Fall sports garner all around success


Nikita Stepanov (12) strikes the ball in an intense game.

The fall season has brought victories across the board for VHHS. This year, a young soccer squad has been fighting to leave their mark. Cross country has shown their versatility and consistency. Golf continues to shatter records. Volleyball has triumphed over longtime rivals and swimmers and divers are finding success. 


Boys’ Soccer


As of October 4, Boys’ Soccer recorded 10 wins, 4 losses, and 1 tie. The team won their CSL Conference Tournament on October 1 and earlier in the season placed 1st at the Grant Tournament. 


Center back Nikita Stepanov (11) said while the season has had ups and downs, the pieces are starting to fit into place for the team. 


“I think we’re really starting to prosper and get into our element,” he said. 


Outside midfielder Ocho Finn (10) agreed with Stepanov. 


Finn said that there have been changes since last year, but the team has worked to overcome those challenges. 


“We lost a lot of great players last year, many went to college. [This year] we have many young players, a lot of sophomores on the team. But, I think that even through that we’ve been able to work well together,” said Finn. 


Both Finn and Stepanov agreed that the highlight of the season was winning the Grant tournament. 


“My favorite memory this season is probably winning the Grant tournament and the party on the back of the bus on the way back home,” said Stepanov. 


Finn and Stepanov said that they are looking forward to the game against Libertyville on October 13, the most. 


“I think Libertyville is going to be a fun game to play. Especially because a lot of us know players on the Libertyville team, so it’ll be an interesting game,” said Finn. 


Girls’ Tennis 


Girl’s tennis has really stood out and has also found success this season.


Ruhi Subramanian (11) said everyone has pitched in to create a successful season. 


Catherine Dinh (10) and Frannie Poulos (10) also agreed. 


“The coaches are really great this year. My teammates are kind and it really makes it a great practice environment,” said Poulos. 


Subramanian attributed the success to the team’s depth. 


“The freshmen have the whole singles lineup and when you look at the doubles lineup, it’s more of the people who’ve been there. So, the chemistry is there between doubles partners, but also we have very strong singles players,” she said. 


Subramanian applauded the freshmen for stepping up to the challenge, since the beginning of the season. 


“Our whole singles lineup last year was seniors, so basically the freshmen came when they were needed and they’re doing really, really well,” she said. 


Emma Jazbutis (9) is one of the freshmen who is playing singles on Varsity. 


“I think my record is 18-4 right now and I’ve double bageled, [winning a match 6-0, 6-0], a lot of games,” she said. 


Subramanian said the team’s goals are to grow closer and to win. 


“Our coach will say this a bunch of times, but just being aggressive and not being scared to hit the ball,” she said. 


Girls’ Volleyball


Girls’ volleyball has had an impressive start to the season with a 20-2 overall record and a 5-0 conference record as of September 28th. The team is also on an 11 game win streak. 


Middle hitter Raquel Ruiz (12) said that she loves the team and is proud of how far they’ve come. 


“Our team is super versatile and we value communication so much. I feel like that is the biggest thing that has allowed us to continue winning.” 


Setter Maya Raval agreed with Ruiz. 


“We have a really experienced group, meaning all of us are upperclassmen, all of us have played together at least for a year or so. We had a person come in from Ukraine, Sonia Bondar, which was really cool. She’s really been a great addition to our team, positive energy, weapon of an arm.”


According to Raval, the team’s goal last year was to get 20 wins, but fell just short with 19. Since they’ve already broken that goal this year, the team is looking to push their goal as far as they can. 


“Our team goal is to win conference and a regional title which we are on track to do. I really do believe that we can do that and I know everyone in the locker room believes that as well,” said Raval. 


Both Ruiz and Raval shared that this season brought lots of great memories. 


For Raval, the best memory was beating their rival, Deerfield.


“I feel like Deerfield is a stronger rival than Libertyville and we beat Deerfield in two sets, which was probably one of our biggest accomplishments these last few years because we haven’t beaten Deerfield in a while.” 


For Ruiz, her favorite memories are celebrating on the bus with her teammates. 


“After away games, always playing the song “All I Do is Win”. That’s definitely the highlight, just getting back on the bus and blasting it,” she said.


Girls’ Swim and Dive 


The swim and dive season is starting to pick up with more meets and competitions. In the few meets they’ve had, the team has found success. On October 1, the team won the Warren Swim meet. 


Swimmer Holly Faitsch (11) said, “Our team has a lot of great energy and character that works together to make a very fun swim season for everyone who’s involved.” 


She looks forward to practices and hanging out with the team especially due to all the team bonding. 


“We have lots of team bonding events during practices and outside of practices. One of them was a scavenger hunt all across the campus and we had to take pictures of different places with a partner around the school,” she said. 


For the dive season, Becca Tran (12) said the team hasn’t had a ton of meets yet and is mainly practicing at the moment, but the season is starting to get more competitive with more meets coming up in the near future. 


“We have a new coach this year. Last year was a little bit more relaxed, but this year I do think that we are improving more due to harder practices,” she said. 


Tran said that the team environment and bonds are very strong and that’s what makes the tem so enjoyable. 


Her goal for this season is to make it to Sectionals and then try to follow up with a State appearance. 




Girls golf is capping off another record breaking season with multiple shattered personal and team records. 


The team are now back-to-back conference champions and placed second at Regionals, behind only Stevenson. 


Amanda Rakers (11) said that this season had gone really well. She said that the work the team has put in allowed them to be so successful.


“Really focusing and honing in on what we struggle with and just connecting as a team has really brought us together,” she said. 


The team also built bonds through a plethora of moments off the field which have included team dinners, team parties, tug of war, and karaoke. 


“On senior night, Anna Lee and I made custom golf balls with our coaches’ faces on them. We gave them to the seniors and it was hilarious to see the coaches’ faces as they reacted to it. Later they asked me for personal golf balls for themselves.” 


Boys golf also had a very successful season placing first at Regionals and second at conference.


Ryan Irvin (12) said that the season has gone well for the team. 


“Our season’s been pretty good, overall positive. Obviously we’ve had highs and lows, but I think we’ve done pretty good this season,” he said. 


According to Irvin, key members of last year’s team graduated, but despite that the team has done extremely well. 


The freshmen in particular have really stepped up and led to the team’s success. 


“The older people were a little bit nervous about this year because we lost two really good seniors last year, but we had freshmen that came in and were really good. They’ve really contributed,” he said. 


Cross Country 


Boy’s cross country has been very successful this season and is continuing to win. 


Brady Clegg (12) said the season has been going really well. 


“It’s been a step up from last year because in our top seven we lost only one senior. All of our current seniors this year have been making big strides and running really well,” he said. 


August Jones (12) agreed with Clegg about the success of the season. 


“Everyone gets along well. We have a lot more people than we did last year. Overall, I feel like I’ve done better because I trained over the summer,” he said. 


David Rzepa (12) and Clegg both attributed their success to their coach, Steven Szabo. 


“Coach Szabo is putting in a lot of effort this year. He’s looking at what coaches have done in the past, what’s worked, what hasn’t worked and he’s taken that all into account and made his own schedule for us,” said Rzepa. 


“He’s been great and he’s a marathon runner so he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to running,” said Clegg. 


Clegg shared that the team does a pregame ritual to get prepared for their meets. 


“We have our 45 minute warm up; we do our run and our stretches. Certain races we have the ‘run gum’ which is basically pure caffeine to get us ready to go. And we also have our hype circle, which usually is not very hype.”


Girl’s cross country also shared in the success. 


Reina Hill (12) shared that the season has been going well and the team is looking to keep getting better.


“Our season’s been going really well. We lost one of our juniors, who moved away and we had a big graduating class. But despite that we’re doing really well, we’ve got a good team bond going and a good start to the season. It’s not how you start, it’s where you end,” she said. 


Izzy Wakefield (10) agreed with Hill. 


Wakefield said that her favorite part of the team is being with the team.  


“[I look forward to] just being with my friends, working hard, and setting new goals for myself and working towards that.”


Hill agreed and said her goal for the season is to have a good run at Sectionals. 


“As long as we keep doing what we’re doing, I think we’ll do really well.”