Volleyball

High school volleyball insider: Huntley's Taylor Jakubowski is athlete of the week; rankings; notes

Taylor Jakubowski, Huntley
Taylor Jakubowski, Huntley

Athlete of the Week

Taylor Jakubowski, Huntley, jr., S

Jakubowski led the Red Raiders to a 7-1 week with Fox Valley Conference wins over McHenry, Crystal Lake South and Cary-Grove. The Seton Hall commit was named to the all-tournament team at the ASICS Challenge at Mother McAuley where she collected 121 assists and 39 digs.

Huntley went 4-1 at the ASICS Challenge – defeating St. Henry (Kentucky), Divine Savior Holy Angels of Wisconsin, Venice (Florida) and Skutt (Nebraska) – and had its best finish as a team (fifth place) in the tournament.

In a win over C-G on Wednesday, Jakubowski recorded seven kills, 16 digs, two blocks and 22 assists.

Northwest Herald Power Rankings

1. Prairie Ridge (18-2): The Wolves took a big step toward an FVC championship with a 25-18, 19-25, 25-22 win over Crystal Lake Central, improving to 12-0 in the conference with four matches left on their schedule. Prairie Ridge has won 13 of 14 overall and will play at the St. Charles East Invite this weekend.

2. Crystal Lake Central (20-3): The Tigers' loss to Prairie Ridge last week will make it that much more difficult for the defending FVC champions to retain their conference crown, but they are still a big threat going forward in Class 4A. Central has reached 20 wins in 20 straight seasons.

3. Huntley (17-3): The Raiders have won 11 of 12 overall and dropped just four sets during that dominant stretch. Huntley is 10-2 in the FVC and will host its own tournament Friday and Saturday. Next week, the Raiders face Crystal Lake Central and Prairie Ridge.

4. Johnsburg (12-8): The Skyhawks suffered their first Kishwaukee River Conference loss of the season to Woodstock, 25-16, 25-16, but remain at the top of the conference standings at 6-1 with five remaining.

5. Woodstock (19-11-1): The Blue Streaks have flown by their win total from last year (11), and have emerged as a real threat in the KRC with a 5-3 record, tied for second place with Marengo and Richmond-Burton.

Noteworthy

Home cooking: Hampshire finished 5-0 at its own tournament on Saturday to claim the tournament championship. The Whip-Purs (17-9-1) beat Burlington Central, Rockford Auburn and Bartlett in pool play and then took out Woodstock in the semifinals and South Elgin in the final.

Coach Ramon Borrero believes this is the first time the Whips have won their own tournament. Riley Seagren had 49 points, Madisyn Reinke had 42 points, and senior captain Sam Rossetti averaged 16 assists per match to lead Hampshire.

Conference races: Prairie Ridge can clinch at least a share of the FVC title with two wins in its final four matches against Hampshire, Jacobs, Huntley and Cary-Grove. The Wolves have lost three sets in their conference matches all season – two against Crystal Lake Central and one against Huntley.

Only Crystal Lake Central and Huntley, the past two FVC champions, remain in the race for the FVC championship. Both would need Prairie Ridge, which last won an FVC title in 2015, to stumble down the stretch. The Tigers and Raiders both have two losses in conference play.

Johnsburg remains in control of the KRC at 6-1, but Marengo, Woodstock and Richmond-Burton aren't out of the conference race at 5-3. Johnsburg still has Woodstock North, Marengo, Harvard, R-B and Burlington Central left on the schedule. The Skyhawks were second in the KRC in 2017.

What to watch

Crystal Lake Central at Huntley, 6 p.m. Tuesday: Both teams need to win to stay in the hunt for an FVC championship.

Johnsburg at Marengo, 6 p.m. Tuesday: A win for the Indians would tighten things up further in the KRC race.

Huntley at Prairie Ridge, 6 p.m. Thursday: The Wolves can potentially wrap up the FVC title with a win over the Raiders.

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