Congratulations to the girls of Sky High (Crystal Lake) 16 Black, who followed up their impressive win at the AAU championships in Orlando two weeks ago with a third-place finish at the USAV Championships last week in Reno.
Sky High, which some experts penned would not even place in the top 10 at Reno, beat Skyline Juniors and Nike Six Pack then upset heavily-favored Club Red to reach the semifinals where it lost to eventual champion Nebraska Juniors 16-1 26-24, 22-25, 15-7.
Oddly, Nebraska Juniors, led by the Rolfzen twins, Kadie and Amber, had not even won a tournament this season until beating Sports Performance 16-1 in the finals of the National Junior Classic May 29-31 at the Great Lakes Center.
Members of Sky High 16 Black are: Amelia Anderson (Lake in the Hills), Samantha Boesch (Lake in the Hills), Samantha Boehne (Elgin), Amy Dion (Algonquin), Abby Gilleland (Bull Valley), Emma Hussey (Woodstock), Melani Jereb (Cary), Amanda Orchard (Lake Zurich), Ashley Rosch (Fox River Grove) and Caroline Sdregas (Crystal Lake).
Gilleland was named MVP at the AAU tournament while Dion and Rosch were named All-American. This has been quite a year for Rosch, who was a starting middle hitter on Cary-Grove's 2009 Class 4A state championship team.
Also, hats off to 1st Alliance 17 Silver, which finished fifth in the 17 Open division at the USAV championships; Rolling Thunder 16 Blue, which finished second in the 16 National division losing to Main Beach 25-22, 21-25, 15-5 in the title match; and Rolling Thunder 17 Blue, which finished ninth in the 17 National division.
Heidi Sierks, Victoria Lanzillotti and Taylor Pippen earned all-tournament honors from Rolling Thunder 16 Blue.