Friday, September 6, 2013

St. Charles North Stars off to a 9-0 Start for the Season

Two easy wins in our first home games this week, and more positive press.

Girls volleyball: STC North def. Addison Trail, 25-15, 25-9. Taylor Krage (7 kills) and Claire Anderson (7) help North improve to 8-0.

Girls volleyball: St. Charles North 2, South Elgin 0 (25-13, 25-9). Final. Taylor Krage (7 kills) & Alex Seavey (7 digs) help 9-0 STCN.

St. Charles North handles South Elgin

St. Charles North girls volleyball coach Lindsey Hawkins stresses the importance of taking care of their own business to her team members.
“I tell them every day, ‘do not worry about what’s going on over there (at the other end of the court) -worry about our side,’” said Hawkins.
“These are the things that we can control.”
The North Stars certainly controlled their side of the court — and for that matter — the entire match during Thursday night’s 25-13, 25-7 Upstate Eight Conference crossover victory over South Elgin (0-3) in St. Charles.
St. Charles North, which raised its record to 9-0, jumped out to fast starts in both games.
In Game 1, the North Stars exploded to leads of 12-2 and 18-3 behind a balanced offensive attack fueled by Taylor Krage, Daley Krage, Emily Carroll, Jaclyn Taylor, Alex Seavey, Taryn DalDegan, Frankie Neari, Sydney Wohlert, and Claire Anderson.
In Game 2, Taylor Krage (6 kills, 1 block) recorded 4 of her kills during the North Stars’ 13-4 surge while Anderson (4 kills, 2 blocks) helped her team finish off the Storm with a late flurry that included 2 kills and a pair of blocks.
“I kind of got in a zone,” said Anderson, a sophomore right side who started at the varsity level as a freshman last season. “My setter and the rest of my teammates — they were playing awesome and I was just helping them out.”
While the Krage sisters can dominate play as powerful outside hitters, Anderson also figures prominently into the North Stars’ plans this season.
“It’s really nice to have another option,” said Hawkins. “That’s what is nice about this team — we really do have a lot of offensive weapons right now. Taylor and Daley are obviously getting set the most but Claire is right in there.
“She has been one of those players ever since she was in eighth grade that we knew was going to be an impact player for us,” added the coach. “She’s really coming along.”
Daley Krage added 5 kills and a block, while Wohlert delivered a pair of aces as part of the North Stars’ perfect serving performance.
“Serving is a variable that we can control,” said Hawkins.
Ashley Oandasan and Renee Rush paced South Elgin with 3 kills apiece, while Sarah Hallas had a pair of kills and Adrianna Loiacono added a kill and an ace.
“I feel like the score doesn’t really reflect how the girls on my side did,” said Storm coach Joni Plach. “We got some decent hits, we got some decent blocks, and we were able to have some rallies.”

Plach admitted her squad’s unforced errors were too much to overcome against a team like St. Charles North.
“It’s their consistency,” Plach said of the North Stars. “They don’t make a lot of errors. It’s us controlling the errors we make and they don’t mess up so we’re the ones that have to earn the point.”
St. Charles North can now turn its attention to Tuesday’s UEC River opener against Batavia.
“They’re going to be really solid defensively and it’s Pack the Place night for them Tuesday so it’s going to be a lively crowd,” said Hawkins.

Daily Herald
Scouting Tri-Cities Girls Volleyball Article updated: 9/5/2013 4:54 PM

Maybe it's not the Cubs unseating the Cardinals to become the NL Central power, but there was a changing of the guard of sorts in the area last fall.

While St. Charles East has been the measuring stick for years in the postseason, last October it was Geneva knocking out the Saints on their way to a sectional championship appearance against Glenbard West.

The Vikings also dethroned the Saints in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division continuing a trend of great parity at the top in the conference's short history with Batavia also owning a recent crown.

On the heels of their 29-10 season, and beating the Saints head-to-head in both conference and the sectional, can Geneva stay on top this fall?

If so, the Vikings will have to replace 10 seniors from that team including all-conference and all-area outside hitter and kill leader Hannah Buck, all-conference, all-area and dig record breaking libero Kelley Dalhiem, and all-conference right side Jess Wicinski.
Starting setters Nicole Schnieder and Sammy Gola, right side Renner Burns, and serving specialist Megan Bell also graduated.
Luckily for longtime coach KC Johnsen the Vikings bring back strength in the middle with Taylor Marmitt and Maddie Courter, outside hitter Hannah Lanasa, libero Kelsey Wicinski, and setter Courtney Caruso.
Add to that newcomers like outside hitter Kylie Thompson, defensive specialist Camille Kolquist, setter Megan Cameron, and freshmen right-sides Grace Loberg and Ally Barrett, and it's easy to see why Johnsen lists size, defense and depth at all positions as team strengths.
"We expect to be able to compete with just about anyone on our schedule and improve with experience as the season progresses," Johnsen said.
St. Charles East is largely inexperienced with just setter Carly Jimenez, libero Anne Hughes and middle Mikaela Mosquera returning.
Jimenez takes over for Erin Barry who set the Saints the past four years. While the Saints will feature a balanced attack, you can bet Jimenez will look for junior Megan Schildmeyer on the outside — she had a team-high 9 kills in the Saints' opening win over Wheaton North — in addition to Mosquera in the middle.
"I usually have that one big outside," Saints coach Jennie Kull said. "This will be different type of team for me. I'm kind of excited about the challenge."
Senior Carly Matthews, junior Meagan Smith and sophomore Sydney Urban joined the returnees in the Saints' starting lineup while Dana Voltolina, Ashley Bullock, Emily Vitel and Ally Watson all contributed off the bench. Outside Alex Mazanke was out with an injury.
"What we are starting with is very young," Kull said. "It's inexperience. It's a fresh start. Every day we need to see improvement of some sort. We have goals we need to reach. We just want to see improvement every day and by the time we are done we'll be the best we can be. That's our goal. Our conference is amazing this year."

The Saints and Vikings weren't the only Tri-Cities teams at last fall's Class 4A Larkin sectional. St. Charles North joined its River rivals before losing in the sectional semifinals to Glenbard West. Coach Lindsey Hawkins returns several of her top players from that team.
The North Stars welcome back 6-foot-1 Northern Illinois bound senior outside hitter Taylor Krage, 5-6 senior defensive specialist Alex Seavey, 5-5 senior setter Sydney Wohlert, 6-1 sophomore right side Claire Anderson, and 6-3 sophomore outside hitter Daley Krage.
"We are really excited about the season," Hawkins said.
Hawkins has good reason for excitement, and not just those impressive returnees. The North Stars add 5-6 junior setter Taryn DalDegan, 5-5 sophomore defensive specialist Sam Lappin, 6-0 senior middle hitter Sophia DuVall, and 6-1 junior middle hitter Emily Carroll.
"I believe one of our strengths this year is going to be our defense," Hawkins said. "We have four amazing defensive specialists who are going to frustrate many opponents. We also have very versatile players this year. Many of our athletes can play multiple positions, which I believe will help us keep our opponents guessing."

Several of the North Stars enter the season after piling up impressive summer accomplishments. Taylor Krage and Wohlert both won national championships for their club teams, the second for Krage.
Carroll began playing beach volleyball, and she and her partner earned a top-five ranking in the nation. She and Daley Krage also both started playing with players from around the country for a program called High Performance.

Kane County Chronicle

Prep girls volleyball insider: Confident North Finds Early Stride
Created: Friday, September 6, 2013 5:32 a.m. CDT

Exceeding expectations this early in the season isn’t a bad thing, but St. Charles North still remains careful not to put too much weight on last weekend’s Plainfield North tournament title.
It’s only September – well, August when the tournament concluded – but North finds itself in a good place just the same.

“We really like starting out with that tournament because it’s so competitive and because it’s so early in the season, you get to see what kinks you’ve got to work out still,” North Stars coach Lindsey Hawkins said. “To be totally honest, I wasn’t expecting to do as well as we did. I thought we still had some things to work on, and I know we still have some things to work on, but I was really proud of them because they did do so well.”

Taylor Krage (44 kills, 14 blocks) and sister Daley (23 kills, 10 blocks) sparked a solid effort at the net, benefiting from the precise play of setter Sydney Wohlert, who earned all-tournament team honors.
Sophia DuVall and Emily Carroll added to what Hawkins called “a wall at the net,” never wavering in their intensity.

Hawkins noticed a great sense of purpose during summer workouts, as North returned a talented core that includes the Northern Illinois-bound Taylor Krage. North’s mental toughness – a key component to the deep postseason run the team aspires to – was heightened from the start.

“The girls are really, really competitive and they have a drive about them that keeps them going every single day, that keeps them in the gym to get better,” Hawkins said. “They have this competitive edge. You could tell during summer camp. They walked into the gym and they wanted to start then.”

Phil Brozynski's girls volleyball rankings

09/03/2013, 6:45pm CDT     
By Phil Brozynski
With preseason rankings and records through Monday
1. Mother McAuley (1) 2-0
2. St. Francis (2) 0-1
3. Benet (4) 5-0
4. New Trier (5) 1-0
5. Nazareth (6) 0-0
6. Plainfield North (3) 4-1
7. St. Charles North (NR) 7-0
8. Joliet Catholic (8) 1-1
9. Crystal Lake South (10) 4-1
10. Waubonsie Valley (7) 4-1
Others: Naperville North, Lincoln-Way Central, Stevenson, Lake Zurich, Lyons, Libertyville, Montini, Glenbard West, York, Sandburg.

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