By Pat Brozynski

Local players, coaches reap national recognition

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By Phil Brozynski has released its list of the top 50 recruits in the Class of 2010 and three Chicago area players are among those college coaches predict will make the biggest impact at the next level.

The list includes 6-foot-1 outside hitter Kelsey Robinson (Wheaton St. Francis), 6-0 outside hitter Carly Sahagian (Bartlett), and 5-11 outside hitter Stephanie Holthus (Burlington Central), who has already verbally committed to Northwestern.

Kara Wehrs, a 5-9 setter from Hampshire who has verbally committed to Kansas, is listed among the next 30 top recruits in the Class of 2010.

Three Chicago area players were among the nominees for's Andi Collins Award, which recognizes the best senior setter in the nation. The Award is named for Collins, who died on September 4, 2003, one month shy of her 17th birthday.

The three players from Chicago are Desiree Aramburu from Mother McAuley, the 2008 Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year, Laura Homann from St. Charles East, who led the Saints to the Class 4A state title, and Joliet Catholic's Gina Vera.

The 5-8 Aramburu finished with 792 assists, 260 digs, 90 kills, 48 blocks and 49 aces while leading Mother McAuley to a third-place finish in Class 4A. Homann, a 5-10 Syracuse recruit, piled up 1,100 assists, among the best single-season marks all-time in Illinois.

At 5-8, Vera was a good six inches shorter than Joliet Catholic's previous setter -- Sun-Times 2007 Player of the Year Kelly Murphy. But she launched 935 assists while guiding the Angels to the Class 3A state title.

Meanwhile, Vera's teammate at Joliet Catholic, 5-8 outside hitter Anne Marie Hickey, was among 25 players nationwide nominated for National High School Junior of the Year. A Sun-Times all-area selection, Hickey amassed 427 kills with her rocket arm.

Finally, two area coaches were among the finalists for's National High School Coach of the Year - St. Charles East's Jennie Kull and Joliet Catholic's Chris Scheibe.

Kull led St. Charles East to the Class 4A state title with two freshmen in the starting lineup and only one player over six feet. Scheibe took Joliet Catholic to the 3A title one year after graduating Gatorade National Player of the Year Kelly Murphy and four other starters.

Previous Coach of the Year winners include Peg Kopec from St. Francis (2006) and Nancy Pederson of Mother McAuley (2004).

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This page contains a single entry by Back Row published on January 28, 2009 6:48 PM.

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