Coming off of a 6th place finish and a third straight appearance at the NJCAA National Tournament last fall, expectations are high for Sauk Valley Volleyball in 2017. The Skyhawks return 4 starters from last year’s 34-9 squad. Bailey O’Brien from Rock Falls HS, was the Arrowhead Conference Player of the Year, and a 1st Team All-American, as she led the nation in both kills and service aces. Hannah Peterson from Fieldcrest HS was the Skyhawk’s #2 blocker and #3 hitter from last season. Setter Kayci Koch from Dixon HS made the Region 4 All- Tournament Team; and Tori Smoode from Putnam County HS returns as a middle/right side hitter. Also returning are Alexis Herrera, a setter from Rock Falls HS, and outside hitter Jensyn McKinney from Prophetstown HS.
Newcomers include two transfer students, Mackenzie Skoumal, a middle hitter from Oregon HS and Sommer Rhea, also from Oregon H.S. Sommer was an All-Region 4 performer at McHenry CC last season. Freshmen joining the 2017 Skyhawks are: Gwen Lohr-Fandel, a Special Mention All-State selection and News Tribune Player of the Year from Fieldcrest HS; Paige Conner, a setter from Ohio HS (LaMoille-Ohio) was the BCR Player of the Year; defensive specialists Olivia Pilgrim from Sterling HS and Sydney Young from RF HS were 1st team All-Conference performers; and Baylee Tillman, an All-Conference middle hitter from Mendota HS round out a very talented group of freshmen.