Tag Archives: Michelle Ortiz

1.

Family lineup

Photo: Three sisters, senior Michelle (No. 10), freshman Lauren (4) and junior Heather Ortiz (7), play on the Kaneland varsity soccer team this year. Photo by Lynn Logan

Soccer enjoying spoils of three Ortiz sisters on varsity
KANELAND—There has been plenty of highlights for Kaneland girls soccer in 2014, with the squad going out to a successful start.

Look deeper, and there’s even more to be intrigued about, thanks to a hat trick of sisters suiting up for Kaneland.

The Ortiz sisters, senior Michelle, junior Heather and freshman Lauren, have imprinted upon this version of the Lady Knights a unique situation.

But the sisters from Sugar Grove probably wouldn’t have it any other way. Neither would mom Becky, who, with husband Juan, have seen the sisters play all levels of KHS soccer and club soccer for the Naperville Soccer Association.

“It’s extremely special,” Becky said. “They’re very close, which isn’t always the case. They’re each other’s best friends.”

Juan, a former football player at Wheaton North and soccer player at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill., and Becky have also seen two older sons as athletes, Stephen and Phil, compete at Kaneland.

“As a parent, it’s a gift to watch, and my goal is to get a picture of all of them on the field playing,” Becky said. “I joke that I need to sit far away from my husband during games because he’s still trying to coach them from the stands.”

With the experience of getting coached by their father through various levels such as Kaneland Youth Soccer Club, the girls, who all made varsity as freshmen, have taken stock of this potentially historic year.

“Both Michelle and Heather made varsity as freshman, so we were preparing Lauren in case she wasn’t varsity that she would still be able to play, but she made varsity and it was great,” Becky said.

The Ortiz bunch is magnanimous in revealing who might be the best soccer sister.

“That’s tough. We all have different qualities,” Michelle said.

“I would put those two before me, only because they have more experience,” Lauren said. If the grudging consensus was the eldest sister, the former freshman goalkeeper offers up some potential reasons why she might be the best.

“I’d say my speed,” Michelle said. “I have more speed than they do.”

“I think I have better technical skills,” Heather offered.

Lauren, being the youngest and newest to the varsity ranks, has a fitting first memory of playing with her siblings.

“I think it’s when I was old enough to say Michelle’s name for her to pass me the ball,” Lauren said. “Then I said Heather’s name.”

“I don’t think I really feel extra pressure,” Lauren added. “I mean, I just go out there and play soccer. I know it, and it’s just better when it’s with my sisters.”

“I think the connection between sisters is different than just a usual team, just because not too many people have that,” Michelle said.

Not too many people have as much soccer talent in close family ranks, either.

“In (Michelle’s) last club season, she had 10 goals, and she’s just faster than people and sets up the plays,” Heather said.

Even if the season can’t extend beyond regionals, as the Lady Knights have tried to do in recent memory, the current campaign will still hold a special place for three girls immersed in soccer.

“It’s the only year we’ve all played together,” Lauren said.

With half the season down, the eldest sister is able to reflect on what this means.

“I won’t be able to do this later on in my life, and the game is fun with my sisters,” Michelle said.

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Turf battle

Soccer troops take to Zimmerman Field for Blackhawk Invite
AURORA—Don’t look now, but the Lady Knights are winners with regularity. Granted, it’s still early.

Finally getting out to a regular rhythm of play after a long spring break hiatus, the Lady Knights took the turf at Ken Zimmerman Field on the grounds of West Aurora High School for the beginning of the Blackhawk Invite this past week.

After wins against West Aurora and Rosary to begin the Invite, the Lady Knights earned a conference win over Morris Tuesday. KHS is now 5-1 (1-0 NIB-12 play). A year ago, KHS sat at 1-3-1.

“I am pleased with how well the girls are doing,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “The girls are working extremely hard, and the results show. We have many tough games coming up in the next few weeks, so we can’t rest on our laurels.”

Gelling a bit quicker and with youth turning into experience, the Lady Knights’ win over the invite hosts had Courtney Diddell score off of a Brittany Olson assist just 82 seconds into play. KHS scored again in the second thanks to Diddell and an assist from Holly Collingbourne with 19:49 to go.

Facing Rosary, now victim twice over to KHS, Kiandra Powell scored with 8:13 to go in the first half on a Diddell assist for a 1-0 lead. Heather Ortiz, one of three sisters on the varsity roster, punched in a penalty kick try with 20:04 to go in regulation to cinch matters.

Against Morris, Diddell, Collinbourne and Michelle Ortiz all found the back of the net for Kaneland.

Kaneland’s penultimate match at the Blackhawk Invite was set for Wednesday against the East Aurora Tomcats, with results unavailable for press. On Thursday, April 17, Northern Illinois Big XII challenges begin with a home match against Rochelle.

103

2014 Girls Soccer Preview: Cornering competition

Lady Knights eye regional nod, another winning campaign
KANELAND—Eventually, Kaneland High School girls soccer would like to rid themselves of a couple nagging points.

Those would be being eliminated by Rosary in the playoffs, as has been done three of the last five years, and getting stopped short of a regional title, as has happened four of the last five years to the Royals and Crystal Lake Central.

Still, the journey ahead doesn’t seem to faze the KHS group, coming off an 11-5-3 (7-1-2 Northern Illinois Big XII) season from a year ago.

That could be the returning talent’s effect, softening the blow of seven seniors gone.

“We’ve got 22 on varsity this year, that gives us some nice depth,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “They’re pretty talented. They’re gelling quickly and they can maybe get over that hump.”

Parillo, in his 10th year of coaching the girls, would like to see the recent postseason troubles cease once they’re able to get on a regular routine.

“We’ve had three days outside, and not on our field. We’re trying to get acclimated to the weather. Most of the other schools are dealing with it, too,” Parillo said.

Kaneland was able to find scoring output from a wide array of girls a year ago, with a handful returning, namely Madi Jurcenko, Brittany Olson and Kiandra Powell.

“Brittany Olson had 15 goals, Kiandra Powell, once we finally found a good spot for her, she tore it up at the end there,” Parillo said. “We have a chance to have some scorers.”

Taking over for current Purdue Boilermaker Jordan Ginther between the posts is sophomore Emily Chapman.

At defense resides talent like Taylor Opperman, who moved back after a year in Michigan, Taylor Zitkus, Nicole Koczka, Taylor Emigh and Colleen Landers, with Heather Ortiz able to fill in, when not up front.

Ortiz is joined by older sister Michelle (forward/mid) and younger sister Lauren (midfield) on the pitch.

“The three Taylors, the two Emilys and the three Ortiz sisters, that won’t get confusing,” Parillo added.

Jurcenko, Michelle Ortiz, Courtney Diddell, Jess Coia, Delaney Stryczek and Holly Collingbourne aim to fill in the midfield ranks.

Olson takes care of the forward ranks, along with several of the midfielders donning Lady Knight colors.

Other seniors include Mary Piazza and Stephanie Zwick, and juniors include Emily Grams.
Sophomores include Ashley Crotteau and returnee Gabby Cano, while Paige Guyton adds a freshman spark.

Parillo would like the girls to get on a regular routine, made more complicated with the epic winter.

“We get this game in Tuesday on turf and then we have to sit, and there’s the spring break. The Rosary game we want to win; they’re our nemesis,” Parillo said.

The NIB-12 landscape is for the taking, if goals come Kaneland’s way.

“We should be there,” Parillo said. “DeKalb is always strong, Sycamore is always good, and Yorkville’s getting better every year, as it should.”

On Tuesday, Kaneland went to Rockford Auburn, and the first home matchup was scheduled for Thursday, March 20, against IMSA. Conference tilts begin on Tuesday, April 15, in Morris.

Spring kind to Kaneland athletics in awards season

Photo: Delani Vest capped a stellar senior season for Lady Knights softball by nabbing the NIB-12 MVP honor. File photo

KANELAND—A highly successful 2011-12 spring season was recognized with team awards dished out earlier this week, as well as honors from the end-of-year senior athletic banquet.

Awards were released on June 3.

Leading the charge was sectional semifinalist softball, which boasted the Northern Illinois Big XII MVP in pitcher Delani Vest. Joining the senior on the all-conference list was Paige Kuefler, Hayley Contorno, Allyson O’Herron and McKinzie Mangers, with teammate Lexi Roach an honorable mention.

Vest, Mangers, O’Herron and Sam Hansen were recognized as captains. O’Herron was named defensive player of the year, while Roach was named most improved player. Kuefler and Lanie Callaghan were named co-offensive players of the year, while Contorno and Kristen Gabrielson took home the Lady Knight award.

The senior athletic banquet awards recognized University of Wisconsin-Whitewater bound Sean Carter as Male Athlete of the Year, Kelly Evers as Female Athlete of the Year, Clayton Brundige as the Male Birkette award winner for dedication, and both Evers and Katy Dudzinski as the Female Birkette award for dedication recipient.

For boys track, Carter was named the Track MVP, while Nate Dyer took home the Field MVP honors. Brundige and Brandon Stahl were co-winners of the Drendel Award. Brundige, Carter, Miki Marin, Stahl, Nate Rehkopf, Kelvin Peterson and Mitch Dienst were recognized as captains. Dylan Nauert was named the winner of the Ron Probst award.

Finally, Kaneland’s boys track group of Luis Acosta, Brandon Bishop, Kyle Carter, Sean Carter, Dyer, Shane Jorgensen, Nate Kucera, Nauert, Tanner Andrews, Brandon Cottier, Marshall Farthing, Kory Harner, Conor Johnson, Dylan Pennington, Brundige and Marin were recognized as All NIB-12.

Meanwhile, the 11 State qualifiers were also lauded for their trip to Eastern Illinois University.

For Knights baseball, Tom Fox, Drew Peters, John Hopkins, Trevor Storck, Jake Razo and Tyler Heinle were named to the All NIB-12 team, with Bryan VanBogaert an honorable mention.

VanBogaert, Storck and Ray Barry took home the most improved player nods, and Trever Heinle was the recipient of the 41 Award in memory of Jeff Malewig. Fox was named the offensive MVP and Tyler Heinle was named defensive MVP, with Razo nabbed Mr. Kaneland Baseball for 2012.

The girls track season yielded quite the prestigious awards, with Amanda Lesak, Jessica Kucera, Maggie Brundige, Sydney Strang, Jen Howland, Lauren Zick and Kaltrina Ismaili being recognized as state qualifiers.

Christina Delach, Nicole Ketza, Elle Tattoni, Lesak, Gabby Aguirre, Strang, Zick, Ismaili and Howland also secured Northern Illinois Big XII honors.

Carolina Tovar and Ketza were recognized for their work as captains. Lesak took home the team’s most improved trophy.

The Track MVP honor was given to Strang, while the Field MVP honor went to Tattoni.

Kaneland soccer congratulated Jess Coia, Jordan Ginther, Delaney Stryczek and Katie Taylor for making All NIB-12, while Brittany Olson made the honorable mention list.

Melissa Bohorquez, Ginther, Taylor and Taylor White were recognized as captains, while Brooke Harner was named Most Improved Player for the Lady Knights.

Courtney Diddell and Madi Jurcenko capped impressive campaigns by garnering Rookie of the Year honors.

Taylor Opperman, Heather Ortiz and Stryczek were named winners of the Coach’s Award.

Michelle Ortiz and Olson were named winners of the Lady Knights Award, while the co-MVPs were revealed as Taylor and Ginther.

Kaneland soccer hopes to reach beyond Regional

Photo: Melissa Bohorquez attempts to beat her Maple Leaf opponent to the ball in the girls soccer opener Saturday. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—For the past three seasons, Kaneland girls soccer has made it to heights previously unknown.

Now comes the challenge of kicking even higher.

The Lady Knights finished 12-9-3 in 2011 and fell in the regional title match for the third consecutive year, but that was with 96-goal scorer Emily Heimerdinger at her peak.

With Heimerdinger and other personnel like Sophie Blank no longer brandishing the Knight insignia, its up to a crop that mixes returnees and newbies that now know nothing but a winning attitude.

“We are young with nine underclassmen on the team,” eight-year coach Scott Parillo said. “But in the opener (against Geneseo), when we possessed the ball, we created a ton of chances, and that’s promising.”

Parillo’s captains all bring a load of experience, and 2012 brings the return of 2010 superstar goalkeeper Jordan Ginther, fresh from a tour with her Naperville club team.

“We’re excited, we really are; she’s phenomenal and a class act,” Parillo said. “She’s one of the best goalies I’ve ever seen.”

With the other captains, Parillo is eager to put them to work on the pitch.

“They’ve only been on winning teams here at Kaneland. Taylor White, Abby Bend and Katie Taylor are all three-year varsity players. They’ve been around Emily and Sophie and Amy (Fabrizius) from last year and other players before that. We hope that if we make it to the regional championship this year, we can bring home that plaque,” Parillo said.

Taylor at midfield, Ginther and goal and Bend at forward provide good security for Parillo.

“They are all helping out and taking charge. Captains have to be vocal and lead the team,” Parillo said.

On the defensive crew, returnees Brooke Harner and Amber Winquist-Bailey help protect Kaneland, along with fellow multi-year Lady Knight Anne Marie Giese.

New additions to the defense are Taylor Opperman, a freshman.

At midfield, the captain Taylor lends her skills along with sophomores Delaney Stryczek and Jess Coia, with all three tallying goals and assists a year ago.

Able to play midfield and forward is freshman Madi Jurcenko, who tallied the first assist of the 2012 campaign.

At forward is fellow freshman Courtney Diddell, who got the pass from Jurcenko on St. Patrick’s Day for the first goal of 2012.

“These new girls are extremely coachable and fun to watch. They hate to lose and (are) eager to learn,” Parillo said.

Also contributing to the effort at forward are last year’s goalkeeper Michelle Ortiz, her sister, Heather, and Melissa Bohroquez and Brittany Olson.

Lady Knights soccer loses to Geneseo, beats IMSA

KANELAND—Coach Scott Parillo was happy at his girls soccer unit’s effort in the opening contest against Geneseo, despite the less-than-desirable result.

On Tuesday, the effort and result were perfectly matched.

With an 8-1 win over Aurora rival Illinois Math and Science Academy, the host Lady Knights improved to 1-1.

Geneseo used three well-timed second-half goals to beat Kaneland during an unseasonably warm St. Patrick’s Day encounter, 3-1.

The lone Kaneland goal was placed by freshman Courtney Diddell on a pass from fellow freshman Madi Jurcenko with 14 minutes, 31 seconds gone by in the action.

Taking on the Lady Titans, Kaneland’s three first-half goals were enough, as put in by Katie Taylor from Jurcenko, Jurcenko from Jess Coia and Diddell from Delaney Stryczek.

Diddell, Michelle Ortiz, Brittany Olson and Abby Bend put the ball in the net in the second 40 minutes.

The Lady Knights were scheduled for a meeting in Aurora against Rosary on Wednesday, and rest until the usual Blackhawk Invite at West Aurora on Thursday, April 5.

KHS spring sports awards put fitting cap on 2010-11

KANELAND—Coming a little later due to the storybook run of Kaneland baseball, KHS released its spring sports awards for 2010-11, highlighting a successful first step into Northern Illinois Big XII play.

In girls track, Lauren Zick and Andie Strang took home the co-MVP for track, while Brooke Patterson was named MVP on the field end. For most improved, Abby Dodis and Briana Stark took home the honor.

Sydney Bilotta, Strang, Kris Bowen, Jessica Stouffer and Keara Palpant were recognized as captains.

Zick and Patterson were joined by Gabby Aguirre as part of the Northern Illinois Big XII (NIB-12) All-Conference squad. Strang (1600 meter run, 4x800m relay), Bowen (4x800m relay), Patterson (pole vault), Sydney Strang (4x800m relay) and Zick (400m dash, 4x800m relay) were also recognized for their State trip.

For boys track, Taylor Andrews and Tommy Whittaker were named track MVP’s, while teammate Matt Spitzzeri took the field MVP. Curtis Secrest was given the Drendel Award.

Secrest, Trevor Holm, Whittaker, Andrews, Matt Cowans and Spitzzeri were recognized as captains, and Kory Harner took the Ron Probst Award.

The NIB-12 also named Andrews, Spitzzeri, Whittaker, Holm, Brandon Cottier, Mickey Marin and Jesse Balluff as part of the All-Conference squad.

Harner, Marin, Luis Acosta, Clayton Brundige, Balluff, Brandon Bishop, Dylan Nauert, Sean Carter, Holm, Cottier, Whittaker, Andrews and Secrest were all recognized for their State qualifying efforts.

In soccer, Emily Heimerdinger secured an All-State honor, capping her four-year output in style, while also named the NIB-12 MVP. The Class of 2011 member was also named co-MVP for the Lady Knights with teammate Amy Fabrizius.

Conference-wide, Heimerdinger, Fabrizius, Sophia Blank and Sam Wantuch were named to the All-Conference team.

Katie Taylor earned the Lady Knights Award, while Blank took home the Coach’s Award.

Keeper Michelle Ortiz was named Rookie of the Year, while Wantuch was named Most Improved Player for the roster that made it to the regional championship. Blank, Fabrizius, Heimerdinger and Taylor were also recognized as captains.

In softball, McKinzie Mangers and Andrea Potts were recognized as captains, while Allyson O’Herron took home the Lady Knight Award.

Potts was also named the Offensive Player of the Year.

Alexis Villarreal was named Most Improved Player for her efforts on the mound, and teammate Rilee Vest was named Defensive Player of the Year for the Lady Knights softball unit.

Additionally, Potts was a unanimous selection to the NIB-12 All-Conference team as an infielder. Vest and Katy Dudzinski were named as honorable mention candidates.

For the State Champion Knights baseball program, Bobby Thorson was named team Offensive MVP.

Kyle Davidson, Jake Razo and Brian Dixon took the Defensive MVP awards, and Dixon, Razo and Tyler Heinle were named Most Improved Players.

The No. 41 award was given to Sam Komel, Corey Landers and Dixon.

Mr. Kaneland Baseball was given out to the whole of the 2011 Class 3A State winners.

Additionally, Kaneland held the Senior Athletic Banquet Awards in June, giving the Knight Award for three-sport athletes to Stouffer, Strang and Davidson.

Strang was named female athlete of the year, while Andrews was named male athlete of the year. Strang also won the female Birkette Award, while the male Birkette Award went to Curtis Secrest.

Lady Knights see offense open up

Photo: Michelle Ortiz fields a shot as keeper during Thursday’s 6-2 win in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference action in Yorkville. The Lady Knights prepare for their next challenge: the KHS Classic on Friday, May 6, and
Saturday, May 7. Photo by Ben Draper

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was a familiar setting for Kaneland soccer on Thursday, with chilly tempuratures and steady to heavy rains.

It’s been so familiar, in fact, that KHS coach Scott Parillo mentioned that the nicest conditions for Kaneland soccer occurred back on March 19, opening day in Geneseo.

However, with a 6-2 win in Yorkville and a 7-0 win against visiting Sterling on Tuesday, the fortunes of Lady Knights soccer look a little bit more sunny.

Kaneland’s mark is 8-7-1 with a 4-3 record in Northern Illinois Big XII conference play.

In Yorkville, Sophie Blank had a hat trick, while Emily Heimerdinger added two goals and an assist. Delaney Stryzek scored on a header and had an assist, while Brittany Olson also had an assist.

Breaking a 2-2 halftime tie, Blank hit a shot at close range just two minutes, 55 seconds into the second half. Stryzek’s header near the box with 29:02 left made it 4-2.

Blank completed her hat trick with 17:46 to go on a tricky shot, and felt like the offense’s recent output makes the struggles like the first half a bit easier to bear.

“I don’t know what it is, maybe because we are young,” Blank said. “Our offense is very confident, we just have to remember what to do.”

Heimerdinger’s final goal came with 8:50 remaining.

“We wanted to actually execute a gameplan, which we didn’t do in the first half,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “The coaching staff let them know they weren’t happy. We played much better in the second half. It’s better to have some of the underclassmen scoring lately, because Sophie’s a senior and Emily’s a senior.”

Against Sterling, Heimerdinger scored twice and had three assists while goals were also scored by Olson, Katie Taylor and Taylor White.

The Lady Knights brave the KHS Classic on Friday May 6, and Saturday, May 7.

Soccer solves Indian Creek in lone contest of week

Photo: Kaneland defender Anne Marie Giese moves in on an Indian Creek opponent in the second half of their game at Indian Creek on Monday. Kaneland came away with an easy victory, winning 5-0. Photo by John DiDonna

KANELAND—If Indian Creek High School thought it would be able to close a 1-0 deficit in the second half during Monday’s early-April match, it was fooling itself.

Four second-half goals allowed the visiting Lady Knights to corral a 5-1 win over the Timberwolves and raise their record to 3-2 (1-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

With question marks before the season on how the youth-infused lineup would gel, the scoring output has risen to the occasion more than once.

It started on Monday with a goal almost 17 minutes into the affair, thanks to Abby Bend on a feed from Emily Heimerdinger.

With 28:28 remaining in the game, Jessica Coia put one in the net, followed by Heimerdinger capitalizing on a Brittany Olson assist five minutes later.

Heimerdinger scored her second goal of the match and sixth of the season with 12:36 remaining in the contest. Capping off the scoring barrage was Olson with 4:02 remaining.

Sophie Blank and Michelle Ortiz combined in goal for the shutout.

Up ahead for coach Scott Parillo’s crew: a quest to repeat as West Aurora Tournament champions, beginning on Thursday, April 7, against the hosts at 4:30 p.m.

2011 Blackhawk women’s soccer tourney
Thursday, April 7: E. Aurora vs. Streamwood 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 7: W. Aurora vs. Kaneland 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 9: Kaneland vs. Plainfield E. 10 a.m.
Saturday, April 9: E. Aurora vs. W. Aurora Noon
Monday, April 11: W. Aurora vs. Streamwood 4:30 p.m.
Monday, April 11: Plainfield E. vs. E. Aurora 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 12: Plainfield E. vs. W. Aurora 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 12: Streamwood at Kaneland 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 13: Kaneland vs. E. Aurora 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 13: Streamwood vs. Plainfield E. 6:30 p.m.

New-look Lady Knights try to start 2011 on right foot

Photo: Sam Wantuch participates in preseason ball drills for the Lady Knights. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was a season to remember, and an ending to forget.

Kaneland would love to have the regional championship loss to Rosary High School back. The season which ended at 15-3-5 under soccer coach Scott Parillo and a cohesive senior unit had a chance for redemption in 2011.

However, it will have to come with quite the new look.

With last year’s celebrated senior core gone, as well as last year’s freshman sensation in goal Jordan Ginther (playing club soccer in Naperville, Ill.), the Lady Knights break ranks as fluid as can be.

“Jordan was classy enough to tell us in advance and we had time to cry and get that out of the way,” Parillo joked. “Hopefully, she’ll be back next year. We need to replace seven starters. They’re working hard out here, and it should be exciting.”

But, the solid strengths begin with team captain and senior Emily Heimerdinger at midfield/forward, who will go down as having one of the most prolific careers in KHS girls soccer history.

“She’s not a secret anymore. She was no longer a secret at the end of her freshman year. She’s going to be similar to a point guard out there. What she may not get in goals, she’ll maybe contribute in assists and she’ll be a real leader,” Parillo said.

Returnees joining Heimerdinger that are no stranger to big-game soccer include Amy Fabrizius at goalie/defender and Sophie Blank at goalie/midfield.

Returning to a bigger role after a 2010 with limited varsity action include the likes of Abby Bend (mid/forward), Sam Wantuch (defense/mid).

Also providing a spark are returning mid/fwd Katie Taylor, def/mid Anna Heinrichs and mid/foward Taylor White.

“The girls are up to the task, the coaches are up to the task, and we hope the girls gel as quickly as last year,” Parillo said.

New on the varsity ranks for Kaneland are def/mid Amber Winquist-Bailey, mid/forward Brittany Olson, mid/fwd Jessica Coia, mid/fwd Delaney Stryzek, midfielder Delaney Stryzek, goalie/midfielder Michelle Ortiz, midfielder/forward Shelby Fredricksen, def/mid Valerie Tockstein and defender Anne Marie Giese.

With two matches already under their belt, the Lady Knights begin the Northern Illinois Big XII East Division slate on Wednesday, April 6, against Sycamore. The regular season concludes on Tuesday, May 10, in Rochelle.