By Pat Brozynski

January 2010 Archives

Seven Illinois players named All-American

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Seven Illinois players have been named All-Americans by PrepVolleyball.com.

High school All-Americans are selected from a list of nominations from coaches and sportswriters, are players who have made a "massive" impact on their team and must be one of the top players in the state regardless of class.

The seven All-Americans from Illinois are: Glenbrook South's 6-foot-4 junior outside hitter Ellen Chapman; Joliet Catholic's 5-9 senior outside hitter Annemarie Hickey; Burlington Central's 5-11 senior outside hitter Stephanie Holthus; and Sandburg's 5-10 senior setter Mary Kate Imrie.

Also named All-American from Illinois were: 5-11 senior setter Hannah Kvitle from Quincy; 6-0 junior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti from Cary-Grove; and 6-1 senior outside hitter Kelsey Robinson from Wheaton St. Francis.

The 150 members of PrepVolleyball.com's All-American list includes 105 seniors, 34 juniors, nine sophomores and two freshmen. Eighteen were from California, 10 from Texas, seven from Illinois and Ohio, and six from Florida, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota.

PrepVolleyball.com also named 100 players "highest honorable mention" including six from Illinois: Grace Bonoma, a 5-6 senior libero from St. Ignatius; Emma Goldschmidt, a 6-1 senior rightside from O'Fallon; and Abbey Heredia, a 5-8 senior setter from Cary-Grove.

Also named "highest honorable mention" were: Chelsi Hummert, a 5-11 junior setter/outside hitter from Freeburg; Carly Thomas, a 5-11 senior setter/outside hitter from Belleville Althoff; and Colleen Yarber, a 6-1 senior outside hitter from Freeburg.

Named "honorable mention" All-Americans were Oak Forest's Natalie Fiore; St. Francis' Kristen Kelsay; Morton's Shannon McLaughlin; Normal U-High's Val Nichol; Benet's Brianne Riley; Bartlett's Carly Sahagian; Hampshire's Kara Wehrs; and Geneva's Lauren Wicinski.

Brother Rice will host the inaugural "Crusader Chicago Challenge" NAIA men's volleyball match between the Fighting Bees of St. Ambrose University and the Cougars of neighboring St. Xavier University at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 2.

St. Xavier is fielding a men's volleyball team for the first time. The Cougars' roster features 12 freshmen from the Chicago area. Among the familiar names are outside hitter Matt Yerkes from Marist, setter Jack Malone from Brother Rice and 6-foot-6 middle Evan Muys from Sandburg.

Meanwhile, St. Ambrose's 15-man roster is a "who's who" of Chicago-area talent led by 6-foot-5 freshman outside Dan Dierking of Naperville Central, 6-3 junior Scott Manthei of Brother Rice, 6-2 sophomore Hayden Grove of Providence and 6-6 senior Ryan Schneider of Barrington.

St. Ambrose, which has been selected to host the 2010 and 2011 NAIA Men's Volleyball National Tournament Championship, is coached by 2001 Brother Rice graduate Bill Gleeson.

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Amber Rolfzen and Kadie Rolfzen, 6-foot-2 identical twins from Papillion-La Vista South High School in Nebraska who led their team to the Class A state final, were named PrepVolleyball.com's 2009 National Freshmen of the Year.

Amber Rolfzen finished the season with 444 kills, 286 digs, 55 blocks and 31 aces for the 36-5 Titans. Kadie Rolfzen, who was slowed by a staph infection during the state tournament, recorded 443 kills, 267 digs, 66 blocks and 27 aces.

The Lincoln (Neb.) Journal-Star made both part of their seven-player super state team and the Omaha World-Herald recognized the twins on their seven-player All-Nebraska team. Both have already committed to the University of Nebraska.

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Lauren Sieckmann, a 5-foot-10 setter and right side attacker who led Omaha's Marian High School to a 42-1 record and the Nebraska Class A title, has been named PrepVolleyball.com's 2009 National Sophomore of the Year.

Sieckmann, the daughter of former PGA Tour golfer Tom Sieckmann, was selected State Player of the Year by the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal-Star, Omaha World-Herald and Gatorade. She finished season with 660 assists and 330 kills and added almost 200 digs.

She has been chosen as a setter for the 2010 U.S. Youth National Team and has committed to setting in 2012 for the University of Nebraska.


Two Illinois players are among the 36 nominees for National Junior of the Year, which will be announced no later than January 30 by Prepvolleyball.com.

Ellen Chapman, a 6-foot-4 outside hitter from Glenbrook South, was a dominant player for the Titans in 2009 and a key reason they made it to the state final four for only the second time in history. Chapman finished with 463 kills and was a top digger as well. The Wisconsin recruit is a top 50 national recruit in her class.

Six-foot outside hitter Kelly Lamberti from Cary-Grove, who led the Trojans to an upset over Lyons in the Class 4A title match, was named the Area Player of the Year by the Northwest Herald and first team all-state by the Champaign News-Gazette. Lamberti shattered school records for kills in a season (402) and a career as well as season aces (99).

Six-foot setter/outside hitter Alexis Viliunas of Lyons is among the nominees for National Sophomore of the Year. Viliunas, who was named second team all-area by the Sun-Times and Champaign News-Gazette, led Lyons to a 37-5 record and second place in the Illinois 4A tournament with 210 kills and 543 assists.

Among the 26 nominees for National Freshman of the Year is Erienne Barry, a 5-10 setter from St. Charles East. Barry took the Saints within one win of the state final four while amassing 674 assists and 102 digs for the Saints. She was named first team all-area by the Kane County Chronicle.

Also nominated for National Freshman of the Year was Katie Roustio, a 6-1 outside hitter from O'Fallon. Roustio was a big factor in O'Fallon's 29-9 mark and run to the sectional finals. A three-sport standout, Roustio amassed 310 kills and 318 blocks, both second on her team, while adding 59 total blocks and 29 aces.

Seven Illinois players were among the top 50 recruits in the Class of 2011 released recently by Prepvolleyball.com.

The top 50 list is produced from more than 200 nominations from college coaches, high school coaches and media representatives throughout the country. The list was distributed several times for additional input.

The final list included these players from Illinois: Ellen Chapman, 6-4, outside hitter, Glenbrook South (Wisconsin); Morganne Criswell, 6-1, outside hitter, Decatur Lutheran (Illinois); Morgan Leach, 6-2, middle blocker, Champaign Centennial; Val Nichol, 6-0, setter/outside hitter, Normal U-High (Purdue); Courtney Thomas, 6-0, setter/outside hitter, DeKalb (Wisconsin); Meg Vonderhaar, 6-1, outside hitter, St. Francis; and Emily Young, 6-2, setter, Schaumburg (Southern California)

The list of the next 30 players includes two players from Illinois: Jocelynn Birks, 6-2, outside hitter, Lyons Township (Illinois); and Kaisley Fisher, 6-2, middle blocker, Plainfield North (Purdue).

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Joliet Catholic's Annemarie Hickey is among 25 finalists for the Schelde National Player of the Year award, which will be announced within a few weeks by Prepvolleyball.com..

To be considered, a senior had to make a "massive" impact on her high school team and the state. "Massive" is a subjective term, but at a minimum required that she have statistics that were the best on her team at her position and that she be one of the top 1 or 2 players in her state.

The Schelde National Player of the Year award is based solely on high school achievement in 2009, not past stardom or future collegiate success.

Hickey, a 5-foot-8 outside hitter, was the consensus Illinois Player of the Year, leading the Angels to a 41-1 record and a second consecutive Illinois 3A title. The Wisconsin signee and Illinois Gatorade recipient amassed 388 kills and 358 digs, including 13 kills and 11 digs in the state final.

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