The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

  • 6/24 Board Meeting
The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

Kaneland vs. Sycamore varsity volleyball match

   Senior Night started with the parents of each senior volleyball player presenting their daughters for Senior Night. This year’s seniors were Ryann Williams (1), Sydney Nielsen (2), Mia Vassallo (4), Francesca Brandonisio (7), Delaney Calabrese (8), Rosie Karl (9), Sophie Knazur (12), Carmella Rio (16), Danielle McCue (17) and Adalynn Ruh (19). The seniors got to walk with their parents as they carried flowers and “fat heads” of themselves as children. Senior Sophie Knazur walks with her parents before hugging her coaches.

     The varsity players entered the gym together, cheering and ready to play. Before the game, both varsity teams lined up on the end lines and joined hands to listen to the National Anthem. That night, they had senior Sydney Nielsen sing the anthem. Following Nielsen’s performance, each senior was introduced again along with the other players in the first set. Along with being introduced, each senior had a signed rubber volleyball, which they threw out into the crowd. Then the match began as the crowd cheers echoed through the gym.

     Senior and libero Mia Vassallo started the match with a serve to Sycamore. 

     “Coming into the game, I was excited and pumped,” Vassallo said. “I knew that Sycamore was coming for blood. They’ve always wanted to beat us, but we’ve never let that happen.”  

     The rivalry between Kaneland and Sycamore is a seemingly never-ending feud. The games between these two programs are typically close and enjoyable to watch, and that applies to all sports. The Kaneland varsity football team, for example, had just lost to Sycamore 22-21 two weeks prior to volleyball’s Senior Night. 

     “I knew once that first serve goes over the net, it would go away, and we would just play our game,” Vassallo said.

     “Coming into the game, we all kept saying we wanted to dominate. Knowing [this was] our last game in the gym together, playing the game we love, made us want to play with everything in us,” Vassallo said.

     Some highlights of the game included multiple kills by Karl, sets from McCue and sophomore Abi Carter, digs by Vassallo and Brandonisio and serves from Rio that resulted in multiple aces.  

     “My favorite thing about [this] team is the energy. No matter the circumstances, you always have someone supporting you,” junior Audrey Peters said. “I definitely think energy plays a huge role in why we are so successful as a team. We appreciate the most out of [every] situation.” 

     One major thing that stands out with Kaneland’s varsity volleyball team is their energy. The constantly shouting bench celebrates every kill and each  tough dig. Whether it’s cheering or banging on the floor, this team brings energy. It doesn’t matter if the score is 25-0 or 0-25, their energy and emotion builds suspense that can be felt throughout the whole gym.

     The match point was won on Karl’s pass, Carter’s set and Knazer’s kill. As the match ended, everyone joined together in hugs, tears and smiles. The teams shook hands, and Kanleand celebrated their win by putting their hands together and singing Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond one last time as a team. 

     The team ended with an overall record of 25-10 and a conference record of 8-2.

     “We are all like sisters. We spend six out of seven days a week together, and they’ve become my best friends,” Peters said. “[This] team has [had] a huge impact on my life, and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.” 

     The varsity team played their first playoff match on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 6 p.m. at Montini Catholic High school against Chicago Solorio Academy and won by a score of 25-7 in the first set and 25-2 in the second. 

     “Our competition was not as difficult as we hoped,” McCue said. “So we went in knowing we had a job to do. We [will] succeed [no matter] the competition.”

     Since the Knights won, they advanced to the Regional championship on Thursday, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m. against Montini Catholic High School. 

     “[We were] excited [about this game] for sure. [We] [brought] the [same] energy that we’ve had the past couple of games,” McCue said. Kaneland won the match with a score of 25-23 in the first set and 25-20 in the second. With this Regional championship victory, the Knights advanced to Sectionals. They played against St. Lawrence High School on Monday, Oct. 30, at Evergreen Park High School. Kaneland lost 24-26 in the first set and 9-25 in the second, ending their successful season. 

     “We all were very upset about the outcome of the game and that our [journey] to State was cut short,” Peters said. “Although the season has come to an end, we all know we have made lifelong friends and have a very encouraging support system.” 

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Sarah Slattery
Sarah Slattery, Design and Photography Executive
Name: Sarah Slattery   Position: Design and Photography Executive   Graduation year: 2025   A few sentences about me: Some of my hobbies include playing softball, taking pictures at a multitude of sports events, my favorite being football and basketball games, and drinking coffee. I can't wait to continue taking pictures at all of Kaneland's events and having fun with everyone.    My favorite…   Movie:  The Notebook Show: The Queen's Gambit/Breaking Bad  Animal: Elephants Hobby: Photography and Traveling Book: Divergent by Veronica Roth Food: Crab Rangoons Song: Stuck with Me: The Neighbourhood Band / Artist: Zach Bryan and The Neighbourhood