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Volleyball season underway in Lake County

Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 1:47 p.m. CDT

Andrew Fischer of Grant High School has a move that serves him well as a volleyball player. Before getting on the court, he kind of dances around for a bit, and then moves slowly while turning and finally when he's back on the volleyball court, he serves the ball to the opponent.

"I've been doing that since last year,'' Fischer said. "Just as long as I get in."

Volleyball season is underway in the Lake County area.

Warren Township High School has a strong club led by setter Arvind Kouta. Lakes High School, under the direction of coach Katie Cheek, has a very dangerous hitter in Dalton Solbrig. Barrington High School, which placed a strong 4th place at the Lake County Tournament, gets help fromConner Wright, Noah Riccetti and Indy Nenn.

Now it's time for a closer look at these teams.

Antioch: The young Sequoits are struggling at the early going. In Saturday's Lake County Invite, the Sequoits finished in 15th place. Granted this team is young, but Antioch still has decent height with the likes of Lucas Winters and Troy Mayer. Both seniors stand 6-foot-4. Ian Flatley, a sophomore, is also 6-4.

Barrington: The Broncos lost a tough one in the third place battle Saturday. Vernon Hills nipped Barrington 26-24, 25-19 to grab third place. Now coach Rob Ridenour's club always has high expectations. After all, his Broncos finished third in the state in the 2012 season. Senior Colin Castagna is another player to watch this season.

Carmel: Coach Kevin Nylen's team has been rocked by injuries. It hasn't helped the Carmel cause to have hitter Andrew Clement out for some time. Now he's back. Setter Andrew Wloch has also been bit by the injury bug. Carmel took 12th place in the Lake County. The Corsairs lost a tough one to Mundelein in the final match. The scores were 25-22, 23-25, 25-22.

"We are struggling with consistency,'' Nylen said. "We dig a hole and wecan't overcome that."

Grant: It's going to take some time for this Grant squad to make some noise. The Bulldogs began the season winning just two out of its first 12 games. At the Lake County Tourney, the Bulldogs finished 14th. Coach Jon Schapp's club stopped Antioch 25-17, 25-19 before dropping a 25-21, 25-11 decision to Libertyville. In addition to Fischer's work at libero, the Bulldogs get help from setter Corey SaLee, hitter Mitch Meier and middle hitter Jason Kaye.

"We have hung with some decent teams,'' Schapp said. "But we are pretty inconsistent right now. The vast majority are juniors and no one played club ball last year."

Lakes: The Eagles are certainly an improved club. And clearly Solbrig is a talented hitter.

"He's a very creative hitter,'' said Vernon Hills hitter, Mike Heinz. "He can hit over setter and he's able to hit it to the 10-foot-line."

Lakes is not a one-man team as the Eagles get help from sophomore setter Colton Jewell. Richard Galat is one of the team leaders. Avery Brode is another player to watch.

Lakes finished eighth at the Lake County Invite.

Warren: The Blue Devils won 26 matches a year ago. Kouta gets another year to set the likes of Bryant Holland, Max Bongratz and Mitch Maan de Kok. In the past, coach Yun Chen's teams have taken some big spring trips, including San Diego, Calif. This year, they stayed closer to home.

"We went to Lake Geneva for some team building,'' Kouta said. "We have a great group of friends and we have big goals."

Warren did not play in the Lake County tourney.

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