Burlington Central outside hitter Stephanie Holthus, who is headed to Northwestern next fall, was one of 24 high school players nationwide named to the Under Armour Girls High School All-America Team.
All-Americans must be seniors in high school, they must be nominated by their high school coach, their coach must be a member of AVCA and the player's season statistics must be entered into MaxPreps.
Each of the 24 players on the first team will be invited to play in the Under Armour All-America Volleyball Match and Skills Competition held December 20 in Tampa, Fla. in conjunction with the 2009 AVCA Annual Convention.
Three other players were honored by AVCA. Geneva's Lauren Wicinski was a member of the second team, and O'Fallon's Emma Goldschmidt and Cary-Grove's Abbey Heredia were named honorable mention.
Former Benet star and current West Point cadet Ariana Mankus, the leading attacker on the team that finished second in the Illinois High School Association Class 4A tournament in 2008, was named Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year by the Patriot League.
Mankus led the Patriot League averaging 3.84 kills per set and registered eight double-doubles (kills, digs) in conference play. She had a season-high 20 kills versus Lehigh on October 2.
Mankus had 415 kills for Army, which was 26-5 during the regular season including 12-2 in conference and 16-1 at home.
The Chicago area dominated the annual Champaign News-Gazette all-state volleyball team, occupying 14 of the 18 spots on the first team.
First-team selections included Lyons' Jocelyn Birks, St. Ignatius' Grace Bonoma, Glenbrook South's Ellen Chapman, Oak Forest's Natalie Fiore, Evanston's Ali Gossen, Joliet Catholic's Annemarie Hickey and Stephanie Holthus of Burlington Central.
Also, Mary Kate Imrie of Sandburg, Kristen Kelsay of St. Francis, Kelly Lamberti of Cary-Grove, Kelsey Robinson of St. Francis, Carly Sahagian of Bartlett, Maggie Struss of Stagg and Lauren Wicinski of Geneva.
Birks, Chapman and Lamberti were the only juniors on the first team.