High school volleyball insider: Cary-Grove's Evynn Layshock is athlete of the week; rankings; notes

Evynn Layshock, Cary-Grove
Evynn Layshock, Cary-Grove

Athlete of the Week

Evynn Layshock, Cary-Grove, jr., OH

Cary-Grove is playing some of its best volleyball of the year and finished 4-1 at the Saxon Invite in Schaumburg on Saturday. The Trojans (15-16) won their first four matches before falling to St. Charles North, 25-13, 21-25, 25-21, in the championship. Layshock led C-G's attack with 47 kills in five matches.

Northwest Herald Power Rankings

1. Prairie Ridge (22-5): The Wolves are perfect in FVC play and claimed a share of their first Fox Valley Conference title since 2015, when they went 12-0 in the FVC Fox. Hannah Baudin has 122 kills, 33 aces, 139 digs and 195 assists this season.

2. Huntley (24-3): The Red Raiders have won 11 straight matches and their last 22 sets overall since a loss to Marist on Sept. 29. Huntley won its own tournament for the second year in a row and defeated Crystal Lake Central, 25-17, 25-18, to move into sole possession of second place in the FVC at 12-2.

3. Crystal Lake Central (21-4): The defending FVC champions were officially eliminated from championship contention with their loss to Huntley, dropping to 10-3 in conference with three matches to go. Central finishes up against Crystal Lake South, Dundee-Crown and McHenry.

4. Cary-Grove (15-16): The Trojans are 5-1 over their last six and showed they are a dangerous team come playoffs with a second-place finish at the Saxon Invite. C-G led St. Charles North, 20-18, in the last set, before eventually losing to last year's Class 4A state fourth-place finisher in the championship.

5. Jacobs (10-13): The Golden Eagles took Prairie Ridge to three sets in an eventual loss and have been one of the area's most improved teams this year. Jacobs is 6-7 in the FVC, tied with Cary-Grove for fourth. The Eagles won only two matches in the FVC a year ago.


Looking to make history: Alden-Hebron has never won a regional title in program history. The Giants (12-12-1) will get their chance to make history and put up the first volleyball banner in A-H's Tigard Gymnasium when they host regionals in two weeks.

Fourth-seeded A-H faces No. 5 Pearl City in a Class 1A Alden-Hebron Regional semifinal Oct. 23. If they win, the Giants will play for the championship at home Oct. 25. No. 2 Stockton is the best seed there.

IHSA postseason: The Class 3A and Class 4A seedings and pairings for the postseason were released last week with Prairie Ridge getting the one top seed among local teams. Huntley and Crystal Lake Central both earned No. 2 seeds in Class 4A.

In Class 3A, Johnsburg (15-13) and Marengo (18-9-1) each took fourth seeds.

Huntley coach Karen Naymola, whose team has won 18 of 19 matches overall, believes her team was deserving of a top seed. The Raiders have lost one match since Sept. 13, with 16 sweeps over that time.

Huntley went 4-1 at the ASICS Challenge at Mother McAuley, which features top teams from across the country. The Raiders' only loss was against Marist – the defending Class 4A state champion.

"We are disappointed in the seeding, because of our body of work this season," Naymola said. "We beat three nationally-ranked teams and thought that was deserving of a No. 1 seed in our sub-sectional.

"But that's OK. We are looking forward to competing and the challenge."

What to watch

Richmond-Burton at Johnsburg, 6 p.m. Tuesday: A win for the Skyhawks guarantees the outright Kishwaukee River Conference championship.

Jacobs at Cary-Grove, 6 p.m. Tuesday: Both teams are trending up going into the playoffs.

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