Benet is seeking a lower level boys volleyball coach for the spring 2009 season. Interested candidates should contact athletic director Gary Goforth at 630-719-2825.
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This is a couple months late, and for what it's worth, the Neuqua Valley boys volleyball team finished 24th in the Rivals.com final national rankings thanks to a second consecutive third-place finish at the state finals.
National high school rankings should always be taken with a block of salt. But it's all in good fun I guess, so here is how it all broke down for Illinois final four teams.
State champion Wheaton Warrenville South was highest at No. 6, followed by state runner-up Buffalo Grove, which beat Neuqua in the semifinals, at No. 9. Providence, the team that the Wildcats beat for third place, was ranked 17th.
This is what Rivals.com had to say about the Wildcats.
Coach Michael Popp's squad fell to Buffalo Grove in the semi's, 25-23, 20-25, 25-22, but did not get discouraged and finished strong in the third place match with a win over Providence Catholic, 27-25, 25-23. The Wildcats graduate six seniors, but have nine juniors with good playoff experience ready to go next year.
That is a nice breakdown of the state finals. That is exactly what happened, except for the coach being named Erich Mendoza and not Michael Popp, who was in the homestretch of his stint as principal at Neuqua during the finals, not coaching the Wildcats up.
But, you know, details such as these are meaningless in the face of national rankings.
Neuqua Valley senior Jake Blackman was named The Sun's 2008 boys volleyball player of the year on Wednesday. A week earlier, he sat down with The Heat Index to discuss Neuqua's season and his future plans.
As for Neuqua's 25-23, 20-25, 25-22 loss to Buffalo Grove in the state semifinals, Blackman said his team didn't give the Bison enough respect. After defeating DuPage Valley Conference champion Glenbard East in the quarterfinals the night before, the Wildcats were not ready to play.
"Beating Glenbard East the game before gave us a lot of confidence, made us a little hot headed," Blackman said. "You know, we could beat anybody. We could do anything. I think we took (Buffalo Grove) a little too lightly."
Naperville North senior Jon Bunge will continue his volleyball career at Orange Coast College, according to his mother.
Becky Bunge told The Heat Index on Monday afternoon that her son would attend the two-year school in Costa Mesa, Calif.
A unanimous selection to the All-Dupage Valley Conference team, Bunge missed all of the playoffs with an ankle sprain.
Neuqua Valley senior Collin Adler had five kills in the final match of his career on Saturday. He also wrote this post in the volleyballmag.com forum.
"i think everyone can agree that it really
this is a family publication that WWS won again though, definitely a downer"
The last three IHSA state finals this particular part of The Heat Index has covered have gone like this:
Boys swimming: Neuqua Valley wins state title.
Water polo: Naperville Central boys finish as runner up.
Boys volleyball: Neuqua Valley finishes third.
The Neuqua Valley boys volleyball team will miss Jake Blackman, Brian Clark, Brad Stout, Collin Adler and Sean Harmon next season. This senior class won two conference titles, two regional titles and finished third at the state finals the past two years.
But the Wildcats will be in good shape next year with outside hitter Rob Bauer and middle hitter Derek Menendez. The two juniors were vital to the team's success this season.
"There's no doubt in my mind that those guys are going to be our leaders next year," Neuqua coach Erich Mendoza said. "They played on a team that took third in the state, they started and it's not like they had minor roles. They were major contributors to the team all year."
Other returners that will be a factor in 2009 will be Kevin Begley, who served well in the state finals and is likely the starting libero, setter Alex Onsager, who played a lot in the regular season before Mendoza scrapped the 6-2 offense, and outside hitter Tim Brackett, who has a lot of lift in his legs and made contributions when asked.
Neuqua Valley will not play for the 17th IHSA boys volleyball state championship on Saturday night at Hoffman Estates High School.
The Wildcats rallied in the third game, but Buffalo Grove won their semifinal match 25-23, 20-25, 25-22.
Buffalo Grove had a 23-17 lead in Game 3 before Neuqua pulled within 23-21 and 24-22 before the Bison closed it out. Neuqua (37-4) will play Providence Catholic (35-2) in the third-place game at 4 p.m.
This quote in the Sun-Times from Neuqua Valley boys volleyball coach Erich Mendoza could mean a couple different things.
"We scouted a lot of teams prior to the tournament and we all felt that Glenbard East was the best team we saw," Mendoza said. "To beat them says a lot about our guys."
So if the best is out, that means the Wildcats, who beat the best, are now the best. Right?
Glenbard East got out to leads of 5-0 and 8-1 in the second game its three-game loss to Neuqua Valley on Friday in the IHSA boys volleyball state quarterfinals.
When the Wildcats closed it to 19-15 on one of Jake Blackman's 14 kills, the Rams called a timeout. After the timeout, the mega rally commenced.
Neuqua Valley got a dynamic performance from junior Derek Menendez in its quarterfinal win over Glenbard East at the boys volleyball state finals.
The 6-foot-5 middle hitter had nine kills, which matched his season high, and have five blocks going up against Sun-Times player of the year Dan Mader and company.
"He's such a great athlete," Neuqua coach Erich Mendoza. "All year, we've been trying to turn him into a volleyball player."
I'm no expert, but Menendez looked extremely volleyball-player like against the DuPage Valley Conference champs. And his outward enthusiasm, his celebratory screams, are good for a team that stays even keel for the most part.
"He's a real intense kid," Mendoza said. "All the other guys are kind of low key. ...Derek kind of is our spark plug on the court. He is one of the guys who actually shows some emotion."