By Phil Brozynski
Nine Illinois athletes were named to the 2007 PrepVolleyball.com All American team, including three-time selection Kelly Murphy of Joliet Catholic and repeat selection Colleen Ward of Naperville North, it was announced last week.
PrepVolleyball.com named 150 athletes in 37 states high school All Americans. The criteria includes being recognized as one of the top five players in your state, with the exception of volleyball hotbeds California, Texas, Indiana and Illinois, where you must be among the top 10.
California led the list with 13 All American selections, followed by Illinois (9), Texas (9), Ohio (9), Michigan (6), Alabama (5), Tennessee (5), Indiana (5), Colorado (5), Florida (5), Kansas (5), Minnesota (5), Missouri (5), North Carolina (5) and Virginia (5).
Arizona, Washington, Pennsylvania and New York each had four selections; Nebraska, Wisconsin, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah each had three. Utah, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey and South Carolina had two players named to the list.
The following states each had one player named to the team: Arkansas, Alaska, Idaho, Maryland, Iowa and West Virginia.
The Illinois selections were: Michelle Bartsch, a 6-foot-3 middle blocker from Collinsville; Lauren Budde, a 5-10 middle blocker from Breese Central; Kelly Farrell, a 5-6 setter from Crystal Lake Central; and Jordan Haverly, a 6-1 outside hitter from Keith Country Day.
Also named were Rebecca Heath, a 5-11 outside from Naperville Central; Paige Stevens, a 6-1 outside hitter from Neuqua Valley; Carli Weiler, a 5-6 libero from Mother McAuley; Muphy and Ward.
Murphy, Ward, Farrell, Heath and Stevens were each first-team selections on the 2007 Sun-Times All-Area girls team. Weiler was a second team Sun-Times All-Area selection.
PrepVolleyball.com also named its top 59 frosh team. Four players from the Chicago area were named highest honorable mention including Jenny Buczek of Sandburg, Hannah Crippen of Plainfield North, Mari Faines of (Chicago) Payton and Meg Vondehaar of St. Francis.
Courtney Keefe of Lemont was named special mention.