2015 Boys Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll
presented by the IHSvcA and The Victory View
March 19, 2015
1. New Trier
The Trevians fought their way into the state quarterfinals last year before running into a very experienced, senior heavy Lake Park. This year, the Trevians look to not only return to the Elite Eight, but play for a state title. New Trier will be led by Sun-Times Second Team senior setter Dante Chakravorti, as well as fellow seniors Henry LeVee and Brian Hammes.
2. Glenbard West
Finishing third in state last June, the Hilltoppers return nine players from their 2014 roster. The 2015 team is led by Sun-times All-State and Daily Herald All-Area junior outside hitter Kyler Kotsakis, Daily Herald All-Area junior setter Paulie Bischoff, and Ball State bound senior middle hitter Parker Swartz. Look for the Hilltoppers to be a top contender for the state title this year as they boast not only a talented starting lineup but field depth even through their sophomore team.
3. Lincoln-Way West
The Lincoln-Way West Warriors are coming into the 2015 season with high expectations and the determination to fulfill those expectations. They will be returning four starters from last year’s team including Sun-Times All-State senior setter Michael Wexter, who is Pepperdine bound in the fall. With Wexter and the support of middle hitter Jake Gasparich, junior outside hitter Scott Christensen, and senior libero Jake Martin, West plans to take a step to the next level. Look for the Warriors to be tested throughout the season with a strong conference schedule.
With one of the toughest schedules in the state, Carl Sandburg’s team will see plenty of ranked opponents all year. Yet, Sandburg has been a dominant team in recent years and with several returning starters, are poised for another great year. The Eagles are led by Sun-Times All-State outside hitter Paul Chmura, 6’5” middle hitter Kyle Van Stedum, 6’9” junior Jake Hanes, and junior setter Grant Burden. Sandburg plans to leave a lasting impression with all the top tier teams this year.
With MSL All-Conference senior setter Noah Ricchetti and slew of very talented attackers, Barrington’s offense is going to be dynamic and balanced. With four returning starters, including All-Conference outside hitter Justin Galder and a host of young talented Broncos, there will be a nice mix of young talent and experienced veterans. This years Barrington team is big, physical, and athletic; definitely a force to be reckoned with.
The Redwings enter the 2015 season returning six starters from last years squad. Top players include ESCC All-Conference junior setter Ben Mazza and senior outside hitter Scott Kleiser; joining them includes starting senior outside hitter Mark Schuessler, junior libero Logan Ladowski, junior setter Jackson Van Eekeren. Look for the Redwings to use their experience and size to challenge for a top seed in their perennially tough sectional.
7. Wheaton South
In 2015, Wheaton South is not only looking to avenge their regional final loss to Naperville Central, they are planning to head back to Hoffman Estates in June. The Tigers return five starters from their 2014 varsity roster. This years roster includes DVC All-Conference 6’5 outside hitter Zack Meyer, All-Area and DVC All-Conference outside hitter John Hildebrand, 6’5 middle hitter Jerry Loar, Quincy bound libero Kolbie Knorr, and 5’10 setter Ben Carpio. With a roster filled with extremely talented athletes, the Tigers are beaming with confidence. Their plan, to give Coach Schreier an eighth state title.
8. Lincoln-Way East
Despite the loss of six of their seven starters to graduation, Lincoln-Way East expects to be a contender by the time sectionals come around. “Our cupboard is not dry,” says Coach Chris Fiore. “Our lower levels certainly have talent and know how to win.” Leading the Griffins will be senior libero Robby Hoffman, who tallied 203 digs in the 2014 season. In addition to Hoffman, fellow senior Nick Lilley returns to the floor at outside hitter. Watch for 6’6 basketball player turned volleyball player Lucas Galifos, who has shown promise in practice.
9. Glenbard East
With eight returning and many versatile players for the varsity team, Glenbard East is eager to play. Their top returners include outside hitter Nick Symonds, setters Ben Symonds and Andrew Hurlburt, middle hitter Adam Eboli, and opposite hitter Jamie Wareham. The Rams have all the pieces; they simply need to complete the puzzle.
10. Brother Rice
The Crusaders have several positions to fill. In 2014, Rice graduated eleven seniors including Sun-Times First Team All-Stater Mitch Weiler. Returning for 2015 includes 6’5 middle hitter and Harvard bound Spencer Scott and libero Zach Rothstein. Looking to fill in the gaps, Rice’s lineup includes 6’4 middle hitter Garrett Dederichs and outside hitters Jimmy Baker and Steve Lona. With hard work, experience, and a tough schedule, the Crusaders look to continue their historic tradition.
Next Ten Receiving Votes (In alphabetical order): Addison Trail, Buffalo Grove, Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, Glenbrook North, Joliet Catholic Academy, Lake Park, Naperville Central, Vernon Hills