By Pat Brozynski

February 2011 Archives

Since winning the state title in 2003, Glenbrook South has pretty much fallen off the map.

That year, Sam Kim, Drew Adams and David Choi led the Titans to a 39-3 record and a 15-5, 15-12 victory over Hersey in the championship game. In the semifinals, Glenbrook South defeated Naperville North and Matt Hankey, Ryan Fabrizius and Jay Nelson in a classic15-11, 7-15, 16-14 thriller.

But the Titans have provided few thrills since.

"Glenbrook South has been off everyone's radar for about seven years now," said coach Tim Monahan. "We have not done anything since our title except show moments of brilliance. We are hoping to change that this year. This season we want to have those moments turn into long periods of consistency and maybe even brilliance."

Glenbrook South returns the core of a team that finished 14-15 and upset New Trier in the regional led by 6-foot-10 outside hitter Lucas Rytel, who plays for Adversity and is headed to University of California-Santa Barbara in the fall.

"We are pretty excited to see what Luc will do for us this season," Monahan said. "He has hit the middle for me in the last three seasons, but after working with his club team he is ready to make the transition to the outside."

Running Glenbrook South's 5-1 offense will be a player with a name familiar to fans of girls volleyball. Brian Brennan is the brother of Colleen Brennan, who helped lead Glenbrook South within a couple of points of upsetting Cary-Grove during its 2009 title run, and Maggie Brennan, who played at Glenbrook South from 2003-2006.

Brennan will set Rytel and another player from Adversity, 6-8 junior middle Piotr Rafalo.

"Piotr has also played up the last two years so he will be playing his third season at the varsity level," Monahan said.

Rounding out the lineup are two juniors and a senior all of whom saw time on varsity last year, including 6-5 senior rightside Vince Gabuzzi, who took up volleyball after being cut from the baseball team.

"Turns out Vince was always supposed to play volleyball," Monahan said. "He touches 11 feet and hits the ball with some authority."

The juniors who will round out the lineup are 6-3 outside Charlie Tisch and 6-4 middle blocker Troy Farsakian.

"We are pretty much untested and have been out of the elite picture for quite a while, but I have a big athletic group that is hungry and ready to play," Monahan said. "Hopefully, we will be able to surprise some teams and build towards that final tournament."

Buffalo Grove has become a fixture at the boys state volleyball tournament, making three consecutive appearance under Matt Aiello who is 121-25 at the Mid-Suburban East powerhouse.

Despite the loss of 6-9 outside hitter Nick Baronti and his 394 kills and 6-4 outside Mike Jambrone, there's no reason to think the Bison won't make it four in a row in 2011.

Buffalo Grove returns four starters from last year's 30-6 quarterfinalist that lost to Maine South 25-20, 25-15, including third-year outside 6-foot-3 Chris Shanahan, who had 281 kills and 266 digs as a junior.

"Chris jumps well over 37 inches and has long arms and is a lefty," Aiello said. "He has played out of position the last two seasons and is poised to challenge for Player of the Year."

Also back are 5-11 setter Lukas Karch, who had 1,188 assists in 2010; 6-6 junior outside hitter Sam Wacker (105 kills, 67 blocks in 2010), who will slide over from the middle; and 6-6 outside/middle Jaimie Schnittker.

Other players to watch include outside hitter Jon Ward, who is expected to pay a bigger role in 2011; Cameron Castle, who returns after splitting time at libero with the graduated Alex Kob: 6-8 junior middle Michael Starzec; and 6-3 junior setter Matt Bloom.

"We believe that we will be in position to win our fourth straight sectional and have a realistic chance to win the Illinois state championship," Aiello said. "We have the talent, experience and confidence to beat any team.

"We really are very well rounded," the coach added. "We have a lot of height across the net and a very creative setter. We can block all spots and four of five hitters in probable starting lineup can hit out of multiple positions."

Buffalo Grove has dominated its conference, winning 47 of its last 50 matches including 30 straight.

"We are very excited about this upcoming season," Aiello said. "There is a whole lot of work ahead and we will be a major target as usual in our area, but we could prove to be the best Buffalo Grove team yet.

"We are bigger, faster, more experienced and more athletic than last year," he added.

However, there are some areas which Aiello would like to see improve.

"We have to be sure that we focus on our serve receive," he said. "Chris and Cameron will cover the majority of our passing, but we will need one more person to prove that they can consistently contribute or we will make Lukas work too hard and burn him out."


York setter and Iowa State recruit Katie Gallagher is resting comfortably after being rushed to the hospital Monday following 1st Alliance 17 Silver's semfinal victory over Asics KIVA 17 Red at the President's Day Tournament at the Great Lakes Center in Aurora.

She is expected to make a full recovery.

"Katie is very excited to play at Iowa State for Christy Johnson-Lynch (who was an All American Setter when Nebraska won the National Championship in 1995)," said her father John Gallagher.

Iowa State has qualified for the NCAA tournament each year since 2006 and made Sweet 16 appearances in 2007 and 2009 and reached the Elite 8 in 2008. The future looks good for the Cyclones who have commitments from three other Top 50 recruits.

volleyball barry.jpgThe Great Lakes Volleyball Center in Aurora will host the 2011 President's Day Tournament Saturday-Monday, February 19-21 at a number of locations in the western and far northwest suburbs.

The Great Lakes Center will host the 17 and 18 Open divisions, the Illinois Heat Volleyball Center will host the 18 Club and 15 Open divisions, Sunsetter's Volleyball Center will host 15 Club and the Flight Volleyball Center will host some of the overflow from the 18 Open and 18 Club divisions at Great Lakes.

The 17 Club division will be played at the Fusion Sports Center in Marengo.

Participating clubs include: 1st Alliance, A5, KIVA, Team Indiana, Capital, Celtic Force, Cirlce City, Dead Frog, Fusion, Fort Wayne, HIgh Performance, Illini Elite, Kane County, Michigan Elite, Milwaukee Sting, Munciana, Premier, Powerhouse, Rolling Thunder, Sky High, Southwest Illinois, Sports Performance, St. Louis CYC and Edge.

Play begins at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday with pool play and resumes Sunday at 8:00 a.m. with gold, silver and bronze pool play and other consolation flights. The tournament concludes Monday.

As the tournament progresses, team information can be found at:


Girls in grades kindergarten-8 who want to improve their volleyball skills are invited to attend Benedictine University's Spring Break Volleyball Camp on Monday, March 28 through Thursday, March 31 in the Dan and Ada Rice Center.

The Spring Break Volleyball Camp is designed to introduce the sport of volleyball to new players in kindergarten and the elementary grades and enhance the skills of older players at the junior high level. The clinics are conducted by Benedictine volleyball coach Jennifer Wildes, who will be assisted by the University coaching staff and current and former players and coaches.

Campers should wear comfortable clothing and gym shoes and bring a bottle of water. All items should be brought in a bag that is clearly marked. Knee pads are not required.

The camp for girls in grades kindergarten-5 is conducted from 9:00-10:45 a.m. and for girls in grades 6-8 from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. The cost is $60 per child.

For more information, contact Wildes at or call (630) 829-6141.


Here is an update on former Downers Grove South volleyball player Casey Patton.

Patton, who was diagnosed with a inoperable brain tumor while in high school, is completing two months of proton therapy treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and will be heading home soon. But she has to take care of some business first.

"When your treatment is done, you get to ring the 'Good Luck' bell and everyone in the proton center gathers around you," said her mother, Diane Patton. "It is a celebration. I think January and February were the two longest months on record!"

Lake Zurich's Orchard commits to Pittsburgh

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Amanda Orchard (pictured at right), a 6-foot-1 junior who has started at Lake Zurich since her freshman year and has helped the Bears to 92 wins, a supersectional berth and a sectional title game appearance during her three seasons, has verbally committed to play at the University of Pittsburgh.

"She is as hardworking of a player as I have ever been around," said Lake Zurich coach Matt Aiello. "She is very coachable and a great teammate. Pitt seems like a great fit for Amanda."

Orchard is currently playing club volleyball for Sky High 17 Black coached by Scott Harris.

*** has announced it 2010 High School All-Americans including the following players from Illinois:

Jocelynn Birks, 6-2 Sr. OH, Lyons Township (LaGrange, Illinois)
Samantha Epenesa, 6-0 Jr. OH, Edwardsville (Illinois)
Madison Kamp, 6-1 Sr. S, Chicago Christian (Palos Heights, Illinois)
Kelly Lamberti,* 6-0 Sr. OH, Cary-Grove (Cary, Illinois)
Caroline Niedospial, 5-7 Sr. Libero, Marist (Chicago, Illinois)
Brooke Schulte, 5-10 Jr. OH, Mater Dei (Breese, Illinois)
Colleen Smith, 6-0 Sr. S, Cary-Grove (Cary, Illinois)

Highest Honorable Mention
Ellen Chapman, 6-4 Sr. OH, Glenbrook South (Glenview, Illinois)
Meg Vonderhaar, 6-1 OH, St. Francis (Wheaton, Illinois)
Lainey Wyman, 6-2 Sr. MB, St. Francis (Wheaton, Illinois)

High Honorable Mention
Alexis Viliunas, 6-1 Jr. S, Lyons Township (LaGrange, Illinois)

Special Mention
Sam Fournier, 6-1 Sr. OH, Moline (Illinois)
Courtney Thomas, 6-1 Sr. S, DeKalb (Illinois)
Emily Young, 6-2 Sr. S/OH, Schaumburg (Illinois) annually recognizes the top senior setter in the nation with the Andi Collins Award. Andi Collins wanted to be the best setter in the nation. Cancer ended that dream September 4, 2003, a month shy of her 17th birthday.

Eighty seniors were nominated for this year's Andi Collins Award, including the following from Illinois. The winner will be announced in the next few weeks.

Erin Juley, 5-10, Lyons Township (LaGrange, Illinois) - A key cog in Lyons' run to the Illinois 4A title, Juley delivered 19 assists and 10 digs in the state final win over Cary-Grove, capping a year in which her 650 assists led the team. "Her ability to block, play defense and run the offense made her a significant contributor on our team," said Joann Pyritz. "Even after a knee injury during her junior club season, Erin's drive to return and play as a senior was outstanding. She pushes herself to achieve and works to bring this effort out in her teammates as well."

Madison Kamp, 6-1, Chicago Christian (Palos Heights, Illinois) - Named First Team All State by the News-Gazette, Kamp handed out 825 assists for a 30-11 team that won the Illinois 2A title in 2010. She also contributed 177 digs, 117 kills and 55 aces.

Hillary Keltner, 5-11, Althoff Catholic (Belleville, Illinois) - Smooth setter averaged 10.28 assists per game for the Crusaders in 2010. Committed to Air Force, Keltner was a Third Team All Metro pick and Second Team All Area selection.

Kayla Price, 5-9, Fremd (Palatine, Illinois) - A complete setter who can run every tempo and deliver pinpoint sets, Price got on our radar when she was named "Best Setter" at the Classic her freshman year. Since then, the Wisconsin-Milwaukee signee has matured into a true floor general. A severe ankle injury robbed Price of half her 2010 season, but she still managed to earn All Conference, All Area and Honorable Mention All State accolades after delivering 477 assists in the 20 matches she played in. She will graduate as Fremd's career assist leader.

Colleen Smith, 6-0, Cary-Grove (Cary, Illinois) - Smart, heady and athletic, Smith set the Trojans to a perfect season and the top of the national rankings until Lyons Township knocked them off in the finals of the 4A division. First Team All State, the Indiana-bound Smith finished the year with 740 assists for a 41-1 team that played only 8 7 games. She added almost 100 kills and 200 digs and was a First Team All State and First Team All Area selection.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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