Volleyball; Fast Facts

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With the girls volleyball nearing the home stretch, it’s time to brush up on the ever changing history of the sport in this volleyball Fast Fact segment, sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

Volleyball was invented in 1895 by William G. Morgan, physical director of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

The Women’s Division of USA Volleyball was started in 1949.

Volleyball became and Olympic Sport for both Men and Women in 1964 for the Tokyo Olympics. Japan won Gold for the Women and the Soviet Union took home the Men’s Gold.

Volleyball scoring used to go to 15 points per set, and you had to win by two points. Only the serving team could earn a point. 

The newer rally scoring system was introduced in the late 90’s to allow teams to score during every side-out. To win a set you now have to score 25 and win by two points. The IHSA implemented rally scoring starting in 2003.

The volleyball libero position was first introduced In Italy in the late 80’s early 90s. The word “libero” means “free” in Italian. The Italian concept of the “libero” meant that a particular designated player was “free” to roam in and out of the court in the back row positions to play defense.

Volleyball in Illinois

The first IHSA girls volleyball state championship was held in 1974. 

The IHSA championships were split into class A and AA in 1977 and then added class 3A and 4A in 2007.

Mother McAuley has the most state championships with 15.

Local Team Success

Naperville Central was the first local team to win the girls volleyball state championship. The Redhawks won the AA title over Prairie Ridge in 2005. Central also won the 4A state championship over Mother McAuley in 2007.

Benet Academy has the most state championships of our local teams with four. The Redwings won their first in 2011 and most recent title in 2019.

After Metea Valley’s regional championship win in 2021, all six of our local teams have now won at least one girls volleyball regional title.


Form more segments like the Fundamentals of Volleyball Fast Fact, feel free to check out our Naperville Sports Weekly page.