Tag Archives: Katy Dudzinski

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

Softball finished by Sycamore

SYCAMORE—Maybe the scales were tipping to Sycamore all long.

After slaughtering the Lady Spartans in their first meeting, Kaneland Lady Knights softball dealt with 16 innings of action in a tight 2-1 win three weeks ago. It all led up to the Class 2A Sycamore Regional final on Saturday morning, where the third-seeded hosts beat the top-seeded KHS roster 6-3 to claim the regional.

Kaneland finishes the first year of the Brian Willis era at 20-11.

“It was kind of the same game, but they had a few more extra walks. You have to put runs on the board. The difference with the last game is that we were able to get out of that jam,” Willis said.

Sycamore, coached by Jill Carpenter, improved to 20-15, was set to face St. Viator on Wednesday in the DeKalb Sectional.

Ending her sophomore season, Delani Vest was tagged with the loss (13-7) and gave up six runs (four earned) on 10 hits while fanning three.

At the plate, third baseman Andrea Dimmig-Potts went 2-for-3, while second baseman Brittany Davis went 2-for-3.

The scoring gates opened in the top of the second, when Anna Buzzard of Sycamore knocked home two runs with a single to increase Sycamore’s lead to 3-0.

Sycamore put up two in the fourth for a 5-0 lead and added one more with an RBI single to go up 6-0 headed to the bottom of the fifth.

Katy Dudzinski led the fifth off with a double and was sacrificed to third by Jordan Hester. Kristen Stralka singled Dudzinski home for the first run. After a fielders choice, Vest doubled and made it third on an error in the outfield and Sam Hansen scored.

The final run of the season scored when Davis came home after a three-base error on a fielders choice hit by Dudzinski.

Stralka, Sarah Kitz and Vest were retired in order to end the affair.

Davis, Stralka and Hester now say goodbye due to graduation.

“They meant a lot to our team. Leadership-wise, offense, defense, they’ll be missed, “Willis said.

Softball takes advantages of curveballs, longballs

KANELAND—Lady Knights softball is 14-7, and bringing the offense.

Kaneland softball broke out the bats vs. DeKalb on Thursday in an 11-1, five-inning rout of the Lady Barbs.

Eight runs in the third, two in the fourth and an additional one in the fifth solved things for KHS. Delani Vest allowed just one hit and struck out eight in the pitcher’s circle. Katy Dudzinski went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI, while Brittany Davis went 4-for-4 with two driven in, and teammate Allyson O’Herron went 3-for-3 with an RBI.

Following the WSC battle, the Lady Knights headed up Route 20 to take part in the Marengo Tournament on Saturday.

The first contest had KHS fall to Tinley Park’s Andrew HS by a 7-5 final after Vest surrendered four runs in the top of the sixth. The sophomore did have five strikeouts to her name. Sister Rilee Vest had a double, triple and three RBI.

Kaneland recovered to vanquish the Freeport Pretzels in a 10-4 encounter. Dudzinski took the hill and struck out six in the win, while also slamming a homer. Jordan Hester added a homer and four RBI.

To end the weekend, Kaneland brought out the slaughter bats against Rockton’s Hononegah HS in a 13-3 win. The Lady Knights, with winning pitcher Alexis Villarreal on the hill (8 K’s), saw a triple and three RBI by Rilee Vest and a 3-for-4 game from Beth Smith.

Kaneland handled Oswego East on Monday by a final of 8-2, on the strength of Vest’s six innings. Vest scattered only two runs and five hits while fanning four.

At the plate, Andrea Dimmig-Potts smacked three doubles and drove in three.

Upcoming for KHS softball is a home contest with Sycamore on Thursday, May 13, at 4:30 p.m.

Photo: KHS softball outfielder Rilee Vest was among those with a prolific Marengo Tourney, smacking a triple and
3-RBI game in a 13-3 win against Hononegah on Saturday. File Photo

Softball takes two in WSC play vs. Batavia, Rochelle

KANELAND—Lady Knights had two come-from-behind wins in a week that saw their record elevated to 9-5 (4-3 Western Sun Conference play).

Kaneland softball made use of the four-run inning as part of its winning formula once again on Thursday in Maple Park against the Hubs. The 4-1 win saw Delani Vest strike out seven and allow just one unearned run in the complete-game effort.

Vest is 6-3 with a 1.82 earned-run average thus far.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, KHS scored 10 runs in the final two innings to upend host Batavia 13-8.

Facing the Hubs, Katy Dudzinski had a two-RBI hit in the go-ahead sixth inning, while Allyson O’Herron went 2-for-3.

The sophomores went on the offensive in their clash with the Hubs in Rochelle, scoring 13 runs in the fourth en route to a 14-4, five-inning win.

Aly Harner had a three-run double and Sara Kitz went 3-for-4.

Vest started against the Bulldogs and was replaced by Dudzinski in the sixth before coming back in the seventh to earn the save.

McKinzie Mangers went 2-for-4 with a HR and three RBI. Vest also hit a bases-loaded triple. Dudzinski went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.

Batavia scored four in the second, but KHS scored one in the third and two in the fourth, before the hosts scored three in their half of the fourth to make it 7-3. After putting one up in the bottom of the fifth, KHS scored seven in the sixth and three in the seventh to clinch matters.

Softball takes wins from Maine West, Oswego, Sycamore, now 7-5

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Lady Knights softball rallied this week to finish a busy slate winning three of five. Thursday saw an unfortunate shutout to visiting Yorkville 2-0, but the team split a doubleheader with visiting Maine West on Saturday, winning 4-1 and losing 8-6. On Monday, the Lady Knights made Oswego wish their makeup game was still on the shelf with a 10-3 win in Maple Park, and more Western Sun action on Tuesday saw KHS pound host Sycamore 10-0 in six innings.

At this juncture, the Lady Knights are 7-5 with a 2-3 WSC mark.

Pitching ace Delani Vest (3 K’s) allowed just two runs in the third vs. the Lady Foxes, but aside from Brittany Davis’ two hits, nothing came across the plate.

Vest came back against the Warriors on Saturday and fanned 11 in a complete game effort, allowing one run on five hits.

Vest also helped her cause with a 3-for-3 effort at the plate with a run scored, while sister Rilee went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

After allowing a first inning run, Kaneland had a prolific third inning with 10 batters at the plate that gave them four runs.

Designated player Katy Dudzinski singled, and two batters later, Delani Vest also singled. SS Allyson O’Herron hit a fly to the rightfielder that was carried by the wind over the rightfielder’s head for a game-tying double.

“I was like, ‘oh man, she’s going to catch it again’, but then I saw Delani going and Katy going, and then we just kept running,” O’Herron said.

Andrea Dimmig-Potts then hit a run-scoring single for the lead, followed by an RBI single by Davis and an RBI double by Rilee Vest.

‘We played well (in game one),” KHS coach Brian Willis said. “We executed defensively and hit the ball harder and didn’t get some runs across until that big inning.”

Maine West got some revenge in game two, scoring three in the top of the sixth to break a 5-all tie. Dudzinski went 2-for-4 with a run, three RBI and a homer. Alexis Villarreal was tagged with the loss, but fanned six.

Against the visiting Panthers in a makeup game from April 3, KHS scored in every inning but the fifth. Rilee Vest went deep on a 3-for-4 afternoon, and Kristen Stralka went 3-for-3 with three driven in. Dudzinski earned the win in relief, striking out six and allowing just one hit in four innings.

Delani Vest struck out 10 in the clash with the Spartans on Tuesday, scattering four hits, while Rilee Vest went 3-for-4 with a double, homer and 4 RBI.

Awaiting the Lady Knights is a home battle with Rochelle on Thursday, April 22.

Lady Knights stage comeback

Frosh 3B hits game-winning single
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Maybe this is a truly new beginning for Kaneland softball.

Decked out in black-on-black uniforms and facing the team that ousted them in the 2009 regionals, the Kaneland Lady Knights and first-year coach Brian Willis used a single by freshman Taylor Velasquez to drive home two runs in the sixth inning. The lead held for a dramatic 3-2 win on opening day.

“I don’t even know what to say at this point,” Willis said. “I’m so proud of the girls the way they came back. They easily could have laid down after the big bomb we gave up (two-run HR in third). They kept fighting and scratching, and I think that’s what we’re going to be about.”

Sophomore Delani Vest fanned seven batters for the win.

In the top of the third, Lady Rocket Emily Bell hit a two-run shot to left field for a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the frame, leftfielder Sam Hansen hit a single for the first hit of the afternoon for KHS. Vest reached on an error, and shortstop Allyson O’Herron drove her home with a hit-and-run single.

In the bottom of the sixth, second baseman Brittany Davis walked and went to third after McKinzie Mangers’ bunt was mishandled.

With two runners on, pinch runner Alexis Villarreal stole second. 3B Velasquez hit a single to right-center allowing Davis to come home and Villarreal to slide under the tag.

“That at-bat was a little nerve-wracking at first,” Velasquez said. “But I knew the pitcher was getting a little tired and hit it to right field, and the girls were so supportive.”

In lower-level action, the sophomores lost in the bottom of the eight against BC, 8-7, despite two homers by Katy Dudzinski and 10 K’s on the mound from her.

The freshmen won over BC 18-12 thanks to 14 K’s from Ellissa Eckert and a 3-for-5 day for Kara Leyden.

The varsity roster plays visiting Oswego in a doubleheader on Saturday, April 3.

Photo: LF Sam Hansen maneuvers in the batters box during the Lady Knights’ dramatic 3-2 win over visiting Burlington Central. Hansen walked and eventually scored the first Lady Knight run in the third inning. Photo by Mike Slodki

Willis joins many new softball faces

Photo: Sophomore pitcher Delani Vest will be counted on for a repeat performance. File Photo
by Mike Slodki
MAPLE PARK—Despite finishing 27-9 in 2009, the Kaneland High School girls softball squad faces quite a number of challenges.

There’s recovering from the heartbreaking extra-inning regional championship loss to Burlington Central, the third straight year of getting eliminated by the Rockets.

There’s the acclimation of seven new faces to the varsity ranks, with just six upperclassmen on the team.

There’s also the item of new and eager head coach Brian Willis, who also served time as an assistant after former coach Dennis Hansen was suspended.

Willis says not much has changed in his coaching style from being a lower-level coach in various Kaneland sports.

“Right now, it’s all excitement and anticipation,” Willis said. “We’re trying to get the girls ready. I look at this as no different than the last eight years, except I talk to reporters now.”

Willis is ready for the season-ending loss to be put in the rearview mirror.

“From that regional championship loss, there’s only two girls starting (Wednesday) that started that game. In a sense, that anxiety is there for girls like Delani (Vest) because she was the pitcher, but we have several freshmen and sophomores that weren’t around,” Willis said.

Notably, Vest returns after posting a 17-6 record as a freshman inside the pitcher’s circle, which itself is being moved back.

“That’s going to make a difference, and we’ll get to see how Delani will react to that. With her leadership and competitiveness, she knows what it takes to get back to that championship game,” Willis said.

The jury is still out on Delani’s sister and battery mate Rilee, who is battling nagging injuries.

Junior catcher Andrea Dimmig-Potts returns as someone who saw her share of playing time and was capable of doing damage with one giant swing.

Seniors on the squad are outfielder Jordan Hester, and infielders Brittany Davis and Kristen Stralka.

“We’re moving forward. These returning girls are excited to get a fair shot, and they feel like it’s their time,” Willis said.

Joining Vest as fellow hurlers look to be sophomore Alexis Villarreal and sophomore Katy Dudzinski, who saw spot starts in the varsity ranks a year ago, and sophomore Brittney Miller.

“It’s a new coaching staff (Willis, Christine Bouffard and Joe Spittzeri), and we evaluated everyone equally at the start. Delani put herself in the top spot, and some of these other girls aren’t too far behind,” Willis said.

Sophomore McKinzie Mangers will serve as catcher in case the other two possibilities are beset by injuries.

“We’ll be tested early behind the plate,” Willis said.

The infield will look younger on the left side and senior-laden on the right. Allyson O’Herron, a freshman, looks to contribute at shortstop.

“(O’Herron) is very solid defensively and will make some freshman mistakes, but she’s also solid with the bat,” Willis said.

Fellow freshman Taylor Velazquez will get a look at third base.

Davis will be looked at around second base to serve as a cornerstone of the infield. Spots remain in a fight for outfield.

In terms of players who will see more sizable time this season and could surprise onlookers is Davis.

“She’s going to get out there every day and put up solid numbers and be a good player,” Willis said.

On the new arrivals, Willis pointed to O’Herron having a productive career at short for the next four years.

Other Lady Knights looking to contribute to the squad are sophomore infielder Sarah Kitz, sophomore outfielder Samantha Hansen and junior infielder Beth Smith.

“If we finish in the middle of the conference and continue to get better every week and regionals come around and we’re ready to roll, that’ll make me happy,” Willis said.

The regular season kicked off yesterday against BC, and WSC play begins on Tuesday, April 6, at Glenbard South. The regular season finale is Saturday, May 22, at Rosary.

Kaneland shines spotlight on fall athletes with awards

Monday saw Kaneland High School dish out their annual awards for the fall sports season.

For girls cross country, Shelby Koester and Lisa Roberson were recognized by the team as captains, while Shaela Collins and Jessica Stouffer won the most improved runners nods. Junior Andie Strang took home the Most Valuable Runner award and was also recognized for her all-Western Sun Conference nomination.

In Knights golf action, the varsity most improved player award was given to Adam Grams, while Most Valuable Player was Hayley Guyton. Rhys Childs took home the frosh/soph MVP, and Dan Miller was named the frosh/soph most improved player. Guyton was also lauded for her second-place finish at the girls’ golf State gathering.

For soccer, Kevin Szatkowski, Marcos Dorado, Joe Garlinsky and Genaro Garcia were recognized as captains, and Alex Dorado and Sam Rymarz were given coach’s awards. Jake Tickle won the most improved player award, while J.P. Minogue was named team MVP thanks to his play in goal. Marcos Dorado, Derek White and Minogue were named to the All-WSC squad, while Dorado was also named the 2009 All-Sectional team.

For the tennis troops, Randi Bader, Lindsay Jurcenko and Kelsey Lenhardt were recogznied as garnering the best individual records this season with 18-7 records. Most Valuable Player awards were dished out to Jurcenko, Olivia Emmanouil and Liz Webb. Bader, Webb, Megan Cline and Mel Mazuc were recognized as captains. Jordyn Withey took home the team spirit award, while Stephanie Rosenwinkel and Jess Woodward nabbed the most improved player honors.

For the State-going boy cross country, Joe Levita, Edgar Valle, Dominic Furco, Matt Reusche and Logan Markuson were recognized as captains.

Trevor Holm and Reusche took the most valuable runner awards, while Levita was named most improved runner. Valle and Markuson were given the Larry Eddington Award for Courage, Leadership and Strength. The Golden Knight award, given to one representative of each grade level, was given to freshman Brad Kigyos, sophomore Jake Ginther, junior Tommy Whittaker and to Furco, a senior.

Reusche and Holm were lauded for their nomination to the all-Western Sun Conference team.

John Meisinger, Ginther, Billy Hart, Nate Rehkopf, Conor Johnson, Holm, Reusche, Levita, Valle, Furco, Markuson, Whittaker and Clayton Brundige were recognized as State qualifiers.

For the playoff-going Knight football team, Brock Dyer, Ryley Bailey, Brett Ketza, Eric Dratnol and Derek Bus were recognized as captains, while Kyle Davidson won the most improved player award. Dratnol was named the Most Valuable Player. Bailey was named the offensive MVP and Taylor Andrews won the defensive MVP award.

Bailey, Joe Camaliere, Andrews, Tyler Callagahan, Dratnol, Ketza, Jimmy Boyle and Blake Serpa were given all-WSC honors, as mentioned in last week’s Elburn Herald.

In volleyball, Jessica Lubic was named the Most Valuable Player, while Katy Dudzinski was given the top offensive player nod. Kylie Siebert won the top defensive player nod. Tara Groen was named best server, and Meredith Ament took home the spirit award. Mackenzie Curran won the most improved player nod, and Lubic and Dudzinski were nominated for the all-Western Sun Conference roster.

Photo: Tennis asset and tri-MVP Lindsay Jurcenko was one of the many KHS athletes noted for exceptional play during the fall season. File Photo

Volleyball gears for postseason with 14-17 record

DeKalb stopped Kaneland’s volleyball roster on Oct. 21 by a final of 29-27, 25-22 at the home of the Lady Barbs.

KHS then went on to host the annual SpikeFest gathering, finishing fifth out of eight squads.

With the 1-2 showing at SpikeFest, Kaneland’s regular season mark concludes at 14-17, with a final-ever Western Sun Conference mark of 6-8.

Against the Barbs, Jessica Lubic had 18 assists, eight digs and four aces.

Abby VanDerHeyden added three kills and ten digs. Katy Dudzinski added five kills.

In the sophomore matchup, the Lady Knights handled DeKalb by a final of 11-25, 25-8, 25-15.

The freshman “A” team lost to DHS 25-18, 25-20, and the “B” side took a 25-19, 25-20 win.

At SpikeFest, the Lady Knights lost to Aurora Central Catholic by a final of 25-19, 25-18, lost to Hampshire 25-11, 20-25, 15-10, and beat Peotone 25-12, 25-12.

Geneva beat Hampshire in the championship match.

Now brings the regional grouping for Kaneland. Burlington Central is the site for Kaneland’s first challenge on Thursday, Oct. 29, as the fourth seed, with a 5:30 p.m. matchup against (5) DeKalb.

At 6:30 p.m., (2) Burlington Central faces (3) Sycamore, while top-seeded Hampshire faces the KHS-DeKalb winner at 7:30 p.m. The regional title match takes place on Saturday, Oct. 31, at 7 p.m.

Photo: Kaneland’s Mallory Groen (15) and Katy Dudzinski (2) take care of business in a 25-12, 25-12 win over Peotone during Saturday’s SpikeFest. Photo by Ryan Wells

V-Ball falls to Geneva, beats Yorkville, now 13-14

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland’s volleyball squad rocked the pink for Volley for the Cure night, but found no solution for a winning formula against the formidable Geneva Lady Vikings.

Thursday saw Kaneland lose 25-11, 25-15. The Lady Knights then went to the Sherrard Invite, where they prevailed last season, and finished fourth out of 12 teams.

With the loss to Geneva, a 4-1 record in Sherrard, and a three-game win over Yorkville on Tuesday, the Lady Knights find themselves at 13-14 with a 6-7 record in Western Sun Conference play.

The win total matches last year’s 13-win total, with two more days of competition left in the regular season.

Against Geneva, Jessica Lubic had nine assists and Katy Dudzinski had five kills.

The Lady Vikings went out to a 17-4 lead in the first game and a 22-10 lead before closing it out.

In game two, a 14-3 lead for Geneva closed somewhat to 20-10 before the Lady Vikings sealed it.

Despite the loss against a tough Geneva program, KHS coach Todd Weimer found the positive going into the final homestretch of the season.

“Katy Dudzinski and Meredith Ament really stepped up tonight,” Weimer said. “We’re in a tough regional. DeKalb, Hampshire, Sycamore and Burlington Central. The top programs in one regional. It’s a difficult one, and whoever wins that will go down to state.”

Meanwhile, KHS handed Morrison a 21-10, 21-10 defeat, beat Mercer County 21-10, 21-12, lost to host Sherrard 21-16, 14-21, 15-10, beat Illini West 25-14, 25-23 and beat Ridgewood 25-16, 25-17.

Abby VanDerHeyden had 12 kills, four aces and 27 digs throughout the tourney, while Lubich added 79 assists and 21 aces.

Against Yorkville, Kaneland won 21-15, 25-19, 25-9 thanks to Dudzinski’s six kills and six aces, along with VanDerHeyden’s 10 digs.

KHS hosts SpikeFest on Saturday, Oct. 24 before regionals against DeKalb in Hampshire on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

V-Ball (8-12) digs through tough week

Kaneland volleyball went a little west of the border to take a break from the usual Western Sun Conference competition this weekend.

The Lady Knights went through three matches and came away with a 1-2 record, finishing fifth out of eight teams in the Bettendorf, Iowa tournament on Saturday.

Previously, KHS lost to Sycamore in Maple Park on Thursday by a final of 25-16, 25-20.

On Tuesday, Kaneland lost to Batavia in a road matchup by a final of 25-11, 25-15.

Overall, the Lady Knights are 8-12 with a 5-6 WSC mark.

The Lady Knights competed with the No. 1 ranked Ankeny High School girls and lost 21-13, 21-8. Kaneland then took on Bettendorf High School and lost 21-10, 21-12. In Kaneland’s finale, it managed a 21-17, 21-18 win over Dubuque.

For the day, Katy Dudzinski had 12 kills, Abby VanDerHeyden had eight kills and three aces, and Alyssa Snyder had three kills and seven blocks.

When the Lady Knights took on the visiting Spartans, VanDerHeyden had 10 digs while Jessica Lubic added to the attack with 18 assists and eight digs.

In the sophomore outing, the Lady Knghts lost to the Lady Spartans by a final of 25-10, 25-16.

The freshmen “A” team lost 25-19, 25-20, but the “B” squad took a 25-13, 14-25, 25-21 decision.

Against the Lady Bulldogs, KHS saw 12 assists and two blocks from Lubic and 10 digs from VanDerHeyden.

Next up for the Lady Knights is a home match with Geneva on Thursday, Oct. 15.

V-ball loses to Batavia, Geneva

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland has made certain strides thus far in 2009, but they still have some road to go when facing the likes of Batavia and Geneva. Kaneland (4-7, 2-3 Western Sun Conference) dropped a 25-14, 25-22 matchup with the visiting Bulldogs on Thursday.

In the losing effort, Katy Dudzinski had six kills, while Jess Lubic had 10 assists. Alyssa Synder contributed five blocks on the evening.

Lower level volleyball had Kaneland win the sophomore match with Batavia by a final of 25-15, 22-25, 25-20.

The freshman levels had no problem with their Bulldog counterparts. The “A’” team won 25, 22- 25-7, while the “B” side won a 25-9, 25-13 matchup.

Taking on Geneva, Kaneland lost 25-6, 25-13, despite five assists by Lubic.

The sophomores lost 25-23, 16-25, 20-25. Freshmen “A” won 12-25, 25-16, 25-19. “B” lost 25-19, 25-20.

The varsity group travels to Yorkville on Thursday, Sept. 24, and goes to Rochelle on Monday, Sept. 28.

Volleyball stops Raiders, loses to Sycamore

by Mike Slodki
On Thursday, things were looking dire for Lady Knights volleyball (4-5, 2-1 Western Sun Conference) against host Glenbard South.

Having already dropped one game by a 25-15 score, the Lady Knights struck back and won two in a row to take the match, 25-18, 25-13.

The Lady Knights took home a victory thanks in large part to the performance of Katy Dudzinski. Dudzinski put forth 10 kills and two blocks in the affair.

“We came out against Rochelle with a lot of force and energy,” Dudzinski said. “We weren’t having fun in the first game, so in the second and third game we came back and really exploded. It was all about getting back to how we can play.”

“It’s a little bit sweeter when you’re down after one game and come back to win the last two,” coach Todd Weimer said. “The girls are super excited, and we can’t wait for next week.”

Jessica Lubic also had 22 assists and five kills.

Against Sycamore, Kaneland lost 25-23, 25-19. Lubic added 15 assists and two aces.

In the Kaneland JV Invite, the Lady Knights finished fifth, earning a 25-8, 25-9 win over Elmwood Park. Geneva finished first.

The varsity Knights look to beat Batavia at home on Thursday, Sept. 17, and host Geneva on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

Kaneland volleyball nabs WSC win over Rochelle

Two-game win over Lady Hubs starts conference season in style
MAPLE PARK—Not a bad way to start the conference season if you’re Kaneland High School volleyball.

The Lady Knights, struggling to find their footing, calmed down enough for a two-game victory over the visiting Rochelle Hubs.

The 25-13, 25-11 victory on Tuesday night improved Kaneland’s record to 3-4 (1-0 Western Sun Conference).

Sophomore Katy Dudzinski supplied four kills, three aces and two blocks.

Teammate Kylie Siebert added five digs, while Jessica Lubic produced with five assists, three kills and three aces. Alyssa Snyder had two blocks and two kills.

The sophomores fell to the Lady Hubs 25-17, 25-21.

Both freshmen levels were victorious on Tuesday, with the “A’ girls winning 25-15, 23-25, 25-15. The “B” team swept a 25-20, 25-20 affair.

On tap for the Lady Knights volleyball squad is a road trip to Glenbard South on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 6 p.m., and a home matchup against the visiting Sycamore Lady Spartans on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m.

Volleyball begins 2009 at 2-4

While the Lady Knights volleyball squad got some wins under its belt, the aim is to remedy the initial 2-4 start to 2009.

Kaneland began the season schedule at the Wheaton North Tournament on Wednesday, Aug. 26, going 2-1, but lost both matches on Saturday, Aug. 29.

Tuesday had Kaneland lose a 25-19, 25-20 matchup with host Burlington Central.

In DuPage County, Kaneland lost to host Wheaton North by a 25-21, 25-19 margin. KHS came back to beat St. Joseph’s of Westchester, Ill., in a 25-19, 25-15 skirmish, before closing out the first night against Oak Forest, winning 25-21, 17-25, 15-10.

Abby VanDerHeyden supplied 20 digs and 14 kills on the first night, while Jessica Lubic had 39 assists, 123 kills, five blocks and six aces.

Alyssa Snyder added 12 kills and four blocks.

On the tougher Saturday slate, St. Viator of Arlington Heights took care of the Lady Knights 25-15, 16-24, and Glenbard West topped Kaneland 25-18, 25-20.

Kylie Siebert had 17 digs while Katy Dudzinski had 12 kills of her own.

Against the Lady Rockets, Lubic had 12 assists, while Snyder had three kills to her credit.

Varsity volleyball’s first serve for the final season of Western Sun Conference play begins on Tuesday, Sept. 8 vs. Rochelle.

Softball makes life difficult for opponents

KHS 3-1 in WSC skirmishes
by Mike Slodki
Lady Knights softball had itself a productive week, and in the process, elevated its record to a nice 10-4.

The Lady Knights, who are also 3-1 in Western Sun Conference play, vanquished the host Maine West Warriors in a Saturday doubleheader, 3-0 and 5-0. Preceding that was a 6-1 win over the host Yorkville Foxes on Thursday. Kaneland began the week as road warriors with an 11-1, five-inning win over host Wheaton Academy on Wednesday, April 15.

In the first game of the doubleheader in Des Plaines, hurler Delani Vest (6-1) scattered just four hits and struck out five.

Sara Rose (2-for-3), Vest (2-for-4) and Jessica Lubic (2-for-3) smacked doubles, while Rose and Mangers parked pitches over the fence for home runs.

The Lady Knights scored single runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings.

Senior Mallory Huml (3-3) put on a clinic in game two, allowing just two hits and fanning nine. Kaneland put up a three-spot in the third inning while scoring two additional runs in the seventh.

Andrea Potts went 2-for-3 with two RBI and Tara Groen went 2-for-3.

Against Yorkville, Kaneland scored three runs in the top of the first thanks to an RBIs double to dead-center by Rose, Potts reaching on an error that scored Rose and a run-scoring single by Lubic.

Yorkville threatened in the bottom of the first by loading the bases but couldn’t score.

Kaneland scored three more in the third. Rose doubled and later came home on an error by the shortstop. Rilee Vest then drove home a run with a grounder, and Jordan Herra reached on another error that scored Lubic, who had previously singled.

“We’ve done a pretty good job this last week of hitting the ball,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said after the output on Thursday. “We get some people hot up and down the order, and our pitching has been good.”

Vest, only a freshman and counted on for big innings, has come through thus far.

“My screwball was really working today. I struck out a lot of girls with that. It’s different every game depending on how I warm up. Whatever works in the first inning, I try to stick with that,” said Vest, who K’d eight Lady Foxes.

Against Wheaton Academy, Huml struck out seven batters and walked just one while giving up just three hits. Kaneland scored in every inning, including five times in the first and three in the second.

Potts had a huge day at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a double and four driven in. Huml also went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Lower class action this past week saw the sophomores sweep a doubleheader at Maine West by 11-10 and 10-5 finals.

In game one, Beth Smith improved to 5-0 with a nine-strikeout day. Katy Dudzinski went 3-for-4 with a homer. The Lady Knights scored six times in the top of the seventh to secure the win.

Game two had Dudzinski pitch four innings for the win (4-2). Brooke Thompson went 2-for-3 with a triple and Lindsay Jurcenko go 2-for-4.

The freshmen swept the doubleheader vs. Maine West at Kaneland by scores of 14-3 (five innings) and 14-4 (six innings).

Sarah McGinnis and Brittney Miller earned wins for the Lady Knights.

Ahead for Kaneland varsity is a road venture to Rochelle on Thursday, April 23, and a trip to Woodstock on Saturday, April 25.

Photo: Kaneland pitcher Delani Vest crashes into her sister, catcher Rilee Vest, as they both went after a fly ball in the sixth inning against DeKalb on April 14. Kaneland won the home game 9-4. Photo by John DiDonna

Lady Knights softball secures wins over three schools

A busy week for Lady Knights softball left the varsity roster in pretty good shape through 10 contests.

Softball (6-4, 2-1 Western Sun Conference) took care of Hoffman Estates by a final of 1-0 on Wednesday, April 8, thanks to a sixth-inning single by Brianna Hurst. Delani Vest continued her impressive start and nabbed her third win in a row to go along with 10 strikeouts of the host Hawks.

The sophomores defeated Hoffman Estates by a 13-3 score in five innings. The freshmen team also took a five- inning victory by a 12-1 final. Sarah McGinnis earned the win on the mound.

On Thursday, the Lady Knights came back from a 3-0 deficit against the host Geneva Lady Vikings only to fall 4-3 in eight innings.

Mallory Huml took the loss and fanned three batters. Jessica Lubic went 2-for-4 in the losing effort.

The sophomores fell to the Vikings by a 4-2 final despite 10 K’s by pitcher Katy Dudzinski.

On Saturday, under sunny skies, the Lady Knights suffered a sweep at the hands of the visiting Indians, 7-1 and 2-0.

Delani Vest was tagged with her first loss, but struck out five. Sara Rose’s double accounted for one of the two KHS hits. The Lady Knights were also plagued by six errors in the field.

In game two, Marengo scored a single run in the sixth and seventh to get the win. Kaneland struggled at the plate again with just three hits, including a double by Jordan Herra (2-for-3). Kristen Stralka went 1-for-3.

Tuesday saw the Lady Knights get another strong outing from pitching and offense in a 9-4 handling of the WSC rival DeKalb Barbs.

Delani Vest improved to 4-1 and struck out seven. Lubic went 2-for-2 with 2 RBI, and Rilee Vest went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI. The offensive highlight was a seven-run third inning.

The varsity team heads to Yorkville on Thursday, April 16, to tackle the Lady Foxes and travels to Des Plaines for a Maine West doubleheader.

Softball enjoys 3-game win streak

by Mike Slodki
On a windswept sunny Saturday, Kaneland softball kept Oswego’s head spinning.

A steady sweep, 17-0 in a six-inning game one, and 3-1 in game two. An additional 5-4 victory in eight innings over Glenbard South on Tuesday elevated Kaneland’s mark to 4-1 (1-0 Western Sun Conference).

In the first game, freshman hurler Delani Vest improved to 2-0 while striking out four batters.

Vest also went 3-for-4 while Brittany Davis went 2-for-3.

The Lady Knights scored one run in the first inning and one in the third inning. A five-run fourth inning made it 7-0. Up 8-0, Kaneland poured on the offense and put up nine runs to send the game into retirement early.

In game two, Kaneland put up a three-spot in the third inning and freshmen Katy Dudzinski gave up only one run in her first varsity start en route to a 3-1 win.

Vest went 2-for-3 at the plate, while Tara Groen went 1-for-3 with two RBI.

The two freshmen pitchers did their part in place of pitching staff anchor Mallory Huml, away in Texas as part of a choir competition.

“They both did well,” KHS coach Dennis Hansen said. “Usually, we’re fighting to find pitchers. We didn’t hit as well in the second game, but we got what we needed.”

The three-run rally in the top of the second inning began with a leadoff double by Andrea Potts and a single by Vest. Rightfielder Kristen Stralka drove Potts home with an RBI single for a 1-0 lead. After a passed ball put runners at second and third, centerfielder Groen knocked a single to bring the other two runs in.

The Lady Knights were supposed to battle Sandwich on Monday, but the game was postponed due to weather.

Against the visiting Raiders, Kaneland found itself down 4-0 until scoring two runs in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the eighth for the win.

Huml earned her first win of the season on the mound and struck out three. Sara Rose went 2-for-5 with a double and RBI. Potts went 1-for-4 with a two run double.

Kaneland was set to visit the Hoffman Estates Hawks on Wednesday before heading to Geneva for a Western Sun Conference clash on Thursday, April 9.

Photo: Delani Vest, seen throwing in the first game of a Saturday softball doubleheader at Oswego High School, delivers a winning effort in the 17-0 rout. Photo by Mary Herra