during the tournament, giving her 1,100 digs throughout her KHS career with 12 assists and 10 aces. Katy Dudzinski had 32 kills, giving her 839 for her KHS tenure, and 14 digs, while Ashley Prost added 38 assists and 26 digs.

Against Yorkville on Thursday in the East gym, Kaneland suffered a 25-17, 17-25, 25-22 loss.

KHS says goodbye to seniors Siebert, Dudzinski, Kourtni Bingley, Malory Groen and Fabrizius.

Volleyball sweeps rival Sycamore

KANELAND—It had been rough going the past week and a half for KHS volleyball.

Six matches failed to go Kaneland’s way, albeit with a strong slate of opponents.

Who knew the remedy to the Lady Knights’ ills would be…Sycamore?

Kaneland executed a season sweep of the Lady Spartans in Maple Park on Thursday, thanks to a 23-25, 25-18, 25-22 result. It was the first NIB-12 matchup that went three games.

KHS coach Todd Weimer stressed after last week’s loss to DeKalb the need for the team to have each other’s backs on the court, regardless of mistakes. That, plus execution against a high-level opponent meant good things.

“(It was) just everyone playing very well,” KHS coach Todd Weimer said. “Katy (Dudzinski) had 21 kills, Kylie (Siebert) with 31 digs…it was just awesome.”

After last week’s win coupled with a 25-14, 25-16 Tuesday win over host Rochelle, the Lady Knights’ record rose to 17-10 with a 6-3 record in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference action.

To help the winning effort, the Lady Knights also had Grace Fabrizius contribute 23 digs, Ashley Prost at 19 assists, and Jenny Lubic add 11 assists.

Maddie King had the match-clinching kill for KHS.

All levels of KHS volleyball were successful against the Lady Hubs on Tuesday.

Ahead for the Lady Knights is the final conference tilt against Yorkville on Thursday, Oct. 20, and Spikefest hosted at Harter Middle School on Saturday, Oct. 22.

Lady Knights in midst of six-match skid

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—For awhile, the Lady Knights volleyball contingent was stacking wins.

Now, they look to topple the current stack of losses, with the playoffs entering the picture later this month.

On Thursday, Kaneland dropped a 25-21, 25-20 affair to host Morris, lost to visiting Geneva on Oct. 5 by a final of 25-18, 27-25, and dropped three matches at the Bettendorf Tournament on Saturday.

Finally, on Tuesday during a Pink Out that raised money for the fight against breast cancer, the Lady Knights lost in straight games to DeKalb 25-21, 25-21.

“It was definitely a really fun event,” KHS coach Todd Weimer said. “I can’t tell you how many people helped out.”

The Lady Knights are now 15-10 and 4-3 in NIB-12 play.

Against the Lady Redskins, libero Kylie Siebert had 10 digs, while Grace Fabrizius had five kills. Future Wichita St. weapon Katy Dudzinski added five kills of her own.

The night before, the Lady Knights saw contributions from personnel like Siebert, with 11 digs and nine serve-recieve receptions, Dudzinski with nine kills, Fabrizius with 12 digs, and Lauren Banbury with three kills.

The weekend gathering in the Quad Cities region saw Kaneland first drop a 21-16, 21-19 result to Ankeny H.S. of Iowa, and a 21-14, 15-21, 13-15 clash to Bettendorf before losing 21-13, 21-17 to Moline.

Siebert had 59 digs, while Ashley Prost added 48 assists throughout the tournament.

Early in the first game, the Lady Knights fell behind 12-5 before tying it up thanks to DeKalb errors and a couple of Dudzinski kills, at 19 apiece. DeKalb outscored KHS 6-2 the remainder of the way. KHS last led at 5-4 of the first game.

In game two, DeKalb again stormed out to a 12-4 lead, but tighter play and a kill by Lyndi Scholl, coupled with a Banbury block, brought it to 23-21 before the Lady Barbs took it.

“The players need to keep sticking together and that everyone has everyone’s back. I trust the players. Just because you had a bad night, you need to step up,” Weimer said.

Kaneland was preparing for the visiting Sycamore Lady Spartans on Thursday, Oct. 13.

Photo by Madeline Cole

Lady Knights get dig on Dixon

Photo: Grace Fabrizius (14) spikes away for the Lady Knights volleyball crew, which has won 15 of 19 contests.Photo by Madeline Cole

KANELAND—Lady Knights volleyball continues to go on a tear after solid wins against crossover foe Dixon on Thursday.

With a 25-20, 25-17 win over the visiting Duchesses, the Lady Knights improved to 15-4 (4-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

Against Dixon, KHS stalwart Katy Dudzinski had 15 kills and 4 aces, Kylie Siebert added nine digs. Ashley Prost added 10 assists. Jenny Lubic added nine assists and an ace.

All other underclass levels came away with wins, as well.

KHS looks toward Morris for an integral NIB-12 match on Thursday, Oct. 6.

Volleyball drops battle with Lady Barbs in NIB-12 action

KANELAND—Lady Knights volleyball may have dropped its very first meeting at the brand new DeKalb High School to the hosts, but if there’s a silver lining, they’ll meet again Oct. 11.

Thursday saw Kaneland suffer a rare 2011 loss to the host Lady Barbs in Northern Illinois Big XII action by a sweep of 25-17, 25-23.

KHS now stands at 11-4 on the season, and 1-1 in NIB-12 play.

Ashley Prost had eight assists and five digs on the night, while teammate Kylie Siebert had 10 digs. Katy Dudzinski added nine kills in the losing effort.

In sophomore action, the Lady Knights also dropped the match, 25-19, 25-18 to the Lady Barbs.

The freshman levels came away with a win back to Maple Park, however. “A” took a 25-14, 21-25, 25-20 matchup, while “B” took a 25-23, 25-11 sweep.

The varsity roster looks forward to a NIB-12 clash with the visiting Rochelle Lady Hubs on Thursday, Sept. 22.

Volleyball sees strides in 4-1 showing at Bartlett Tourney

KANELAND—With the leaps and bounds in a positive direction from Kaneland volleyball the last five years, sometimes second place isn’t so bad.

With four wins out of five matches, the Lady Knights finished second place out of six squads at the Bartlett Tournament on Saturday.

Kaneland also tagged visiting Morris on Tuesday as conference action began.

Kaneland is now 11-3 (1-0 NIB-12).

KHS defeated Woodstock North 25-10, 25-12 to kick things off in Bartlett. The Lady Knights then beat Dundee-Crown by a 25-15, 25-14 clip. West Chicago beat Kaneland to continue its undefeated campaign, 25-22, 25-21. KHS then beat the host school 25-13, 25-27, 15-11 before ending the day with a 25-19, 27-26 win over Larkin.

Lauren Banbury came away with 24 kills while Jenny Lubic had 47 assists during the day.

Against the Lady Redskins, Kaneland’s 25-17, 25-19 win was highlighted by Katy Dudzinski’s 10 kills and Kylie Siebert’s 20 digs.

The Lady Knights’ venture to the new DeKalb High School for conference play on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Lady Knights put the brooms to H-BR Royals, now 6-2 on court

Photo by Mary Herra
KANELAND—Lady Knights volleyball seems to be settling into a nice early rhythm eight matches into 2011.

The recent good fortunes have made matters quite bumpy for KHS opponents.

The most recent victim was the Hinckley-Big Rock program, which fell to the host Lady Knights 25-19, 25-20 in varsity action.

The Lady Knights have won six of their first eight matches, before the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference season heats up.

Front-line presence Katy Dudzinski had nine kills to her credit, while teammates Grace Fabrizius and Lauren Banbury added four each of their own. Jenny Lubic and Maddie King had two aces each, while Ashley Prost added 14 assits in the winning effort.

Up ahead for KHS, the usual mid-Sept. Bartlett Tournament stop, taking place on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Volleyball rises to 5-2 after prolific week

Photo: Lyndi Scholl (left) and Kylie Siebert make sure the serve is handled during the third game of Kaneland’s match against Burlington Central on Tuesday. Kaneland won two of three games. Photo by John DiDonna

KANELAND—For Todd Weimer’s Kaneland Lady Knights volleyball crew, there weren’t better opportunities to view the roster’s progress than at the usual Wheaton North Tournament stop and a trip to Burlington Central.

When the dust settled, KHS viewed a 5-2 record after winning three of five matches in Falcon-land, and the first win for coach Weimer over BC on Tuesday by a final of 25-18, 25-27, 25-18.

The action of Aug. 24 began with a 25-14, 13-25, 25-23 loss to the Hilltoppers of Glenbard West, but the Lady Knights rallied with a 25-13, 25-21 sweep of the host school.

At the end of day one, Katy Dudzinski had 36 attacks, followed closely by Grace Fabrizius with 30 attacks. Dudzinski had 22 kills, while Fabrizius had nine.

On Saturday, the Lady Knights first took care of Oak Forest, 25-14, 24-26, 25-23, then swept St. Viator by a final of 25-11, 25-23.

Glenbard West defeated Kaneland in the finale by a 25-21, 21-25, 25-14 final.

Dudzinski finished Saturday with eight blocks and 43 kills, while Ashley Prost contributed 51 assists. Teammate Kylie Siebert had three aces on the afternoon.

The win over the host Lady Rockets on Tuesday featured nine kills from Fabrizius, and 19 assists from Prost.

The Lady Knights now deal with the visiting Lady Royals of Hinckley-Big Rock on Thursday, Sept. 1.

Photo Gallery: Thursday Night Lights

Kaneland Knights football gets a pre-season workout in friendly territory during Thursday’s annual Knights Under the Lights event in Maple Park. The Knights’ first step to try and duplicate regular season success of a year ago occurs on Friday, Aug. 26, against Chicago’s Brooks Prep. This will be the first opening night encounter against someone other than Burlington Central since 2003, when KHS lost a 14-6 battle with defunct Driscoll Catholic. Photos by Madi Cole

Volleyball beats NIB-12 crossover foe

Fabrizius, Dudzinski, Banbury key in KO of Geneseo
KANELAND—Volleyball began 2011-12 in grand fashion.

The Lady Knights didn’t let the two-hour trip diminish their court skills as they beat the host Lady Leafs of Geneseo in a Northern Illinois Big XII conference crossover clash by an 18-25, 25-19, 25-20 result.

Grace Fabrizius paced the team with 12 kills, followed by Katy Dudzinski’s 11. Lauren Banbury had six kills to add to the winning effort.

Dudzinski also added four blocks on the evening.

In sophomore action, the Lady Knights had a come-from-behind win over Geneseo by a final of 20-25, 25-23, 25-22.

The freshman “A” squad swept its contest in a 25-10-25-17 encounter, while the “B” team did the same in a 25-9, 25-15 affair.

On the horizon for the quick-starting Lady Knights: the second night of the Wheaton North tournament on Saturday, Aug. 27.

Volleyball plans to build on 2010 with returning core

Photo: Katy Dudzinski brings experience, size and force to the Lady Knights volleyball squad looking to elevate a 19-win total from 2010. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Could this be a lucky seventh for KHS volleyball coach Todd Weimer?

After a 2010 season that featured a record of 19-14, wins over Geneva (first time since 1991) and Sycamore (road win for the first time since 1999) for the first time in a long time, Weimer’s raring to get his girls on the court once again.

“There were a ton of firsts for us last year,” Weimer said. “I’m feeling great. We’re pumped up every morning. I love investing even more into the program, and we’re very excited.”

The Lady Knights flourished last year, but will have to deal with the sting of a regional opener loss to Hampshire, and the graduation of four seniors led by NIU freshman Jessica Lubic.

“Team chemistry is extremely strong and the personalities are great and attitude has been awesome,” Weimer said. “Last year was great and we think this will be a fun season.”

Seniors returning to the Lady Knights include libero Kylie Siebert.

“This is Kylie’s third year on varsity, and it goes through her on our side. She’s the first contact or the first pass, and she’s the best at it,” Weimer said.

Six-foot-two Katy Dudzinski, committed to Wichita State University, also lends skills up front as RS.

“Kylie, Katy and Malory Groen have kind of set the tone for the expectations,” Weimer said.

Additional seniors include OH Kourtni Bingley, MH Groen and OH Grace Fabrizius.

Juniors are marked by OH Lyndi Scholl, MH Keri Groen, S Ashley Prost, DS Rachael Clinton and MH Lauren Banbury.

Sophomores ready to make an impact on varsity are OH Maddie King and S Jenny Lubic.

The season’s first serve is set in Geneseo in a NIB-12 crossover on Monday, Aug. 22, while the first East Division match takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 13, against Morris.

“The setting is great, the defense is great, the passing is consistent. With this whole team, there are very few weaknesses,” Weimer said.

A July bump

Weimer
Todd Weimer of Kaneland High School volleyball oversees drills on Thursday during Team “K” Volleyball Camp at Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove. The camp was for girls in grades 9-12. Photo by Mike Slodki

Kaneland’s Road to Fall begins shortly

KANELAND—Kaneland High School released its Fall Sports signup information last week.

•You must have a current physical on file in order to try out to practice. There will be no exceptions. Physicals are good for one calendar year.

• A participation fee of $100 per sport, $100 per season for cheerleaders (please indicate season on check), and $100 for pompons per season.

The Kaneland High School Athletic Department will host a mandatory preseason meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 17, at 7 p.m. for fall athletes. One or both parents are required to attend a meeting with their athlete in order to meet Kaneland High School’s eligibility requirements. Parents and students will meet with their fall coaches. The second part of the mandatory meeting will be available on the Kaneland website by Aug. 1, as a podcast that fall parents and students must listen to by Saturday, Aug. 27.

FOOTBALL—Equipment handed out on Monday, Aug. 8, from 5 to 6 p.m. Football insurance is available, or parents may sign a waiver and use their own medical insurance.
Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10. All levels must meet in the East Gym at 7:30 a.m. Practice for lower levels will be from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Lower levels should bring their lunch. Practice for varsity is 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. Meetings will take place at 2:15 p.m.

VOLLEYBALL—Tryouts are Aug. 10 through Aug. 12 for all levels from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Bring a water bottle and light snack. Activity will take place in the East Gym. Varsity conditioning is from 3 to 5 p.m.

TENNIS—Tryouts begin on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the tennis courts behind the high school.

GOLF—Meeting takes place on Monday, Aug. 8, at 8 a.m., in room C114. Players will not golf at this time, but will turn in physicals, receive practice schedules and go over team expectations. Tryouts take place on Wednesday, Aug. 10, and Thursday, Aug. 11, at 6 a.m. at Hughes Creek.

SOCCER—Tryouts begin on Wednesday, Aug. 10. All levels will have tryouts from 9 to 11 a.m., and from 3 to 5 p.m., at the KHS soccer fields.

All players must purchase a spirit pack from the school. Bring cleats, shin guards, water, and gym shoes (in case of inclement weather). Parents who have questions can e-mail coach Scott Parillo at Scott.parillo@kaneland.org.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY—Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 7 a.m. The team meets in the high school cafeteria. The team will also embark on an overnight camping trip from Aug. 11 to 12. Parents with questions can e-mail coach Chad Clarey at theclarey5@yahoo.com.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY—Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10. The team meets in the commons at 6:30 a.m.

POMS—Mandatory practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 8 to 11 a.m., and the team meets in the high school commons.

CHEERS—Mandatory practices begin on Thursday, Aug. 11, from 7:30 to 10:15 a.m., and the team meets in the East Gym balcony. Also, the cheerleaders will be in the Elburn Days parade and host the annual dunk tank.

Additionally for all fall sports, Knights Under the Lights takes place on Thursday, Aug. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m.

KHS volleyballers have hand in National Title


Three Kaneland volleyball players playing on the Kane County Juniors 18 Gold team took home the championship at the Volleyball Festival in Phoenix, Ariz. in late June. Kaneland volleyballers Jessica Lubic, Katy Dudzinski and Kylie Siebert and their team was the top seed entering the tournament, which included teams from Arizona, North Carolina, California and Texas. The team included (front row, from left) Taylor Knauf of Aurora Christian High School, Haley Norris of Rosary High School, Lubic, Siebert, (back row) Coach Coley Pawlikowski, Emily Bemis of DeKalb High School, Kathy Fletcher of West Chicago High School, Courtney Bemis of DeKalb High School, Kendall Baum of DeKalb High School, Emily Paschke of West Chicago High School, Dudzinski and Coach Dan Pawlikowski. Courtesy Photo

Dudzinski commits to Wichita State volleyball

Sports: Katy Dudzinski has her college choice out of the way, making a verbal commitment to Wichita State University Shockers volleyball last week. File Photo

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland volleyball fans won’t be shocked that outside hitter Katy Dudzinski will be competing at the next level after graduating from high school in the spring of 2012.

As for Dudzinski, she’ll be joining a program full of them.

Last week, the 6-foot-2 junior made a verbal commitment to play Division I volleyball for the Wichita State University Shockers program in Wichita, Kan.

The Shockers, coached by Chris Lamb, get a premier player in the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference and the area, while Dudzinski gets piece of mind after making her college choice.

“Basically, I’ve been playing competitive volleyball since freshman year and I had always liked University of Arizona, but I wondered if I would click there. Once we visited (Wichita State), I fit in with the program and it clicked,” Dudzinski said.

Dudzinski, who also competes with the Kane County Juniors club volleyball outfit, is doing her best to tear up the softball diamond this spring.

The junior had also considered University of Northern Iowa, Missouri Valley Conference-mates with the Shockers, during the recruiting questionnaire stage.

“They had already signed outside hitters, so I checked Wichita State out, and it’s such a great program and I get a full-ride scholarship,” Dudzinski said.

Dudzinski’s older brother Dave just completed his freshman basketball season for the Division I Holy Cross Crusaders.

Now Katy will get a chance to experience differences in the volleyball game.

“It’s tremendously fast and you can feel a little over your head right now. The girls are all in good shape, and it’s a fast sport at the college level,” Dudzinski said.

Dudzinski’s junior volleyball season featured many kills for the Lady Knights in a 19-14 season.

Kaneland High School rises up with fall sports awards

Photo: Kaneland’s Hayley Guyton, was one of the highlighted athletes recognized for her State trip during the fall season for girls’ golf. File Photo

KANELAND—It was time to think warmer thoughts at Kaneland High School, as Friday had the release of the Kaneland High School Fall Sports Awards.

The awards were announced at this late date due to the postseason success of the football squad.

For girls cross-country, the captain trio of Andie Strang, Jessica Stouffer and Kris Bowen were recognized for its service.

Shaela Collins and Kaitlin Munyon took home the most improved runners honor, and Strang was named most valuable runner. Strang, Ashley Castellanos and Jennifer Howland were named to the Northern Illinois Big XII All-Conference squad, and Howland was honored for her State qualifying appearance in Nov.

For the boys cross-country side, Trevor Holm was picked as most valuable runner. and Ryan Paulson took home the most improved runner honor. The Larry Eddington Award for Courage, Leadership and Strength went to Tommy Whittaker. Grant Alef, Holm and Whittaker were recognized as captains.

The Golden Knight award, given to one runner in each grade level, was bestowed upon freshman Dylan Kuipers, sophomore Christopher Wido, junior Clayton Brundige and Tommy Whittaker.

Holm was honored for his standing in the NIB-12 All-Conference group, as well as being a State qualifier.

For football, Joe Camiliere, Jimmy Boyle, Taylor Andrews, Blake Serpa, Tyler Callaghan and Curtis Secrest were recognized as captains. Nick Michels won the most improved player nod, and the MVP honor went five ways with Camiliere, Boyle, Andrews, Serpa and Callaghan earning the honor.

Camiliere was named offensive MVP, while teammate Serpa took the defensive MVP. Quinn Buschbacher won the special teams MVP. A slew of Knights were named to the NIB-12 All-Conference team: Sam Komel, Ben Kovalick, Ryan Noel, Buschabcher, Sean Carter, Camiliere, Boyle, Serpa, Kyle Davidson, Jacob Razo, Callaghan and Andrews.

Concerning Kaneland golf, Anthony Sperando was named most improved player on the varsity level, and Hayley Guyton was named varsity MVP. Matt Yonkovich and Brody Kuhar shared the frosh/soph MVP sward. Sean Glennon was awarded the frosh/soph most improved player award. Team leader Guyton was also lauded for her eighth place finish at the girls’ gold State gathering.

For the Lady Knights volleyball crew, Jessica Lubic took the most valuable player award. Katy Dudzinski was named top offensive player, and Kylie Siebert won top defensive player award. The Spirit Award went to Mackenzie Curran, while most improved player was won by Lauren Banbury.

Lubic and Dudzinski were honored for their spots on the NIB-12 Conference team.

For boys’ soccer, Alex Gil, J.P. Minogue, Thansi Pesmajoglou, Trevor Wolf and Derek White were honored for their captaincy. Alex Weiss and Jordan Escobedo were named co-most improved player, while Minogue and White took home the co-MVP award. Rookie of the Year went to Anthony Parillo. The Coach’s Award was given to Gil, Sam Rymarz, Alec Koczka and Pedro Perez.

All-Northern Illinois Big XII members were announced as White, Minogue, Escobedo, Gil, Chad Swieca and Parillo. Honorable mention members were Perez, Rymarz, Koczka, Wolf, Tyler Siebert, Weiss and Pesmajoglou.

Escobedo was named to the all-Sectional squad, and teammate Gil was an honorable mention.

Kaneland volleyball ousted in regionals

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was a productive season for Kaneland volleyball that saw KHS coach Todd Weimer’s crew overcome obstacles and stack a nice number of wins.

But the 19-14 Lady Knights’s ended just the same.

Kaneland was conceivably 12 points away from eliminating second seed Hampshire during Thursday’s Kaneland Regional. but the Whip-purs rallied and surged ahead, stopping Kaneland 22-25, 25-20, 25-18 to go to Saturday’s final against top seed Sycamore. The Lady Spartans eliminated Burlington Central 25-17, 25-22.

“It’s tough. The team’s had a productive season. For us, it’s been small steps. Finally winning a conference match, doing well in a tournament, getting close to .500, over.500, hosting a regional. This is one step at a time,” Weimer said.

Going neck-and-neck in the first game, Kaneland found itself down 16-15 before solidifying play and taking the lead for good at 19-18. Needing two points to cinch the game win, Malory Groen and Jessica Lubic (two kills, 24 assists) combined on a block, and Hampshire’s dig attempt went out of bounds to secure the three-point margin.

The second game was bumpier for Kaneland, as they fell behind 10-7 and later 17-12 before Kaneland tied it at 18. However, Hampshire closed out the second game with a 7-2 run.

Kaneland led by as much as 11-9 in game three, but Hampshire warded off any Kaneland comeback chance. With Kaneland down 18-17, the Whip-purs went on a 7-1 run to close the match.

The Lady Knights say goodbye to seniors Lubic, Melanie Thompson, Taylor Bradbury and Mackenzie Curran.

V-ball enters regionals with 19 wins

KANELAND—Lady Knights volleyball continued their recent roll on Thursday at the home of the Lady Foxes by a final of 25-23, 25-21.

They also put in time at their usual end-of-season stop at Kaneland’s Spikefest on Saturday.

Against Yorkville, Kylie Siebert had 13 digs and two aces. Katy Dudzinski had 14 kills and a block while Jessica Lubic paced Kaneland with 15 assists, an ace and three kills.

The eight-team rumble at Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove resulted in Kaneland taking third place with three wins in five matches.

The Lady Knights now head into the “second season” with a 19-13 record (7-3 NIB-12).

At Spikefest, Kaneland began with a 19-25, 25-19, 15-6 win over Aurora Central Catholic. They moved on to a 25-16, 18-25, 15-10 win over regional opponent Hampshire. The first loss of the day came at the hands of Peotone by a 25-23, 26-24 clip.

Kaneland began the crossover play with a loss to Geneva, but came back to beat ACC again in the third-place matchup.

With the regular season at an end, Kaneland (3) tries to erase the bad taste of 2009 by ousting Hampshire (2) from the Kaneland Regional in Class 3A on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m.

The regional title game is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 30, at 2 p.m. against the winner of (1) Sycamore and (4) Burlington Central.

Eight teams competed in the 2010 Spikefest at Harter Middle School on Saturday, October 23. Here, Kylie Siebert (left) and Melanie Thompson of Kaneland wait for the serve in their second game against Peotone.
Photo by John DiDonna

Lady Knights volleyball sweeps foe Sycamore

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Lady Knights volleyball has a funny relationship with the inevitable.

As in, they’ve done a good job of spoiling it lately.

For the first time under Coach Todd Weimer, Kaneland defeated Sycamore. The 25-21, 25-13 sweep of the Lady Spartans came on Senior Night along Spartan Trail.

“We’ve just been working our tail off, and we’ve got a lot of confidence going on right now. We beat Geneva for the first time in 19 years and now we just beat the top-seeded team in the regional. We’re taking care of business and soaring to new height,s and that’s our theme this year,” Weimer said.

Kaneland also handled Rochelle in Maple Park on Tuesday by a final of 25-19, 25-14.

Kaneland is now 15-11 on the year, and 6-3 in Northern Illinois Big XII action.

The effort was buoyed by Jess Lubic (eight digs, 14 assists, one block, one ace), Kylie Siebert (two kills, 12 digs, one ace) and Malory Groen (three kills, two blocks).

Defeating the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Kaneland 3A Regional could make things interesting in a matter of days.

Up 12-8 on Sycamore, the Spartans made an unforced error to fall to 13-8. Lubic later set the ball to the other side of the net for a 15-10 lead. The Lady Spartans closed within 21-19, but a Katy Dudzinski kill and a block by the junior made it 23-19 and eventually cruised to the four-point win.

Game two went even worse for the hosts. Down 3-1, Kaneland quickly went on a 9-3 run to go up 10-6. Later, sloppy play by the hosts and key front-line play made it 17-9 Kaneland. Game point was a Lubic set over the net, marking the biggest lead of the game and touching off a group celebration.

“We were kind of hoping to come in here and get a win because this was basically for second in conference if we win out. We played DeKalb (last Tuesday) and had a lot of unforced errors, so we came in here knowing we had to control the ball better,” Lubic said.

Meanwhile, against the Hubs, Taylor Bradbury had two aces and four digs while Lubic added four kills and nine assists.

Kaneland hosts its annual Spikefest on Saturday, Oct. 23, beginning at 8 a.m.

V-ball spikes Geneva for first time since 1991

KANELAND—This past week saw Lady Knights volleyball take care of an NIB-12 opponent, participate in some Iowa action, and vanquish an old foe.

The 13-11 (4-3 Northern Illinois Big XII) Kaneland crew earned i’s first win over non-conference foe Geneva for the first time in 19 years on Oct. 6, then followed that with a win against visiting Morris on Thursday, before going 1-2 in Bettendorf, Iowa, tourney action on Saturday morning. The week ended with a 25-18, 25-11 loss to host DeKalb on Tuesday.

In the 26-24, 23-25, 25-22 win over the Lady Vikings, Katy Dudzinski had 18 kills and three blocks, while teammate Jess Lubic added 32 assists, three kills, three blocks and two aces.

Lower level action saw the sophomores lose 25-22, 14-25, 15-25, the freshmen “A” roster lose 25-18, 25-21, and the “B” side take a 25-21, 26-24 win.

Against the Lady Redskins on Thursday, the Lady Knights swept a 25-13, 25-21 matchup. Grace Fabrizius had 10 kills and nine service points. Kylie Siebert had 10 digs and an ace.

In the Quad Cities, KHS lost 21-10, 21-19 to Bettendorf High School and 21-8, 21-13 to Ankeny High School before rallying to beat West Des Moines Valley High School 21-13, 22-20.

Siebert had 38 digs and 32 receptions on the day while Dudzinski had 24 kills and five blocks.

Against the Lady Barbs, Fabrizius had five kills, and Lubic added two aces and seven assists.

Coming up for the Lady Knights: a meeting with Sycamore along Spartan Trail on Thursday, Oct. 14.

Kaneland digs up win at Dixon HS

DIXON—Lady Knights volleyball won’t be able to get enough of visiting its neighbors to the west.

On Thursday, Kaneland improved to 10-8 (3-2 NIB-12) with a 25-18, 25-14 sweep of the host Dixon Duchesses.

For KHS, Katy Dudzinski had nine killls, while NIU-bound Jessica Lubic had three aces and 15 assists. Libero Kylie Siebert contributed 11 digs, and Grace Fabrizius had five kills, two aces and five digs.

The sophomore crew improved to 12-4 with a 25-10, 25-17 over Dixon. The freshmen “A” unit dropped to 1-2 with a 25-15, 25-23 loss to Dixon and the “B” team dropped a 25-23, 25-21 matchup, falling to 11-3.

KHS spikes Rochelle, Yorkville

KANELAND—Kaneland rose back up to the .500 mark with a strong victory at Rochelle by a final of 25-14, 25-8 on Sept. 22, and elevated its season tally with a 25-10, 25-18 win against Yorkville on Tuesday.

With the wins over the Lady Hubs and Foxes, the Lady Knights improved to 9-8 with a 3-2 mark in Northern Illinois Big 12 play.

Katy Dudzinski had six kills for KHS, while teammate Jessica Lubic had 11 assists, 14 serving points and three digs.

Grace Fabrizius had three kills, three blocks, four digs and two aces. Kylie Siebert had five digs and six receptions.

Lower-level action had KHS with a 25-14, 25-19 sophomore win. The freshmen “A” squad took a 27-25, 25-17 win, while the “B” roster came away with a 25-20, 17-25, 25-19 win.

Against YHS, Taylor Bradbury had four aces and four digs, to go along with three assists, while Lubic had 11 assists, two blocks and an ace.

This past week also had the Lady Knights given their postseason assignment. KHS will host the October regional and host fellow schools Burlington Central, Hampshire and Sycamore, as part of the Belvidere Sectional and Hampshire Super-Sectional.

The Lady Knights take to the court on Thursday, Sept. 30, going to NIB-12 crossover opponent Dixon.

VB drops 2 NIB-12 contests to DeKalb, Sycamore

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—When it comes to Northern Illinois Big XII play, the Lady Knights volleyball club plays against its share of tough competition.

See: DeKalb and Sycamore.

Hosting two former Western Sun Conference schools this past week, Kaneland lost in two straight games on Tuesday to Sycamore, 25-19, 25-11, and lost to DeKalb on Thursday by a 25-6, 25-18 clip.

KHS saw its mark slip to 7-8 overall and 1-2 in NIB-12 play.

Against the vaunted Lady Spartans, Katy Dudzinski had six kills, and Taylor Bradbury had five assists.

Teammates Kylie Siebert had eight digs and an ace, while Jess Lubic added five assists and two digs.

Sycamore went out to an 18-8 lead in the first game, but with steady play and improved communication, the Lady Knights closed to within 22-19 before Sycamore closed the deal.

The Lady Knights saw fortunes unfold almost identically to the second game and fell behind 18-8, but there would be no closing of the margin. Sycamore would close the match on a 6-3 run.

“I don’t know if there was a whole lot of difference in game one and game two,” KHS coach Todd Weimer said. “It’s the same things we’re trying to fix right now. It’s just about playing smart volleyball. They’re very athletic and very skilled but just putting a lot of pressure on themselves.”

The sophomores lost to Sycamore 25-11, 25-19. The freshmen “A” team lost 25-14, 25-22, while the “B: team lost 17-25, 25-15, 26-24.

Up next for the Lady Knights is a matchup with visiting Yorkville on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

Photo: Kaneland senior Jess Lubic moves in for the kill in recent volleyball action.
File Photo

VB nabs 3 wins, starts NIB-12 conference play

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Lady Knights volleyball began the week with a satisfactory performance in Bartlett, and ended with its first-ever Northern Illinois Big XII win.

With a 2-2 showing at the Bartlett Tournament on Saturday, and a two-game drubbing of host Morris on Tuesday, Kaneland now sits at 7-6 (1-0 NIB-12).

Kaneland began Saturday with a 25-18, 25-18 loss to Bartlett, but rallied to overtake Dundee-Crown by a final of 25-21, 25-10.

The third match came against Belvidere North and ended with a 27-25, 25-12 loss.

Never separated far from their opponents in the first game, Kaneland never took the lead. Although tied at 25, BN won out, despite strong front line play.

The second game had KHS tied 8-8 at one point, until it fell victim to a 17-3
run to end it.

“We just needed to come out better in that first part,” KHS coach Todd Weimer said. “We can’t just wait for them to score a bunch of points and catch up. We need to learn to start out each game ahead. It’s still early in the season, and we’re trying to figure out how to fix that.”

In match four, Kaneland solved Larkin of Elgin 25-13, 25-19.

Kylie Siebert had 44 receptions and 43 digs on the day, while Taylor Bradbury added 35 assists and eight aces.

Against Morris, Katy Dudzinski had 10 kills and an ace, while Jess Lubic added six kills, 13 assists and two aces.

Kaneland now hosts DeKalb in conference play on Thursday, Sept. 16.

Photo: Grace Fabrizius (14) offers up a serve in Kaneland’s third match of Saturday’s Bartlett Tournament, a 27-25, 25-12 loss to Belvidere North. Photo by Mike Slodki

Lady Knights volleyball plows through H-BR, Geneseo

KANELAND—The Lady Knights improved to 4-4 in the early outset of the season after a 25-13, 25-10 sweep of the host Lady Royals of Hinckley-Big Rock on Thursday, followed by an Northern Illinois Big XII crossover with visiting Geneseo. The Lady Knights beat the Maple Leafs 25-27, 25-15, 25-22.

Against H-BR, Katy Dudzinski had 14 kills, two aces and five digs. Teammate Jess Lubic added 17 assists, four digs and three kills.

Malory Groen had five kill,s and Kylie Siebert added 12 digs and three aces.

The sophomores beat the Lady Royals 25-10, 25-14.

The freshman squad won by a final of 25-13, 25-16.

Against Geneseo, the Lady Knights got 13 kills and two blocks from Dudzinski, and a 10 kill, 21 assist, three block effort from Lubic.

Asset Taylor Bradbury had 13 assists and two aces. Siebert added 18 digs, two aces and 16 receptions.

Sophomore action on Saturday saw KHS win 25-14, 25-10, and the freshmen handled their match 25-14, 8-25, 25-13.

The Lady Knights storm into the Bartlett Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 11.

Kaneland volleyball digs to 2-4 beginning

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If the Wheaton North Volleyball Classic would serve as an accurate barometer for how the Lady Knights volleyball team is doing, it looks like there’s progress, with more progress needing to be made for a successful campaign.

Despite the 2-3 record to begin 2010, Kaneland finished fourth out of 12 squads.

With Katy Dudzinski and Jess Lubic making the All-Tournament team, the Lady Knights lost their opening match to last year’s champ Oak Forest on Aug. 25, 25-19, 16-25, 25-18, and came back to beat Buffalo Grove later that night 26-24, 25-21.

Kaneland earned their one win on Saturday against Oak Forest, winning 20-25, 25-20, 25-23. The Lady Knights then succumbed to St. Viator by a 25-8, 25-22 margin.

Against the Hilltoppers of Glenbard West, the Lady Knights lost 25-18, 25-16.

Post-tournament action had KHS losing to visiting Burlington Central on Tuesday, 25-16, 28-26, 25-22.

In meeting one vs. Oak Forest, an overzealous attack led to many balls going beyond the lines.

Kaneland was down 14-6 in the first game before closing to within 20-18 before Oak Forest pulled away.

Front line play from Lubic keyed a 19-6 lead in game two that led to the eventual eight-point win.

“What we saw in game two was very cool and very promising. We really haven’t fully unloaded yet,” KHS coach Todd Weimer said.

The Lady Knights fell behind by as much as 21-9 before the final loss.

Lubic had 12 kills and 28 assists, while Dudzinski added 17 kills and four aces.

In the win over the Bison, Lyndi Scholl had nine kills.

On Saturday, Dudzinski had 31 kills against Oak Forest. Against the Lions of Arlington Heights, Lubic had 37 assists and four aces, while Kylie Siebert had 24 digs against the Hilltoppers.

Taylor Bradbury had eight assists and an ace while Lubic had seven kills, 12 assists and 12 aces.

Ahead for the Lady Knights is a visit to Hinckley-Big Rock on Thursday, Sept. 2.

Photo: Despite five kills and one ace from Katy Dudzinski (right), KHS fell to rival Burlington Central on Tuesday, 25-16, 26-28, 25-22. Photo by Ben Draper

Volleyball looks for spike in good fortune

Photo: Lady Knights participate in blocking drills last week in Kaneland’s East Gym. Photo by Mike Slodki


by Mike Slodki

KANELAND—Sixth-year Lady Knights volleyball coach Todd Weimer is counting on his girls tasting victory plenty in 2010, despite the sour end to the 2009 campaign.

On Oct. 29, 2009, the Lady Knights were upset by DeKalb in two games to end the season in Burlington.

KHS looks to springboard from last year’s 16-18 (6-8 Western Sun Conference) and a 13-21 (5-9 WSC) record in 2008. They’ve already improved by leaps and bounds from Weimer’s first three years in the program, which produced just seven wins combined.

It begins with four-year starter and setter Jessica Lubic, who has committed to Northern Illinois University. Lubic produces assists and the occasional ace, among other intangibles.

“(Junior) Kylie Siebert, (senior) Taylor Bradbury, (junior) Katy Dudzinski and Lubic are returning. They definitely remember the end last year,” Weimer said about the season-ender which featured Lubic going down in the first game with an ankle injury. “The motivation and desire are extremely high.”

Bradbury handles setting, while Dudzinski performs at outside hitter and Siebert at libero. “They aren’t only looking at the first match or first tournament of the season, they’re looking at the last match and going into regionals,” Weimer said.

Weimer mentioned Siebert as one who could impress the KHS faithful.

“Siebert is digging like you wouldn’t believe and it’s like ‘whoa, where did that come from?”

So far, the initial stretches of practice are what Weimer wants to see.

“So far, we’re excited. From the freshmen to sophomores to the varsity team, they are just very talented. Last time I saw them was November and just to see them come around is awesome,” Weimer said.

Kaneland will need the returnees to lend their considerable talent in order to get wins, and to influence the new varsity additions. “They all bring young and new energy, they bring court awareness and volleyball I.Q,” Weimer said.

The Lady Knights will also welcome back MacKenzie Curran to the sidelines, who flourished as a junior middle hitter but is recovering from brain surgery this spring.

“With what happened to MacKenzie, I think our motivation and desire quadrupled. We want to do really special things for our program and for her. We know she’d be playing on the court busting her butt,” Weimer said.

With a new year, comes a new 12-team conference in the Northern Illinois Big XII and an East division that includes DeKalb, Morris, Rochelle, Sycamore and Yorkville.

“I definitely like it. I think the competition and with what we’re facing I think we’ll be right at the top of our division. DeKalb’s looking pretty good and Sycamore’s looking good,” Weimer said.

The Lady Knights serve first at the Wheaton North tournament next week.

The first NIB-12 matchup comes on Saturday, Sept. 4 against Geneseo, while the regular season ends with Spikefest on Saturday, Oct. 23

Kaneland Athletic Info Fall Sports 2010

KHS athletics has released essential information for all families and students planning fall sports involvement.

1) You must have a current physical on file in order to tryout or practice. There will be no acceptions. Physicals are good for one calendar year.

2) A participation fee of $100 per sport, $100 per season for cheerleaders (please indicate season on check), and $100 for pompons per season.

3) The Kaneland High School Athletic Department will host a mandatory pre-season meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 18, in the east gym beginning at 7 p.m. for fall athletes. One or both parents are required to attend the meeting with their athlete(s) in order to meet Kaneland High School’s eligibility requirements. Parents and students will meet with their fall coaches. The mandatory part of the meeting will be available on the Kaneland website as a podcast that fall parents and students must listen to by Aug. 27.

FOOTBALL— Equipment handed out on Monday, Aug. 9, from 5 to 6 p.m.

Football insurance is available to or parents may sign a waiver and use their own medical insurance.

Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 11. All levels will meet in the east gym at 7:30 a.m.

Practice will be from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. (lower levels—bring your lunch. Practice for varsity is from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. Meetings will take place at 2:15 p.m.

VOLLEYBALL—Tryouts are Aug. 11 and 12, all levels 8 to 10:30 a.m. First practice is on Aug. 13, from 8 to 11:30 a.m. in the east gym.

TENNIS—Tryouts begin on Wednesday, Aug. 11, for all levels from 9 to 11 a.m. The location is at the tennis courts behind the high school.

GOLF—The opening meeting will take place on Monday, Aug. 9, at 8 a.m. in Room C114. You will not be playing at this time but will turn in physicals, receive practice schedules and go over team expectations. Tryouts take place on Wednesday, Aug. 11, and Thursday, Aug. 12, at Hughes Creek at 6 a.m.

SOCCER—Tryouts begin on Wednesday, Aug. 11. V/JV/Frosh from 9 to 11 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. at the soccer fields. All players must purchase from the school a spirit pack for $30. Bring cleats, shin guards, water and gym shoes (in case of inclement weather).

BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY—Practice begins at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 11. The team will meet in the high school cafeteria. The XC team will also embark on an overnight camping trip on Thursday-Friday, Aug. 12 and 13. Parents with questions can e-mail head coach Chad Clarey at theclarey5@yahoo.com.

GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY—Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 11, at 6:30 a.m., meet in Room C117.

POMS—Mandatory practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 11, from 8 to 11 a.m. Meet in the high school commons.

CHEERS—Mandatory practice begins on Thursday, Aug. 12, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Meet in the east gym balcony.

Mandatory fall sports meeting is Wednesday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m.

Knights Under The Lights is Thursday, Aug. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Opening Contests for KHS Fall Athletics

Football—
Friday, Aug. 27, at
Burlington Central,
7:30 p.m.

Volleyball—
Wednesday, Aug. 25, at
Wheaton North Tourney,
TBA

Tennis—
Tuesday, Aug. 24, vs.
Wheaton Academy,
4:30 p.m.

Golf—
Monday, Aug. 16, vs.
Wheaton Academy,
8 a.m.

Soccer—
Tuesday, Aug. 24, at
Marengo,
4:30 p.m.

Boys’ XC—
Tuesday, Aug. 31, vs.
W. Chicago/Wheaton Admy,
4:30 p.m.

Girls’ XC—
Tuesday, Aug. 31, vs.
W. Chicago/Wheaton Admy,
4:30 p.m.

Volley follies

Prospective volleyball athletes participate in the “Circle the Wagons” drill at Kaneland Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove on Tuesday as part of a Kaneland volleyball camp for 7th and 8th graders.
Photo by Mike Slodki