Through the years, Warren senior Ella White made a habit of switching club volleyball teams.
Before her junior season, White had played for five club teams. After the Blue Devils were knocked out of last year’s IHSA playoffs with a loss to Libertyville in a Class 4A regional final, White chose to play for Sky High.
She hasn’t regretted the decision.
“I was all over the place with my club teams,” White said. “But playing for Sky High really improved my game so much. I’m so happy I went there. They do a lot of training and working on your position only, even for an hour every practice. It’s a huge commitment, but it helped me become a better player and playing with so many talented girls also helped me.”
White, an outside hitter, said she became more versatile in her attacks.
“I’m getting more shots and I really like it,” she said. “My defense has also gotten better, but (I improved) just being able to switch up my shots instead of just going for a kill by hitting it hard and down. I’m able to use roll it, tip it and place it in a better spot.”
White remains undecided about playing in college. She plans to discuss her plans with her parents and coaches.
White finished with a team-best 44 kills in five matches in last weekend’s Maine East Tournament. Dana Lundtveit added 27 kills and Abby Berkowicz tallied 59 assists, 20 digs and 21 aces.
The Blue Devils (19-4) suffered three-set defeats to De La Salle and Naperville North on the final day.
Warren coach Julie Filippo said White is one of the leaders on a team looking to top last season’s 25-12 record. As a junior, White finished with 225 kills, 25 digs and 16 blocks to go with 20 aces. This season, White has 179 kills.
“Ella and Dana are both really leading the way for us,” Filippo said. “This team, as a whole, is really working toward the common goals.”
Tough start for Zion-Benton: With Illinois recruit Kennedy Collins leading the way, Zion-Benton entered the season with high expectations. Sixteen matches later, the Zee-Bees remain winless.
Zion-Benton coach Courtney Lastacy said the players have kept positive through the adversity.
“We are a young team with a great work ethic,” Lastacy said. “The girls show up positive every day and will do whatever to get better.”
Collins, an outside hitter, leads the team with 56 kills. The senior had 11 kills against Mundelein, while Cheyenne Biedron tallied 15 digs.
Stevenson second at Niles West: Stevenson senior Sophie Sorenson tallied 11 kills and 19 digs in a three-game loss to Niles West at last weekend’s Niles West Tournament.
The Patriots won their first three matches, but lost to Evanston and Niles West on Saturday. Sorenson, an outside hitter, leads the Patriots with 176 kills in 17 matches.
In five matches at Niles West, Wauconda’s Savannah Johnson finished with 40 assists, 14 kills, 25 digs, 12 aces and three blocks.
Bob Narang is a freelance reporter for the News-Sun.