2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 1/23/2017 8:09 PM

In today's one-sport world, Geneva's Loberg a breath of fresh air

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  • Grace Loberg

    Grace Loberg

 

It was just your typical 3-day weekend for Geneva's Grace Loberg.

Less than 24 hours after helping lead the Vikings' girls basketball team to a 65-36 Upstate Eight Conference River Division victory over Streamwood Thursday night, Loberg was back on the road traveling with her dad, Greg, to Cleveland Friday as her Club Fusion 18 Red volleyball team participated in the Junior Volleyball Association's Rock 'n Rumble tournament.

On Monday, Loberg returned back to school and an afternoon basketball practice in preparation for Tuesday night's nonconference game against Mother McAuley.

"I'm pretty busy," said Loberg.

Busy is an understatement.

Two years ago, the 6-foot-2 senior outside hitter committed to attend Wisconsin, where she'll be a member of the Badgers' women's volleyball team next fall.

In this day where most Division I-bound athletes have bypassed other sports to focus on their college choice, Loberg offers a refreshing change of pace.

Loberg excels at two sports -- volleyball and basketball -- at Geneva.

"One thing that immediately stands out is her dedication to play two sports at a very high level," said Vikings girls basketball coach Sarah Meadows. "She juggles and manages it perfectly."

Loberg wouldn't have it any other way.

"I loved basketball growing up," said Loberg. "I played basketball first -- a few years before I began playing volleyball. I love the physical part of it and working together as a team."

Naturally, success has followed Loberg during her 4-year, 2-varsity sport career at Geneva.

As a freshman, she made an immediate impact during the Vikings' record-breaking volleyball run (29-10 mark) that included the school's first sectional title.

"It's incredible to see a freshman come in with that size but also that athleticism," Geneva volleyball coach Annie Seitelman said to the Daily Herald last November. "Most kids going through that growth spurt aren't as coordinated. They need a couple years under their belt."

Loberg began her prep basketball career at the JV level before Meadows called her up to varsity less than a month into the 2013-2014 season.

She quickly made her presence felt as the Vikings' leading scorer her first 3 games -- including a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Huntley at the Montini Christmas Tournament.

"I had college coaches asking about her after that first game at Montini," recalled Meadows.

Geneva wound up finishing fourth in the state during Loberg's freshman campaign with a 26-7 record.

"It was a pretty good start to her high school career," said Meadows.

This past volleyball season, Loberg and club teammate Ally Barrett guided the Vikings to their best record in school history -- a 37-2 finish that included another sectional championship and a national ranking.

During her 4-year volleyball career, Geneva amassed an impressive record of 129-25 (. 838 winning percentage).

Heading into this week's action, the Vikings have compiled an 89-23 (. 795) basketball mark during the "Loberg era."

Geneva's volleyball and basketball teams have combined to post a 218-48 (. 820) record the past 4 seasons.

"It has been so amazing," Loberg said of being a multisport athlete. "I have some awesome memories."

Memories shared by her parents, Greg and Colleen, and siblings Matt, Anna and Michael.

"I've enjoyed every second of it," said Greg, who watched Michael's fifth-grade basketball game on Sunday night, just a few hours after returning home from Cleveland.

"Some people look at you and roll their eyes but I love it. It has been a treat. It is so much a part of what we do and look forward to -- being a part of Geneva athletics. Grace has had the opportunity to play for two real good programs with great coaches and awesome fan support."

Loberg never seriously thought about quitting basketball.

"We always left it up to her," said Greg. "She didn't want to let go of basketball. It's something she wanted to do. She has made many sacrifices. There are some long, tough days. She may not have the same social life as others have but she has no regrets."

"It has made my high school experience so much better," said Grace. "I've had so much fun."

Meadows has thoroughly enjoyed the last 4 years with Loberg.

"As talented as she is, she is the most kindhearted, humble kid that you could meet," said the coach. "She has a great attitude. She doesn't want the recognition."

Loberg, one of the top multisport high school athletes I have covered in 32-plus years, recalled her fondest basketball memories.

"My two most favorite (memories) are going to state as a freshman, and Brie's (Borkowicz) buzzer-beater in regulation last year against Batavia in the sectional semifinals (Geneva won 48-44 in overtime)," she said.

Loberg still has a few weeks left to make additional memories.

"I can't believe this my last season playing for Geneva," she said. "It went by so fast."

Craig Brueske can be reached at csb4k@hotmail.com.

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