Athlete of the Week
Maggie Wallenberger, Jacobs, so., OH
The 5-foot-11 sophomore came up big in a pair of Fox Valley Conference matches last week as the Golden Eagles ran their conference winning streak to three. Wallenberger collected a team-high 13 kills in a 19-25, 25-21, 25-10 win over Cary-Grove, and led Jacobs with 12 kills in a 25-19, 25-18 sweep over Crystal Lake South.
Editor's note: Shaw Media will host its 2019 Most Valuable Athlete Awards Night on June 12 at Northern Illinois University's Convocation Center. All Athletes of the Week are invited to sign up here.
Northwest Herald Power Rankings
1. Prairie Ridge (14-2): The Wolves swept Cary-Grove on Tuesday to improve to 8-0 in the FVC and have beaten every team in the conference halfway through their schedule. Prairie Ridge finished ninth at the Wheaton Classic, beating Libertyville in the Silver Bracket championship.
2. Crystal Lake Central (16-2): The Tigers saw their 13-match winning streak snapped at the Mother McAuley Preview, falling to Nazareth, 25-18, 28-26, and taking third in the tournament. Central is 7-1 in the FVC, with its only loss to Prairie Ridge.
3. Huntley (9-2): The Red Raiders took out Hampshire, Barrington and West Chicago in straight sets and are 6-2 in the FVC, trailing only Prairie Ridge and Crystal Lake Central in the standings.
4. Johnsburg (11-7): The Skyhawks have won eight of 10 overall, sweeping all five of their Kishwaukee River Conference matches to start 5-0. Johnsburg is the only team in the KRC without a conference loss.
5. Marengo (15-7-1): The Indians lost to Johnsburg but bounced back with a 25-22, 10-25, 25-16 win over Woodstock, improving to 3-2 in the KRC. Marengo took runner-up at the Pearl City Tournament over the weekend.
Epic match: Prairie Ridge's wild, 23-25, 39-37, 25-19 win against Libertyville at the Wheaton Classic produced a state record. The 168 combined points between the Wolves and Wildcats was the most ever in a match, surpassing 165 as the old mark, according to the IHSA website. Prairie Ridge's 87 points ranks second, and the 39 points in a game ties for sixth.
"It was very exciting for our team," Wolves coach Stefanie Otto said. "I subbed in a lot of different people and tried a lot of different things, so a lot of people contributed to that. So that was kind of a neat thing, too."
Bellville Althoff holds the record for most points in a match with 91 against Mater Dei, in which the teams combined for 165 points. The most points in a game was set by Eastland with 54 in 2003 against Marian Central.
Surging Skyhawks: Johnsburg made quick work of Richmond-Burton, 25-9, 25-16, Wednesday to stay perfect in the KRC at 5-0. The Skyhawks have won all 10 sets in conference play and are a win away against Burlington Central from finishing the first half of their KRC schedule without a loss.
Johnsburg almost won the conference title a year ago but lost to Burlington in the final match of the season to place second with a 10-2 record. The Skyhawks lost their two biggest hitters from last season in Abby Wemple (298 kills) and Alex Arber (216 kills), in addition to libero Kimmy Hammond (529 digs), but haven't missed a beat.
Senior Adisyn Illg was named to the Belvidere North all-tournament team over the weekend, where the Skyhawks finished third. Illg recorded 25 assists, four kills and two aces in a 26-24, 26-28, 25-17 win over Rockford Lutheran in the third-place match.
Big wins: Jacobs defeated Cary-Grove, 19-25, 25-21, 25-10, and Crystal Lake South, 25-19, 25-18, at the Eagles' Nest last week to improve to 4-4 in the FVC. Jacobs is in fourth place after winning only two conference matches a year ago.
Before last week's wins, the Eagles had not beaten the Trojans or Gators since 2012.
What to watch
Burlington Central at Johnsburg, 6 p.m. Tuesday: The Skyhawks can wrap up a perfect first-half KRC schedule with a win over the Rockets.
Prairie Ridge at Crystal Lake Central, 6 p.m. Thursday: The winner of this match will go a long way in determining the conference champion. Prairie Ridge came back to beat Central, 20-25, 25-19, 25-21, in the teams' first meeting in August.
Hampshire at Jacobs, 6 p.m. Thursday: Both teams are enjoying resurgent years and are looking to finish in the top half of the FVC.