Athlete of the Week
Crystal Lake Central, jr., S/OH
Hausler recorded 32 kills, 28 assists, 30 digs and nine blocks in five matches at the Plainfield Central Harvest Festival Tournament and was named to the all-tournament team – along with sophomore teammate Madeline Timmerman – as the Tigers went 4-1 and placed third overall.
Hausler provided nine assists, five kills and three aces in a 25-16, 25-13 win over Crystal Lake South, and added five kills, two aces and four blocks in a 25-13, 25-13 sweep against Dundee-Crown.
Northwest Herald Power Rankings
1. Huntley (31-3): The Red Raiders have won 18 straight matches and captured the Glenbard East Autumnfest Invitational championship, beating three-time Class 4A state champion Benet, 27-25, 25-23, in the final. Junior setter Taylor Jakubowski was named tournament MVP.
2. Prairie Ridge (23-10): The Wolves have lost five of their last six, including a 25-22, 25-17 defeat to Huntley that would have secured the outright Fox Valley Conference championship. Prairie Ridge went 1-4 at the Glenbard East Autumnfest Invite.
3. Crystal Lake Central (27-5): The Tigers took third at the Plainfield Central Harvest Festival Tournament, going 4-1 in the two-day tournament and beating Plainfield Central, 15-25, 25-15, 25-22, in the third-place match.
4. Cary-Grove (17-16): The Trojans are 5-1 in their last six, including FVC wins over McHenry, Hampshire and Jacobs.
5. Jacobs (14-16): The Golden Eagles went 3-2 and placed 10th at the Maine West Pumpkin Invite last weekend and took C-G to three sets in a 25-18, 19-25, 25-21 loss to the Trojans on Tuesday.
Top blocker: Huntley senior middle blocker Loren Alberts has come up big for the Red Raiders in big spots this year and is listed as the top blocker from Illinois on MaxPreps.com. Alberts has 178 total blocks, which ranks first, and 111 solo blocks, which ranks second.
Alberts had six blocks for points in Huntley's 25-22, 25-17 win over Prairie Ridge that kept the Raiders in the race for the FVC title.
"Loren has been blocking so well," Huntley coach Karen Naymola said. "She's been a force for us."
Unexpected champion: Not many expected Johnsburg, which lost its top two hitters and libero to graduation last season, to be a top competitor in the Kishwaukee River Conference. On Tuesday, the Skyhawks collected the KRC title outright with a 25-17, 25-19 sweep against Richmond-Burton.
It's Johnsburg's first conference title since 2000 in the Big Northern Conference.
"To work together and to achieve this after losing all those seniors last season, this is really big," junior Hayley Schmidt said. "We were optimistic all season about winning conference and really wanted to prove it to ourselves."
What to watch
Jacobs vs. Dundee Crown at Class 4A South Elgin Regional, 5:30 p.m. Monday: The No. 7 Eagles look to carry over a strong finish to the regular season into the playoffs against their FVC and District 300 rivals in a first-round match.
Crystal Lake Central at Class 4A Libertyville Regional: The No. 2 Tigers play the winner of No. 15 Grayslake North and No. 18 Waukegan at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the semifinals. Central placed third in Class 4A last season and has won three straight regional titles.