With fellow leader Margaret Planek having moved on to the University of Pennsylvania, McKenzie Moorman returns as the unquestioned leader of the Fenwick High School volleyball team.

Last year, Planek was the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference White Division Player of the Year, while Moorman earned All-GCAC honors as the Friars finished 20-15.

Moorman amassed 359 kills and 172 digs at outside hitter in 2017. A four-year varsity starter at Fenwick, she has committed to play college volleyball at South Carolina. However before she joins the Gamecocks, Moorman hopes to close out her high school career in style at Fenwick.

“McKenzie brings us leadership and experience,” Fenwick coach Kathleen O’Laughlin said. “She is a dominant left side attack. She is a threat from both the front and back court.”

Some of the team’s other top contributors include seniors Zaria Glover (right side hitter), Kate Beltram (left side outside hitter/defensive specialist), along with juniors Alesia Mollo (libero) and Ally Riggs (setter).

“Zaria is blocking at a high level and has the ability to terminate the ball at many different points along the net,” O’Laughlin said. “Kate provides us with stability in the backcourt and she’s also a very effective left side option for us. Alesia is a solid passer and has excellent defensive skills. Ally has really improved from last season and she’s doing a great job of running our offense.”

Sophomore outside hitter Beau Vanderlaan, sophomore middle blocker Lauren Hall and promising freshman Elise Henegan augment the lineup with young talent.

Fenwick opened the season with straight-set wins over Northside Prep (25-23, 25-5) and Lane Tech (25-20, 25-20).

Big 3 lead Blazers

Whether it’s been Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce on the Boston Celtics or LeBron James, Dwyanehttp://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/8-31-2018/Tate’s-Take:-Week-2-Football-Picks/ Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat, Big 3’s have translated very well in the NBA.

On the local girls high school volleyball level, Trinity has its Big 3-version which could lead to winning the Girls Catholic Athletics Conference title and perhaps even more.

Six-foot junior outside hitter Emma Jacobs (school-record 367 kills, 207 digs in 2017), 6-0 senior middle hitter Haley Gohmann (150 kills, 34 blocks) and 5-7 senior outside hitter Joseline Alvarez (208 kills, 178 digs in 2017)  are the Blazers’ headliners this fall.

For good measure, Trinity has bolstered its depth with the additions of three notable freshmen: setters Bridget Whiteside and Grace Beacom and libero Eileen Weger.

Setter Megan Kazmierowicz, setter Leslie Alvarez, right side Sarah Mendelson, outside hitter Micayla Scudiero, middle hitter Ali Webber, right side Kelly Saleh, right side hitter Lauren Saleh, and libero Sarah Murphy comprise the remainder of the roster.

The Blazers, who finished 23-15 and 4-1 in the GCAC White in 2017, have a shot at advancing downstate this season. That trip would be particularly rewarding after two straight sectional losses the past two seasons.

Montini defeated Trinity 25-21, 23-25, 25-19 in a Class 3A sectional semifinal last season.

Trinity hosts upcoming matches against Regina (9/11) and DePaul Prep (9/12). Both matches start at 6 p.m. at the Sister Michelle Germanson Athletic Facility.