By Pat Brozynski

June 2011 Archives

Local girls shine at AAU Junior Nationals

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Led by MVP and former Plainfield North star Hannah Crippen,, a a 6-foot setter and Northwestern recruit, Sports Performance 18 Red won the Club division at the 38th AAU Girls' Junior National Championships held June 19-22 in Orlando, Florida.

Crippen's teammates included former St. Francis libero and Kansas State recruit Gina Madonia, Mississippi recruit and Benet graduate Lara Ontko, James Madison recruit and former Waubonsie Valley star Martha Stewart, Joliet Catholic graduate and Mississippi State recruit Lainey Wyman, and Wheaton Warrenville South graduate and Tennessee recruit Shealynn Kolosky..

The team also featured three members of the Class of 2012 - Neuqua Valley's Kaitlyn Novak, St. Francis defensive specialist Taylor Reckards, and Benet hitter/setter Jenna Jendryk. Jendryk and Wyman joined Crippen on the 18 Club All Tournament Team.

SPVB 18 Red won 26 sets without a loss at AAU's and defeated 1st Alliance 18 Black 25-16, 25-16 in the championship match.

Sky High 17 Black won the 17 Open division in Orlando, going 12-1 along the way losing only to St. Louis High Performance 17 Gold 27-25, 25-21 in the finale of the first round of pool play. Sky High defeated Texas Advantage VB Rags 17 Black 25-15, 17-25, 15-10 in the championship.

Team members included Crystal Lake Central's Amelia Anderson, Huntley's Samantha Boesch and Amy Dion, Burlington Central's Samantha Bohne, Marian Central's Abby Gilleland, Cary Grove's Melanie Jereb and Ashley Rosch, Lake Zurich's Amanda Orchard, Daiva Wise of St. Francis and Mary Striedl of Lake Forest.

Gilleland was named MVP of the 17 Open division and Anderson and Striedl were named All American.

1st Alliance 16 Silver won the 16 Open division. Team members were Hanna Lee, Kelly Marcinek, Sophia Dodd, Mallory Salis, Danielle Schroeder, Melissa Deatsch, Brittany Zeeb, Ana Vrhel, Sharon Anderson and Emily Milligan.

Sports Performance 18 Elite, 1st Alliance 18 Black (Club division) and Altitude 14 Black (Club division) won silver medals at nationals, and bringing home the bronze were 1st Alliance 18 Silver, Sports Performance 16 Elite, Sports Performance 16 White (Club division) and Fusion 15 Black.

Also named All Americans from Sports Performance were Natalia Skiba (18 Open), Courtney Thomas (18 Open), Emily Young (18 Open), Jessica Brezwyn (16 Open), Lauren Carlini(16 Open), Hannah Kaminsky (16 Club) and Cara Mattaliano (16 Club).

Alyssa Ehrhardt (16 Open) and Tara Blake (16 Club) were also named All American from Sky High.


Due to some computer problems, the last two comments were accidentally deleted. Please re-post your comments if you wish. Also please note that Sports Performance was the only club to submit a photo and list their All Americans on their website at the time the post was published, but I will post team photos if they are submitted.

Eighty-five who should thrive in 2012

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The 2011 season is in the books, and now it's time to look ahead to 2012. Here are some (but not all) of the players (in alphabetical order) who figure to make an impact on their teams in 2012:

Scott Adamczyk, 5-10, Jr., L, Maine South
Mario Ascencio, 5-11, Jr., S. Loyola
Jacob Barber, 5-10, Jr, OH, Plainfield North
Patrick Bedford, 6-4, Jr., OH, Glenbrook North
Peter Bednarz, 6-1, Jr., OH, Plainfield North
Nick Bendell, 5-10, So., S, Sandburg
Rick Bishop, 6-3, Jr., MH, Minooka
Dustin Borenstein, 6-3, So., OH, Highland Park
Brian Brennan, 6-1, Jr., S, Glenbrook South
Jake Brosius, 6-2, Jr., OH, Hinsdale Central
Chris Bulava, 6-6, Jr., OH, Loyola
Ian Bunting, 6-5, Fr., MH, Hinsdale Central
Matt Callaway, 6-7, Jr., MH, Wheaton Warrenville South
Tom Caputo, 6-2, Jr., MH, Addison Trail
George Cohen, 6-0, Jr., RS, Mundelein
Alex Cook, 6-1, Jr., OH, New Trier
Austin Czarnecki, 5-8, Jr., L, Barrington
Jason Dolinski, 6-6, Jr., MH, Lyons
Pat Dougherty, 6-2, So., S, Benet
Joseph Farrell, 6-5, So., OH, Glenbard East
Troy Farsakian, 6-4, Jr., MB, Glenbrook South
Scott Fifer, 6-2, Jr., S, Sandburg
Brad Foster, 6-8, Jr., OPP, Lincoln-Way Central
Luke Furman, 6-0, So, S, Waubonsie Valley
Luis Gallegos, 6-3, S., MH, St. Patrick
Taylor Ganzer, 6-0, Jr., S, Barrington
Jason Garnett, 6-5, Jr., RS, Lincoln-Way East
Alexander Glass, 6-3, Jr., OH, Lincoln Park
Matt Guerrieri, 5-9, Jr., L, Plainfield North
Jeff Hochstein, 6-5, Jr., OH, Barrington
Luke Jacobson, 6-4, Jr., MH, Glenbrook North
Thomas Jaeschke, 6-7, Jr., OH, Wheaton Warrenville South
Marlon Johnson, 6-3, Jr., RS, Joliet West
Alex Kahn, 6-1, Jr., OH, Glenbard West
Martin Krasuski, 6-4, So., OH, Metea Valley
Luke Ladowski, 6-2, Jr., OH, Benet
Scott Laner, 5-10, Jr., S, Deerfield
Ian Lawson, 6-7, Jr., OPP, Glenbard West
Albert Lei, 6-5, Jr., S, Naperville Central
Tommy Leonard, 6-8, Jr., MH, Barrington
Pat Livingston, Jr., OH, Maine West
Brian Lyman, 6-1, Fr., OH, Joliet West
Zac Magallones, 6-3, Jr., OH, Providence
Matt Mead, 6-4, Jr., OPP, Marist
Kyle Moore, 6-1, Jr., OH, Lake Forest
Wesley Morioka, 6-1, Jr., OH, Northside Prep
Tony Natalino, 6-4, Jr., MB, Marist
Martin Niemczewski, 6-5, Jr., OH, Vernon Hills
Matthew Nussbaum, 6-5, Jr., MH, Wheaton Warrenville South
Brooks Nverly, 5-8, So., L, Downers Grove North
Austin Overby, 6-5, So., OH, Lincoln-Way Central
Zackary Parik, 6-4, Jr., S, Downers Grove North
Ryan Paull, 6-7, So., MH, Brother Rice
Trevor Ponticelli, 6-2, Jr., RS, Glenbrook North
Jon Pyne, 6-2, So., OH, Waubonsie Valley
Peter Rafalo, 6-8, Jr., MH, Glenbrook South
Michal Ragan, 6-3, Jr., OH, Lake Park
Brendan Roberts, 6-3, Jr., OH, St. Francis
Thomas Robinson, 6-6, Jr., OH, Vernon Hills
Diego Rodriguez-Guerrios, 6-3, Jr., S, Oak Park
Patrick Ronan, 5-8, Jr., L, Aurora West
Marty Ross, 6-9, Jr., MH, Providence
Austin Royer, 6-1, Fr., S, Lincoln-Way East
Nathan Royer, 6-1, Jr., OH, Lincoln-Way East
Josef Santos, 5-8, So, L, St. Francis
Spencer Sauter, 6-6, Jr., OH. Naperville North
Jacob Schmiegelt, 6-5, Jr., MH, Willowbrook
Earl Schultz, Fr., OH, Payton
Tim Shenkin, 6-5, Jr., MH,. Glenbard East
Tommy Stark, 6-4, Jr., MH, St. Rita
Thomas Stevens, 6-2, Jr., OH, Neuqua Valley
Brendan Surane, 6-3, So., RS, Providence
Jake Tibble, 5-11, Jr., S, St. Francis
Jake Tomaras, 6-0, Jr., L, Lincoln-Way East
Parker Tortello, 6-0, Jr., OH, Mundelein
J.P. Tulacka, 6-6, Jr., MH, Downers Grove North
Stefan Vidovich, 6-3, Jr., MH, Libertyville
Sam Wacker, 6-7. Jr., MH, Buffalo Grove
Bobby Walsh, 6-6, Jr., MH, Mt. Carmel
Bobby Wehrli, 6-5, Jr., OH, Benet
Joe Williams, 6-0, Jr., OH, St. Patrick
John Yerkes, 6-1, So., OH, Marist
Tim Zyburt, 6-6, Jr., OPP, Wheaton Warrenville South

Every student, parent or fan who attends a high school sporting event should read page 26 of the boys volleyball state tournament program. So should every administrator, official and student-athlete.

Then they ought to read it again.

A short time ago, student-fans from a high school that had been recently in the news because of an incident involving taunts aimed at two minority athletes from their school embarrassed themselves, their school and their community while directing their venom at a foreign exchange student on an opposing team.

Students waved American flags and chanted "U.S.A., U.S.A." every time the student approached the service line. In between points. When he made an error. When he tied his shoes. When he wiped his glasses.

This was not a display of fervent patriotism. It was taunting. It was attacking the student-athlete's nationality under the guise of patriotism. Trying to demean him and his country, hoping that he would lose his focus and perform badly so that their team could win.

Of course, I doubt these students have ever thanked a veteran for his or her service or are intelligent enough to know who wrote the "Star Spangled Banner," where the melody came from or that it was written 117 years before it became our national anthem.

But there they were, waving the American flag, chanting "U.S.A." and mocking the student just because he happens to come from another country. I got the feeling these students would have been rooting for the lions at the Coliseum.

And, of course, these hooligans followed the student-athlete when the teams switched sides, and the parents in the stands gladly accommodated them by moving out of the way. Maybe they were too frightened of their own children to say anything or do any differently.

Or maybe they condoned the behavior.

A parent of a former student-athlete from this same school, who I respect very much, told me that his son experienced the taunting and derision of student-fans from opposing schools when he played major college volleyball.

"It happens all the time in college," the parent said. "He (the foreign student) should just get used to it."

With all respect, is that the best we can do? "Get used to it." So if a child gets bullied in school, our answer is "Get used to it?" If somebody is discriminated against because of their race, religion or orientation? "Get used to it." Taunted because of the way they look or dress? "Get used to it."

That is not an answer. That is part of the problem.

I have been covering high school sports for more than 30 years. People often ask me what my fondest memories are. I tell them the best time I ever had covering sports was the year I covered Public League boys basketball on the west side of Chicago.


Because those games often started between 3:30 and 4:00 p.m., too early for most adult fans to attend and well after most students either went home, went to work or were busy participating in other activities.

It was just the athletes, a few adult officials and scorekeepers, me and the coaches. No yelling of obscenities from the stands. No taunts directed at players from the other team. No jingoism. No rudeness. Just athletes doing what they did best and what they worked so hard to do.

Boys volleyball, like many other "minor" sports - soccer, badminton, tennis, swimming, gymnastics - is often played that way. A few parents in the stands. The freshman and junior varsity teams rooting their classmates on.

But as the games become more "meaningful" and more parents and students become involved, the level of civility diminishes exponentially.

Take a recent conference championship match, for example. Some of the home team's students in attendance chanted "one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand" every time a particular member of the other team went to service line.

The player was an outstanding baller and a very effective server. He just happened to have an unusually long ritual he performed before each serve that took a few extra seconds.

He never broke the rule limiting the time a player has to serve. But the point of the chant was not to remind the officials of the rule. The students obviously hoped to distract the player, accelerate his ritual, force him into an error and therefore help their team win.

I had never seen this tactic employed before or since. And I wonder how these students, who probably never saw this player before, were made aware of his service ritual. Do you really think they came up with the chant on their own? Do you think they even knew the rule?

And if any of them were volleyball players from the lower levels, would you not expect them to obey the same rules of sportsmanship that they would expect from opposing players and schools?

I will be the first to admit that I enjoy cheers like "there's a net there" when a serve sails low into the net, or "who was that to?" when a pass goes awry, or "roo-fee, roo-fee, roo-fee-oh" when a kill attempt is blocked. They are humorous and most players expect to hear them.

But those cheers are not personal attacks directed at one individual because of their race, religion or national origin. They are not taunts leveled at a player before he even serves, sets, volleys, hits or wipes his forehead. They are not racially or jingoistically motivated.

My daughter graduated from college recently. But two years ago, she visited Krakow, Poland during her study abroad trip to England. She was overwhelmed by the friendliness and kindness she encountered in Poland.

I don't think the same can be said of Americans. Not until we learn to respect people who may be different than us, may wear different uniforms, may speak different languages or may play for another team.

Not until we learn how to put our flags down, our hatred aside and our hands together.

Thumbnail image for lauren carlini aurora west.jpg

Lauren Carlini of Aurora (West Aurora High School, Sports Performance Volleyball Club) is one of 12 players named to the U.S. Girls' Youth National Team roster for the upcoming 2011 FIVB Girls' Youth (U-18) World Championship August 12-21 in Turkey, the U.S. Volleyball Association announced Monday..

Middle blockers selected for the team are Alexis Austin (Houston, Thunder Volleyball/Lone Star Region), Janae Hall (Centennial, Colo., Front Range/Rocky Mountain Region), Molly McCage (Spring, Texas, Woodlands Wave/Lone Star Region) and Amber Rolfzen (Papillion, Neb., Nebraska Juniors/Great Plains Region).

Setters are Carlini and.Nicole Edelman (Boulder, Colo., Front Range/Rocky Mountain).

Selected as outside hitters are Jordan Burgess (Tampa, Fla., Tampa Bay Juniors/Florida Region), Paulina Prieto (Miami, Boomers Volleyball Club/Florida Region) and Kadie Rolfzen (Papillion, Neb., Nebraska Juniors/Great Plains Region). The two opposites are Andie Malloy (Allen, Texas, Skyline Juniors/North Texas Region) and Nicole Dalton (Boulder, Colo., Front Range/Rocky Mountain Region).

The libero is Allison Palmer (Laguna Beach, Calif., Laguna Beach Volleyball Club/Southern California Region).

"It is a pretty athletic group," said U.S. Girls' Youth National Team Head Coach Jim Stone in reference to its strengths heading into this summer's competition in Turkey. "However, they still need to learn the whole game - hit, pass, serve and dig - as the international game has limited subs.

"That part has to work out in a short period of training time," he added. "We have good athletes and I was impressed with their work ethic, so I think they will be fine and ready for World Championship."

Burgess, Malloy, McCage and Palmer are repeat selections from last year. The foursome helped the U.S. Girls' Youth National Team qualify for this year's FIVB Girls' Youth World Championship by claiming the gold medal at the 2010 NORCECA Girls' Youth Continental Championship held in Guatemala.

"Ideally, you would want 12 players all returning with international experience," Stone said. "At the same time, you don't want to preclude any athlete who does not have international experience."

The U.S. Girls' Youth National Team will compete in the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships (HPC) July 26-30 in Tucson, Ariz. in preparation for the World Championships. At the completion of the HPC, the team will continue training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., before departing for Turkey.

The U.S. Girls' Youth National Team roster was determined through a second tryout session held June 3-5 with 25 athletes participating at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

To be eligible for the Girls' Youth program, athletes must be United States citizens born in either 1994 or 1995.

Catholic League announces award recipients

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The Chicago Catholic League announced its All Conference teams and award winners recently.

Named to the All Conference team from the Blue Division were middle hitter Colin Denny, outside hitter Brian Pomorski, junior rightside hitter Matt Kill, setter Mike Noyes and outside hitter Dan Weishar from Brother Rice.

Also, junior libero Tim Becker, junior middle hitter Marty Ross, outside hitter Casey Contorno, setter Karl Schramm and outside hitter Brendan Duffner from Providence; and junior outside Chris Bulava, outside hitter Paul Juska and libero Sean Hynes from Loyola.

Also, outside hitter Joe Biros, outside hitter Bobby Gallagher and setter Joe Fashingbauer from St. Rita; and middle hitter Rimas Grybauskas, junior middle hitter Peter Ryckbosch and rightside hitter Colin Rodnick from St. Ignatius.

Also, junior rightside hitter Garrett McGarry, sophomore libero Dominic Villa and junior middle hitter Bobby Walsh from Mt. Carmel.

Named to the All Conference team from the White Division were middle hitter Kelley McKenzie, junior middle Joshua White and junior setter Vince Solis from DeLaSalle; and junior setter Michael Brosnan, junior outside Joe Kelly and junior middle Jeremy Gruszka of Fenwick.

Also, junior outside Brian Brazill, outside hitter Brady Potts and middle hitter Rich Finger from St. Laurence; and junior outside Trey Pruente from Gordon Tech.

The Tony Lawless Award for Outstanding Player from the Blue Division went to Dan Weishar of Brother Rice; while Brett Krapil of Providence was named the recipient of the Tony Lawless Award for Outstanding Coach.

Fenwick's Sean Malone was named the recipient of the Tony Lawless Award for Outstanding Player in the White Division, while Katie Whitman of Fenwick was the Tony Lawless Award winner for Outstanding Coach in the White Division.

Brother Rice and Providence shared the Blue Division title at 8-2, while DeLaSalle and Fenwick shared the White Division title at 7-1. The junior varsity teams from Brother Rice, Loyola and St. Rita each went 7-3 in the Blue Division, while Fenwick won the JV title in the White at 8-0.

Brother Rice won the freshman title at 8-0.

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