Girls Volleyball: Red Devils, Hornets get back to rivalry
Hinsdale Central's Dominique Millette (right) has been competing with District 99 rival Hinsdale South players on New WAVE 17. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 13, 2012 7:14AM
Five members of the Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South volleyball teams have been club teammates since the winter. Now that the AAU Junior Nationals ended late last month, those teammates will renew their high-school rivalry.
The Red Devils and the Hornets open the Great Lakes Center Summer League on Tuesdays for the next three weeks and Hinsdale Central Black and South have been placed in the same pool to begin play July 10. The Devils and Hornets are scheduled to play against each other at 7 p.m. on Court No. 1 in Aurora.
Hinsdale Central is the defending summer league champion after beating Huntley in last year’s final and Hinsdale South placed 11th.
“Actually, I do look forward to [summer league],” said Hinsdale Central senior Dominique Millette, a 6-foot-2 middle hitter. “After club, you need to get refreshed before coming back.”
For players such as Millette, it has been a two-week break. With the beginning of the summer league season, both teams will begin their team camps in the next week before players take another break until preseason practice begins in August.
Six players from District 99 schools were placed on the Westmont-based New WAVE 17 Tornado, which tied for 43rd out of 177 teams in the 17 Club division at the AAU Junior Nationals last month in Orlando, Fla.
Five players are returning to their high school teams while former Hinsdale Central outside hitter Katie Grabowski recently graduated.
At the Great Lake Center, Hinsdale Central Black and Hinsdale South have been placed in the same pool with St. Francis Blue and Schaumburg, which placed ninth in last year’s summer league. This year’s Tuesday night league includes 31 teams along with a Hinsdale Central Red and Hinsdale Central White team.
New Hinsdale Central coach Kelly Moran is a club coach for Sports Performance, which is based at the Great Lakes Center.
The New WAVE 17 Tornado included Millette and Rachel Lenderman from Hinsdale Central and Emily Mihalkanin, Rachel Kent and Colleen Lyons from Hinsdale South.
Mihalkanin was one of two setters, along with Wheaton Warrenville South’s Jessica Bossman, to run the offense for New WAVE. Tornado went 5-5 in the tournament. After losing its first match, Tornado won four consecutive matches, but eventually lost its last three matches.
With setter Sharon Anderson returning for the Hornets, Mihalkanin doesn’t expect to play much setter this fall. She plans on using the summer league as a transition to defensive specialist.
“I don’t think I’ll start much during the high school season,” Mihalkanin said. “I’m going to work on my passing and possibly play libero.”
Kent, a 6-foot senior, hopes to become one of Hinsdale South’s top middle hitters this fall.
“With school summer camps coming up, [summer league] is a nice way of getting the whole team back together,” Kent said. “It sets a good mood for the upcoming camps.”