The Althoff Crusaders will attempt to move one step closer toward a second straight state championship Friday when they take on the Chicago Latin Romans in a semi-final round match at the Class 3A Volleyball Tournament at Redbird Arena in Normal.
Althoff (36-4), which defeated Chicago Resurrection 25-16, 25-23, in the state title match a year ago, will take on Chicago Latin (35-2) at 5:30 p.m. in this second of two Class 3A semi-final round matches.
This is the second time in three years the schools have met at the state finals. The Crusaders defeated the Romans 25-16, 22-25, 25-18 in the Class 2A third place match in 2016.
The Joliet Catholic Angels (27-13) will play the Sterling Golden Warriors (39-1) in the first semi-final at 4 p.m. The two semi-final winners will play for the state championship on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The third place match is set for 4 p.m.
Following is a closer look at the four teams that will compete at the Class 3A state volleyball tournament.
Joliet (Catholic Academy) (27-13)
Coach: Christine Scheibe (19th year, 563-174-10)
Classification Enrollment: 1032.9
Colors: Columbia Blue/Brown/White
Conference: East Suburban Catholic
Last Year’s Advancement: Lost to Aurora (Waubonsie Valley), 25-21-,23-25, 26-24, in 4A Regional Final
State Tournament history: This is the Angels 12th trip to the state tournament. They won state championships in 2003, 2008 and 2009
Players to watch: Soph. OH: Jilian Gray (230 kills, 36 aces, 249 digs); Sr. OH: Emily Holbrook ((261 kills, 28 aces, 319 digs); Soph. Setter Ryan Hinshaw (23 aces, 748 assists, 195 digs)
Sterling (H.S.) (39-1)
Coach: Dale Dykeman (7 years 228-38-1)
Classification Enrollment: 1044.0
Nickname: Golden Warriors
Conference: Northern Illinois Big 12
Last Year’s Advancement: Lost to Bartonville (Limestone), 25-21, 25-15, in Sectional Semifinal
State Tournament history: This is the Golden Warrioirs first state tournament appearance
Players to watch: Sr. Setter: Josie Borum (, 253 kills, 495 assists, 219 digs); Soph: RS Breelyn Borum (261 kills, 205 digs, 552 assists, 205 digs); Soph. OH: Brooklyn Borum ( 431 kills, 31 aces 209 digs)
Belleville (Althoff Catholic) (36-4)
Coach: Tony Miner (1st year. 36-4)
Classification Enrollment: 627.0
Colors: Navy Blue/Gold
Conference: South Seven
Last Year’s Advancement: Defeated Chicago (Resurrection), 25-16, 25-23, in State Championship
State tournament history: This is the Crusaders’ 12th trip to the state volleyball tournament. They won the Class 3A state title in 2017
Players to watch: Sr. OH: Lauren Borik (195 kills, 43 blovks, 83 digs); Jr. MB: Karinna Gall (435 kills, 81 blocks, 46 aces, 332 digs), Jr. OH: Katie Wemhoener (253 kills, 31 aces, 375 digs); Jr. Setter: Mary Wessel (97 kills, 41 aces, 808 assists, 330 digs)
Chicago (Latin) (35-2)
Coach : Bryn Kehoe (2nd season, 68-6-1)
Classification Enrollment: 757.35
Conference: Independent School League
Last Year’s Advancement: Lost to Chicago (Resurrection), 25-16, 25-15, in Super-Sectional
State tournament history: This its the Romans second appearance in the state tournament
Players to watch: Sr. L-OH Charlotte Cronister (149 kills, 71 aces, 394 digs); Jr. OH: Katie Kraczkowski (200 kills, 41 aces, 194 digs); Soph. Setter (34 aces, 772 assists, 162 digs)