By Pat Brozynski

January 2011 Archives

Fusion (for a bruisin') cracks top 10 among 15s

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks recently released its list of the top 15s club teams in the country, also known as "The Big Guess" because the teams are populated with many kids who did not play for their high school varsity teams last fall.The top 10 15s club teams are listed along with the ranked teams from Illinois.

2011 Pre-Season National 15s Club Rankings

5. Club Fusion "For a Bruisin" (Illinois)
The Facts: This team tied for 19th at AAUs last year, but you can throw that result out the window, as this squad, coached by Wayne King, has a completely new look, with four impact newcomers. The best of the newbies are 6-1 S/RS Bryanna Weiskircher, one of the top frosh in the country who played up a year ago; and 6-2 MB Adeja Lambert, a six-rotation player who touches 10-3. Among the returnees, Ali Frantti, a quick 5-11 OH, is being called "Stephanie Holthus Jr." while Lauren Leverenz and Olivia Kofie are six footers who would be the stars on other teams. Seven of the ten on the roster started on varsity as freshmen.

The Pun: With so many tall, tall players on this squad, smallish setter Taylor Otto is a "Fish Out of Water."

The Next 15

25. Sky High (Illinois)
30. Lions (Illinois)

Sixteen is not such a good age in Illinois

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks recently released its list of the top 16s club teams in the country. The top 10 16s club teams are listed along with the ranked teams from Illinois.

2011 Pre-Season National 16s Club Rankings

19. "Be Good" Sports Performance (Illinois)
The Facts: Though I am being told by the CRT that Sports Performance has never stood out at this age group, I'm thinking this is the year with a roster that includes two terrific, tall setters, 6-1 Lauren Carlini and 6-3 Meg McDowell. Jessica Brezwyn, who played for Lions last year, and Dakota Hampton, who emerged as a threat for Sandburg HS during the fall, are two that coach Lisa Jablonski are banking on.

The Pun: Take away the "L" and she's a fiery leader. Add a "Y" and she's a steal for this team. Either way, we like defender Colleen Larson.

20. "Quench Your" 1st Alliance (Illinois)The Facts: Coach Beth Keck says this super athletic group will look a lot different from the Lions team that took the floor a year ago. Standout setter Sophia Dodd returns to lead the troops, but she will probably have two new attackers on the left in Mallory Salis, who led nationally-ranked Marist in kills during the fall, and raw but athletic Danielle Schroeder. Another newcomer to watch is 6-1 leaper Hanna Lee, who will team with 6-3 Anna Vrhel to create a formidable tandem in the middle.

The Pun: Brittany Zeeb rah!

The Next 10
27. Sky High (Illinois)

High Honorable Mention
Rolling Thunder (Illinois)
SWI (Illinois) recently released its list of the top 17s club teams in the country. The top 10 17s club teams are listed along with the ranked teams from Illinois.

2011 Pre-Season National 17s Club Rankings

5. Sky High "Karate" (Illinois)
The Facts: Sky High turned heads big time at the end of last year by winning AAUs in 16 Open and then logging a T-3 in Reno. There's no reason the success should not continue this season. The team plays with intensity, serves tough and has a threat at every position. Key returnees include smart setter Abby Gilleland, athletic libero Amy Dion and hard hitting attacker Amelia Anderson. The team, which will be coached by Scott Harris, has added 6-2 middle Daiva Wise from Sports Performance and 5-10 RS Mary Streidl from Rolling Thunder. That makes this an even deeper, more talented squad from a year ago.

The Pun: Creighton recruit Melanie Jereb is a great athlete and a jewel of an outside hitter. When she gets set for a big kill, parents look at one another and say, "They went to Jereb."

26. "I Held Her" 1st Alliance (Illinois)
The Facts: Eight return off of the team that finished 25th in 16 Open at Junior Nationals a year ago. The returnees include strong setter Katie Gallagher, two physical middles in Gabby Pethokoukis and Lauren Zielinski and great defense from Jill Hickey and Bridget Powell. Setter Jenna Jacobson and RS Melissa Nava are both impact newcomers for coach Nic Paquiz.

The Pun: Caroline Rose can be a thorn in the side of opponents.

The Next 20
35. Club Fusion (Illinois)

High Honorable Mention
Illini Elite (Illinois)
Rolling Thunder (Illinois) has released its list of the Top 50 Recruits of the Class of 2012, called by's John Tawa "an all-time great class."

"There is so much depth in this class that it is not surprising that college coaches suggested more than 150 players for top 50 consideration," he said. "The list was distributed several times, in several different forms, for comment and debate.

"Below are the consensus top 50 junior recruits in the nation, with 30 more who just missed (and I mean just missed), as of December 31, 2010," Tawa added.

Players are listed alphabetically by projected college position, with last known club and college commitment.

Top 50 Juniors - Class of 2012


Meghan Haggerty, 6-3 MB, Benet Academy (Lisle, Illinois), Sports Performance -- Wisconsin


Alexis Viliunas, 6-0 S, Lyons Township (La Grange, Illinois), 1st Alliance -- Illinois

Outside Hitters

Ally Davis, 6-1 OH, Hinsdale Central (Hinsdale, Illinois), Sports Performance -- Michigan

Samantha Epenesa, 6-0 OH, Edwardsville (Illinois), HP St. Louis -- Purdue

The Next 30

Meredith Boe, 5-10 Setter, Central Catholic (Bloomington, Illinois), Illini Elite

Two hundred reasons to watch volleyball in 2011

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

(Editor's note: This is the third of a three-part look ahead at the 2011 season.)

Here are 200 players to watch (listed alphabetically with this year's class standing) in 2011:

Vanessa Abenante, 5-8, Jr., OH, Lisle; Tina Aguirre, 5-9, Jr., OH, Rantoul; Katie Aiello, 5-5, Jr., L, St. Edward; Jessica Allhands, 5-11, Jr., OH, Watseka; Najoua Alliouala, 5-10, Jr., OH, Romeoville; Amelia Anderson, 6-1, Jr., MH, Crystal Lake Central; Sharon Anderson, 5-8, So., S, Hinsdale South; Ryann Arundel, 5-8, Jr., S, Mother McAuley; Rachel Baader, 5-9, So., OH, Stevenson; and Erienne Barry, 6-0, So., S, St. Charles East.

Klaudia Basierak, 6-0, Jr., MH, Grayslake Central; Payton Bayless, 5-6, Jr., S, West Chicago; Alyssa Baznik, 5-10, So., S, Naperville Central; Emily Becker, 6-0, Jr., MB, Belleville West; Samantha Bedard, 5-7, Jr., S, Breese Mater Dei; Meghan Behm, 5-8, Jr, OH, Prairie Ridge; Laura Behrens, 5-11, Jr., OH, Lincoln-Way East; Courtney Bemis, 6-0, Fr., MH, DeKalb; Emily Bemis, 6-1, Jr., OH, DeKalb; and Sara Birk, 5-9, Jr., S, Belleville Althoff.

Tara Blake, 5-8, So., OH, Marian Central; Jessica Boddy, 6-3, Jr., OH, Metea Valley; Meredith Boe, 5-10, Jr., S, Bloomington Central Catholic; Sam Boesch, 5-11, Jr., OH, Huntley; Caitlin Brauneis, 5-10, So., S, Prairie Ridge; Jessica Brezwyn, 5-9, So., OH, Hinsdale South; Brittany Brown, 5-11, Jr., OH, Nazareth; Emily Brown, 5-6, Jr., OH, Lemont; Anna Bryniarski, 5-10, Jr., OH, Lockport; and Stephanie Budlong, 5-9, So., OH, Wheaton Warrenville South.

Emily Burger, 5-10, Jr., OH, Bloomington; Brittany Busscher, 5-10, Jr., OH, Mundelein; Emma Cabutti, 5-9, Jr., OH, Mahomet-Seymour; Lauren Carlini, 6-0, So., S/OH, West Aurora; Maureen Carls, 5-11, Jr., OH, Andrew; Megan Cassagrande, 6-0, Jr., MH, St. Thomas More; Stephanie Cathcart, 6-0, So., MB, Trenton Wesclin; Karen Chin, 5-8, Jr., S, Mundelein; Grace Churney, 5-10, Jr., OH, St. Francis; and Dani Clark, 5-9, So., OH, Kirkland Hiawatha.

Alexis Clemons, 5-9, Jr., OH, Decatur St. Teresa; Julia Conard, 5-9, Jr., OH, West Chicago; Sammy Condon, 5-11, So., OH, Naperville Central; Veronica Dabrowski, 6-1, Jr., MB, Rolling Meadows; Rachel Dalton, 6-1, So., MH, Marist; Ally Davis, 6-1, Jr., OH, Hinsdale Central; Danielle Davis, 5-8, So., OH, Bloomington Central Catholic; Victoria Day, 5-7, Jr., OH, Prairie Ridge; Melissa Deatsch, 5-11, So., OH, York; and Amanda Dee, 5-7, Jr., L, Barrington.

Becky DeRuiter. 6-0, So., MH. Chicago Christian; Amy Dion, 5-6, Jr., L, Huntley; Kelsey Dirks, 6-3, Jr., MH, Robinson; Sophia Dodd, 5-10, So., S, St. Ignatius; Imani Droogan, 5-10, Jr., OH, Bolingbrook; Katy Dudzinski, 6-2, Jr., MB, Kaneland; Rachel Durchholz, 5-8, So., OH, Mt. Pulaski; Casey Durham, 6-3, Jr., OH, Evanston; Renee Enz, 5-9, Jr., S, Wilmington; and Samantha Epenesa, 6-0, Jr., OH, Edwardsville.

Kelly Feigh, 5-10, Jr, OH, Joliet Catholic; Abby Fesl, 5-10, So., S, Hersey; Britanny Finke, 5-10, Jr., OH, Harvard; Katie Fitzgerald, 5-10, Jr., OH, Maine West; Brigitte Foltz, 6-0, Jr., MH, Rockford Christian; Abbie Foster, 5-5, Jr, DS, Quincy; Lexi Frese, 5-11, Jr., RS, Quincy; Haley Gable, 5-10, Jr., OH, St. Francis; Katie Gallagher, 5-8, Jr., S/OH, York; Krissa Gearing, 5-10, Fr., OH, Bolingbrook; and Abby Gilleland, 5-10, Jr., S, Marian Central.

Alexandria Gober, 5-7, Jr., S. Edwardsville; Brianna Grant, 5-11, Jr., MH, Antioch; India Green, 5-9, So., S, Quincy; Jessica Greer, 5-6, Jr., MH, First Baptist; Mary Grassano, 5-5, Jr., L, St. Ignatius; Mallory Gross, 5-7, Jr., S, Clifton Central; Celaine Haan, 5-6, Jr., L, Chicago Christian; Kelsey Haas, 5-11, Jr., OH, Hersey; Madeline Haggerty, 6-1, Fr., OH, Benet; Meghan Haggerty, 6-2, Jr., MH, Benet; and Brian Hailey, 5-9, Jr., MB, Schaumburg.

Dakota Hampton, 6-1, So., OH, Sandburg; Kaitlyn Harrison, 5-8, Jr., OH, Bloomington Central Catholic; Arianna Hayden, 5-9, Jr., OH, DeLaSalle; Abby Heise, 6-2, Jr., S/MB, Springfield Lutheran; Erinn Hellweg, 6-0, Jr., OH, Wauconda; Kaimara Herron, 5-11, Jr., MH, Payton; Jill Hickey, 5-3, Jr., L, Joliet Catholic; Ciara Hill, 5-10, So., OH, Bolingbrook; Ashley Holder, 5-7, Jr., S, Marist; and Dariyan Hopper, 5-8, Jr., OH, Minooka.

Emma Hussey, 6-1, Jr., OH, Marian Central; Jenna Jacobson, 5-10, Jr., S. Whitney Young; Melanie Jereb, 6-1, Jr., OH, Cary-Grove; Jenna Jendryk, 6-0, Jr., S, Benet; Joy Johnson, 5-11, Jr., OH, Barrington; Kara Johnson, 5-9, So., OH, Champaign Centennial; Kim Juriga, 6-1, Jr., OH, St. Charles North; Maggie Kamp, 6-1, Jr., OH, Chicago Christian; Taylor Kasal, 6-1, Jr., OH, Downers Grove North; and Rachel Kent, 5-10, So., OH, Hinsdale South.

Kara Kentner, 5-9, Jr., OH, Sandburg; Kelly Koutnik, 5-11, So., OH, Schaumburg; Kellie Kuzmanic, 6-0, Jr., MH, Wheeling; Nichole Lambert, 6-1, Jr., MH, St. Charles East; Payton Lang, 6-0, So., OH, Barrington; Brittay Langley, 5-10, Jr., OH, Winnebago; Tori Lanzillotti, 5-10, Jr., OH, Lake Forest; Ivy Lei, 5-10, Fr., S, Naperville Central; Alyssa Lelm, 5-11, Jr., MB, Deer Creek-Mackinaw; and Madison Lenzini, 5-11, Jr., OH, Whitney Young.

Marie Less, 5-8, Fr., OH, Decatur St. Teresa; Emily Lindemulder, 5-11, So., MH, Chicago Christian; Megan Litoborski, 5-8, So., S, Lemont; Cydney Long, 5-7, So., RS/S, Springfield Lutheran; Abbie Magrini, 5-6, Jr., L, Mahomet-Seymour; Meghan McDowell, 6-2, Jr., OH, Hinsdale Central; Katie McGrath, 5-10, Jr., MH, Grayslake North; Sydney McPhillips, 5-8, So., OH, Mother McAuley; and Megan Miller, 5-4, Jr. DS, Lyons.

Nora Mitros, 6-1, Jr., OH, Providence; Alison Mueller, 5-11, Jr, OH, Breese Mater Dei; Kelsey Mueller, 5-11, So., MB, Freeburg; Maisey Mulvey, 5-7, Jr., L, St. Charles East; Melissa Nava, 5-11, Jr., MH, Hinsdale South; Mary Nilles, 5-11, Jr., OH, Batavia; Meghan Niski, 5-10, Jr., OH, St. Charles East; Carolyn Nojiri, 5-6, So., L, Downers Grove North; Cassie Norman, 5-7, So., S, Tri-Valley; and Shannon Nugent, 5-10, So. MH, Vernon Hills.

Amanda Orchard, 6-0, Jr., OH, Lake Zurich; Dena Ott, 5-6, Sr., L, Marian Central; Kaitlyn O'Reilly, 5-10, Jr., S. Burlington Central; Kristen Pedersen, 6-1, Jr., MB, Hersey; Stacy Perinar, 6-0, Jr., OH, Minooka; Amanda Perry, 5-10, So., OH, Glenbard West; Kate Phalen, 5-8, Jr., OH, Wheaton Warrenville South; Kaitlin Phillips, 5-6, Jr., MB, Hinckley-Big Rock; Taylor Pippen, 6-0, Jr., OH, Carmel; and Kathryn Polkoff, 6-2, Jr., MH, New Trier.

Holly Pollock, 5-10, Jr., OH, Normal Community; Bridget Powell, 5-6, Jr., L, Mother McAuley; Kristin Rauh, 5-10, Jr., MH, Metamora; Morgan Reardon, 5-11, So., OH, Joliet Catholic; Jordan Reifsteck, 5-7, Jr., L, Oswego East; Catherine Richards, 5-10, So., MH, Payson Seymour; Kerry Risley, 6-0, Jr., MH, Libertyville; Lauren Robertson, 5-8, Jr., OH, Joliet Catholic; Kylie Romeo, 5-8, Jr, S, Moline; and Ashley Rosch, 6-1, Jr., MB, Cary-Grove.

Caroline Rose, 5-8, Jr., OH, York; Katie Roustio, 6-1, So., OH, O'Fallon; Rachel Rush, 5-10, Jr., OH, Mendon Unity; Caleigh Ryan, 5-9, So., OH, Glenbard West; Mallory Salis, 5-9, So., OH, Marist; Camrey Saye, 5-11, Fr., OH, Edwardsville; Lizzy Scanlon, 5-10, Jr., OH, Mother McAuley; Madeline Schoen, 6-0, Jr., RS, Belleville Althoff; Sam Schrenker, 6-1, Jr., MH, York; and Brooke Schulte, 5-10, Jr., OH, Breese Mater Dei.

Michelle Schultz, 5-9, Jr., OH, Payton; Layne Self, 5-10, So., MH, Lake Zurich; Morgan Semmelhack, 6-0, Jr., MH, York; Rachel Sieracke, 5-10, So., MH, Lakes; Heidi Sierks, 5-9, Jr., S, Lake Forest; Danielle Siwik, 5-8, Jr., S, Prospect; Andrea Skipor, 6-3, So., RS, West Chicago; Mercedes Sparks, 5-9, Jr., OH, Toledo Cumberland; Hannah Stanley, 5-8, Jr., S, Rockford Guilford; and Sarah Stevens, 6-3, Jr., MB, Prairie Ridge.

Jill Stoltzenburg, 6-0, Jr., MB, St. Charles North; Kacie Storm, 5-10, Jr., OH, Geneseo; Lisa Studnicka, 5-11, Jr., OH, Waubonsie Valley; Megan Tallman, 5-8, So., S, Wauconda; Taylor Tashima, 5-10, Fr., S, New Trier; Julia Thompson, 5-10, So., OH, Barrington; Kate Thuestad, 5-10, So., MB, Indian Creek; Maddie Timmerman, 5-10, Fr., MH, Breese Central; and Meredith Timmons, 5-8, Jr., OH, Breese Central.

Jane Trazka, 5-10, So., OH, Glenbard South; Taryn Trubich, 5-9, Jr., OH, Plainfield Central; Jessie Tulacka, 6-2, Jr., OH, Downers Grove North; Cara Tyrrell, 5-7, So., DS, Westminster Christian; Katie Urchell, 5-8, Jr., OH, Providence; Ellie VanKeirsbilck, 5-8, So., S, Hinsdale Central; Alexis Viliunas, 6-1, Jr., OH/S, Lyons; Jenny Vliet, 6-1, Fr., S, Rolling Meadows; and Kelly Wachtel, 6-0, Jr., OH, Champaign Centennial.

Amelia Wegman, 6-0, Jr., MH, Rosary; Carly Wesoloski, 5-7, So., L, Naperville Central; Ashley Wilk, 5-11, Jr., OH, Aurora Central Catholic; Laura Williams, 5-10, Jr., OH, Lyons; Daiva Wise, 6-2, Jr., MH, St. Francis; Julia Witowska, 5-8, So., S, Wheaton Warrenville South; Jordan Wooden, 5-6, Jr., S, Decatur St. Teresa; Stephenee Yancy, 6-2, Jr., MH, Kankakee; Kaitlyn Zelhart, Jr., 5-11, MH, Blue Ridge; Cindy Zhou, 5-11, So., S. Libertyville; and Lauren Zielinski, 6-4, Jr., MH, Marist.

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