Seven local teams set to clash at Kaneland SpikefestAurora Central Catholic's Kendall Adams (right) and Jill Huseman defend against Chicago Christian's Maggie Kamp at Aurora Central Catholic High School in Aurora, Ill., on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011.
| Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 18, 2011 8:04PM
There will be a distinctly local flavor to Saturday’s eight-team Kaneland Spikefest.
The final regular-season event before the IHSA playoffs begin on Monday will feature seven area teams in a tourney that will be contested at Harter Middle School, 1601 Harter Rd., Sugar Grove, beginning at 8 a.m.
Joining the hosts in the four-team Black pool will be Metea Valley, Aurora Christian and Hampshire. Geneva, Aurora Central, Yorkville and Oswego East comprise the White pool in what should be a competitive field.
“Even though the schools are pretty close to each other, we’re mostly from different conferences,” Kaneland coach Todd Weimer said. “And teams that are in the same conference we try to split up by pool, so we’re in the opposite pool from Yorkville. Metea Valley and Geneva are both in the Upstate Eight but in different divisions, just like ACC and Aurora Christian in the SCC.
“It’s really a fun tournament but very busy. We’ll have four courts going at once.”
Pool play matches will be at 8, 9 and 10 in the morning with a lunch break followed by the championship and consolation bracket semifinals at 11:45 and finals at 12:45 p.m.
The Knights snapped a six-match losing streak last week with a three-set win over Sycamore, sweeping the Spartans for the first time in many years.
“Kylie Seibert had 31 digs and Katy Dudzinski had 21 kills,” said Weimer, in his seventh year leading the Knights. “I don’t think I’ve coached a player with 20 or more kills in a match since I’ve been here. It was a great match.”
ACC players and coach Jeanne Czipri had an emotional night Monday when they played host to Chicago Christian on senior night. There was a moment of silence to remember Jeff Chandler, husband of ACC assistant coach Betty Chandler. Jeff Chandler died Sunday after a battle with cancer.
Noting that Betty Chandler had been a rock for her and the players, Czipri told Beacon-News correspondent Christine Bolin that it was time for them to be there for Chandler.
The Chargers also presented a check for $1,200, derived from their fundraising efforts, to visiting coach James Garcia for one of his players. The Knights’ Katie Vree was stricken by a virus while on a mission trip last summer that left her paralyzed from the neck down.
ACC players learned of it when they played earlier in the season at Chicago Christian when its players held a fundraiser for their teammate.
“We are very grateful,” Garcia said. “Not only has Aurora Central stepped up, but a lot of other schools have come through for us in a big way for the (Vree) family.”
The Chargers, who were coming off a big non-conference win over Geneva earlier in the week, fell in three games (25-21, 20-25, 25-14) to Chicago Christian but it was an improvement over the two-set loss they suffered earlier in the season.
“The first time we played them we got rocked. We did a good job of staying focused tonight,” Czipri said.
She hopes the team can carry that momentum into this weekend and into the Class 2A playoffs. Much of the tough competition ACC has played in its move up to the SCC Blue this year after winning back-to-back SCC Gold titles will move on to the 3A playoffs.
Also stepping up
That’s what West Aurora did last weekend, winning its pool Friday in the 24-team Glenbard East Autumnfest. It sent the Blackhawks to the Gold Division where they had an uh-oh day on Saturday against some of the top-ranked teams in the state.
West dropped all three of its matches, settling for eighth place. It fell in two sets to eventual champ Benet and in three sets to both Huntley and Barrington.
West’s Lauren Carlini was one of 15 girls named to the all-tournament team. Wisconsin coach Pete Waite was on hand to watch Carlini and another of his future players, Benet middle Meghan Haggerty, who was named tourney MVP after Benet won its fourth title in four tournaments this season.
Maine West Pumpkin Tournament
Batavia went 1-1 Friday in pool play in the 24-team event and advanced to the Silver Division, which it won Saturday by beating Maine South, Jacksonville and Oak Park-River Forest.
Bulldogs coach Lori Trippi-Payne, though, was still feeling good about the one match her team lost, 25-21, 26-28, 26-24 to Stagg on Friday.
“It was one of our best matches of the year,” Trippi-Payne said, noting the “many long rallies, and the match lasted an hour and a half. We had three different players put up career-high numbers. Also, as a team we had 40 kills, our best of the season.”
The Bulldogs also had 72 digs in the match.
“I don’t know if we have ever had that many in a match in my 25 years here,” Trippi-Payne said.