1. Mike Konrad has been coaching club volleyball at 1st Alliance in Western Springs since graduating from college, but he could not pass up an opportunity to get back into the high school game. So when Hinsdale Central’s boys job became vacant, the former Lyons setter jumped in both feet first. “I was excited to get back into high school volleyball,” he said. “It reminded me of what it was like when I was a player.” Konrad will welcome back four starters from this year’s 23-13 team.
2. Veteran West Chicago coach Kristi Hasty hasn’t taken a team to state since former Olympian Andy Hein led the Wildcats to consecutive appearances in 2001-2002. But with two freshmen and two sophomores returning next year, including freshman Elijah Pinkevich, it could just be a matter of time. “Elijah needs to be a little more aggressive and consistent, but again he’s just a freshman,” she said. Also keep an eye on freshman Ross Behr and sophomores Corey Scudder and Justin Thiede.
3. If familiarity breeds contempt, there’s probably not a whole lot of love between St. Francis and Glenbard West, who will meet for the fourth time this season in a sectional semifinal at Hinsdale Central Friday at 7:30 p.m. “Familiarity is good and bad,” St. Francis coach Mike Lynch said. “You don’t want to be complacent and be doing the same thing, but we’re not doing the same thing we were doing the last time either.” St. Francis leads the series 2-1.