By Pat Brozynski

December 2012 Archives

Sometime Christmas Day, members of the Marist girls basketball team will board a plane for Florida to participate in the Naples Holiday Shootout.

The tournament features 16 of the best girls teams from around the country, including defending tournament champion Whitney Young.

"Everybody's really excited," said Marist coach Mary Pat Connolly. "What I love about the Naples tournament is it's a national tournament. They're supposed to have some of the top 25, top 50 players in the country. Most of teams are in the top 10 in their state.

"It's really nice to get a different look at teams that aren't in your area," she added. "I've been doing this for 11 years. We keep battling the Fenwicks and the Marian Catholics, the same teams. It's just a different look for us."

The trip is an opportunity for many of the team's members to see another part of the country, some for the first time.

"I thought if we do this every four years, it would give kids an opportunity to travel that might not have an opportunity to do that and to see a different part of the country and see different basketball," Connolly said.

Marist's Je'Taun Rouse admits that she's been checking the weather forecast for Christmas in Florida.

"Yes, we have looked at the weather," she said. "But it's not a vacation. We're going down there on business. We're in one half of the bracket and Young is in the other half. Our goal is to play Young in the championship game."

C'mon, Florida? Christmas? Eighty degrees and partly sunny on Wednesday. Seventies and sunny on Thursday and Friday?

"We may go to the beach, go shopping," Rouse said. "But other than that, it's all business."

The tournament website can be found at

Here are the pairings for some of the tournaments in which area teams will participate this week:

Montini Holiday Tournament

Wednesday, December 26
Romeoville vs. Hinsdale South, 8:00 a.m.
Plainfield East vs. Oak Park, 9:45 a.m.
Batavia vs. Bogan, 11:30 a.m.
Montini vs. St. Francis de Sales, 1:15 p.m.
Marian Catholic vs. Westinghouse, 3:00 p.m.
Fremd vs. Proviso West, 4:45 p.m.
Rolling Meadows vs. St. Joseph, 6:30 p.m.
Zion-Benton vs. South Elgin, 8:15 p.m.

30th Annual Dundee-Crown Charger Classic

Wednesday, December 26
St. Charles North vs. Evanston, 10:00 a.m.
Barrington vs. Resurrection, 11:30 a.m.
Maine West vs. New Trier, 1:00 p.m.
Buffalo Grove vs. Naperville Central, 2:30 p.m.
Bartlett vs. Mother McAuley, 4:00 p.m.
Maine South vs. Dundee-Crown, 5:30 p.m.
Prospect vs. Hononegah, 7:00 p.m.
Fenwick vs. Johnsburg, 8:30 p.m.

Hillcrest Holiday Classic

Wednesday, December 26
Thornton vs. Bloom, 9:00 a.m.
Oak Forest vs. Sandburg, 9:00 a.m.
Queen of Peace vs. Stagg, 10:30 a.m.
Harlan vs. Homewood-Flossmoor, 10:30 a.m.
Seton vs. Rich South, 12:00 p.m.
T.F. North vs. Lockport, 12:00 p.m.
Rich Central vs. Tinley Park, 1:30 p.m.
Phillips vs. Hillcrest, 1:30 p.m.

Bill Neibch Falcon Classic

Wednesday, December 26
Willowbrook vs. West Aurora, 9:00 a.m.
Glenbard South vs. Schaumburg, 10:30 a.m.
Hersey vs. Elgin, 12:00 p.m.
Wheaton North vs. Downers Grove North, 1:30 p.m.
Hinsdale Central vs. Jacobs, 3:00 p.m.
Lyons vs. St. Charles East, 4:30 p.m.
Elk Grove vs. Glenbard North, 6:00 p.m.
Glenbrook South vs. Waubonsie Valley, 7:30 p.m.

Naples Holiday Shootout

Wednesday, December 26
Dwyer vs. Orlando-Edgewater, 11:00 a.m.
Dreher vs. Cardinal O'Hara, 12:30 p.m.
Marist vs. North Gwinnett, 2:00 p.m.
Warren Easton vs. Hathaway Brown, 3:30 p.m.
Science Hill vs. McDonogh, 5:00 p.m.
Tucker vs. Whitney Young, 6:30 p.m.
Center Pointe vs. Troy, 8:00 p.m.
First Baptist vs. Barron Collier, 9:30 p.m.

And in case you missed it the first time, here is the schedule for the McDonald's Chicagoland Classic January 18-20 at Willowbrook High School:

Friday, January 18
Guerin vs. St. Ignatius, 6:00 p.m.
Warren vs. Hinsdale Central, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 19
Prospect vs. Bogan, 11:00 a.m.
Wheaton North vs. Maine West, 12:30 p.m.
Metea Valley vs. Morgan Park, 2:00 p.m.
Romeoville vs. Geneva, 3:30 p.m.
Fremd vs. Neuqua Valley, 5:00 p.m.
Hillcrest vs. Wheaton Warrenville South, 6:30 p.m.

Monday, January 21
Andrew vs. Niles West, 9:00 a.m.
Vernon Hills vs. Benet, 10:30 a.m.
Plainfield North vs. Willowbrook, 12:00 p.m.
Rolling Meadows vs. Fenwick, 1:30 p.m.
Marist vs. Trinity, 3:00 p.m.
Bloom vs. Providence, 4:30 p.m.
Bolingbrook vs. Marian Catholic, 6:00 p.m.
Montini vs. Whitney Young, 7:30 p.m.


Three more area girls joined the 1,000-point mark for their careers recently -- Rolling Meadows' Jackie Kemph, Trinity's Taylor Nazon and Romeoville's Kiera Currie.

IHSA puts Yorkville back in the "box"

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Thumbnail image for map.jpgThe "Box"
Who knew that such an elementary drawing would create such a high school-sized headache?

The IHSA may not move at the speed of light, but occasionally the boys (and girls) in Bloomington get it right.

Remember the flap over the Class 4A girls volleyball sectional at Neuqua Valley in the fall? The 23-team sectional that was overnight converted into four ridiculously unbalanced regionals?

The IHSA claimed the move was necessary to accommodate Yorkville, which was bumped up to 4A by the association's new 25-25-25-25 enrollment split when assigning schools to certain sports. The IHSA said that Yorkville was not located in the "Chicagoland Box."

The move sent Oswego East, Oswego, Plainfield East, Plainfield North and Yorkville to Plainfield North; Bolingbrook, Lemont, Lockport. Plainfield Central. Plainfield South and Romeoville to Romeoville; and Aurora East, Metea Valley, Rosary and West Aurora to Waubonsie Valley.

That left Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, Benet, Naperville Central, Neuqua Valley and Naperville North in one regional at Central. Three of the top four teams in the sectional - Benet, Central and Naperville North - in one six-team regional.

There was thought at the time that the IHSA would not treat boys basketball similarly, thus incurring the wrath of dozens of athletic directors and coaches and hundreds and hundreds of fans, and lo and behold, it did not.

But at least Bloomington promises to do things differently when volleyball rolls around again in the fall.

The IHSA offered that the "box" was created at a time when all the team sports were the same classes, so the teams competing in Class 4A did not change from softball to basketball to volleyball, so the box was literally drawn around the schools who fell within a certain proximity.

Back then, Yorkville was Class 3A and would likely going south or west for its sectional. However, now that classifications may change sport by sport, schools change classes more often and increase the odds of a school outside the box being grouped in a sectional with schools inside the box.

The IHSA re-evaluated the policy after the volleyball situation. The policy has language that states, "In 4A bracketed team sports, the Executive Director is authorized to modify the state series brackets to accommodate unique travel situations."

The IHSA promises that each situation will be evaluated case-by-case in the future. However, executive director Marty Hickman did say that those involving Yorkville will result in complexes in all sports moving forward.

Thus, basketball sectionals involving Yorkville will remain sectional complexes and teams will not be grouped into four regionals.

That's certainly good news for boys teams like Benet, West Aurora and Naperville Central, and girls teams like Bolingbrook and Romeoville, which otherwise might have (following the volleyball model) been assigned to the same regionals regardless of potential seeding.

Hopefully, volleyball will enjoy the same executive discretion.

gatorade.jpgLauren Carlini and West Aurora coach Lori Nicholson pictured with the Gatorade Player of the Year trophy.

The honors continue to pour in for Sun-Times Player of the Year Lauren Carlini of West Aurora.

Tuesday, the 6-foot-1 senior setter/outside hitter, who will be attending the University of Wisconsin next fall, learned she has been named the 2012-13 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, recognizes Carlini as the nation's best high school volleyball player.

Carlini recorded 333 kills, 303 assists, 156 digs, 92 service aces and 50 blocks this past season while posting a kill percentage of .594 and leading the Blackhawks (32-6) to the Class 4A sectional semifinals, where they lost to eventual state champion Benet.

She has maintained a 3.73 GPA in the classroom and volunteered locally on behalf of the Geneva Police Department, the Illinois Math and Science Academy and as a youth volleyball coach.

Carlini earned MVP honors in leading the U.S. Girls Youth National Team to a gold medal at the 2011 USA Volleyball High Performance Championships. She also started for Team USA at that summer's FIVB Girls Youth World Championships in Turkey, and named her the No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2013.

The Gatorade Player of the Year is selected from among more than 400,000 high school volleyball players across the country by a national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports.

Carlini is just the fourth player from Illinois to win the award since 1995-1996. Previous winners from Illinois include Joliet Catholic's Kelly Murphy (2008-09), Oghanna Nnamani from Normal U-High (2000-01) and Benet Academy's Denise Boylan (1996-97).


Carlini brought home more hardware after she was named the MVP of the third annual High School Girl's All-Star Volleyball Game played two weeks ago at Moraine Valley Community College.

Behind 13 kills and 10 assists from Carlini, Team Pink defeated Team White 25-19, 17-25, 25-11, 16-25, 15-7.

"Everyone was super excited to play with each other, we came in really open minded and our main thing to tonight was to just have fun," Carlini said. "We made it this far, we're all all-stars here no matter what so we had nothing to prove, we just had to go out there have fun. Winning was just icing on the cake."

Alysia Baznik from Naperville Central led the way for Team White with 13 kills and Hinsdale Central's Meghan McDowell added eight kills and 12 assists.

The all-star game is the brainchild of Sports Town Chicago's Peter Ferreri.

"Three years ago, there were all-star games for nearly every sport except girls volleyball, so we thought we'd fill the gap," he said. "We are thankful to all the girls from all four corners of the state for their participation and are already looking forward to next year's event."

Proceeds from the event go to the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

Mother McAuley coach Jen DeJarld's White team featured Abby Luebbers (Breese Mater Dei), Sheila Doyle (Benet Academy), Alysia Baznik (Naperville Central), Erienne Barry (St. Charles East), Krista Brakauskas (Providence), Ciara Hill (Bolingbrook) and Jessica Brezwyn (Hinsdale South).

Also, Morgan Reardon (Joliet Catholic), Meghan McDowell (Hinsdale Central), Melissa Deatsch (York), Danielle Davis (Bloomington Central Catholic), Mallory Wilczynski (Cary-Grove), Kelly Clarke (Mother McAuley), Logan Walling (Normal U-High) and Emily Lindemulder (Chicago Christian).

Edwardsville coach Jami Parker's Pink Team included Emily Milligan (Nazareth Academy), Kayla Katarzynski (West Chicago), Lauren Carlini (West Aurora), McKenna Kelsay (St. Francis), Sophia Dodd (St. Ignatius), Mallory Salis (Marist), Caleigh Ryan (Glenbard West) and Tara Blake (Marian Central).

Also, Jane Trzaska (Glenbard South), Katie Roustio (O'Fallon), Amanda Dolan (Lincoln-Way Central), Corinne Gajcak (Naperville North), Sarah Parker (Edwardsville), Hannah Lee (Whitney Young) and Cindy Zhou (Libertyville).

The game is available for downloading at


Dodd,_Harris_and_Evans_Sign_Pic.jpgSt. Ignatius' Sophia Dodd (left), Camille Evans (center) and Casey Harris recently inked their letters of intent under the watchful eye of coach Erik Eastman.

Three volleyball players who led St. Ignatius to an 86-28 record over the past three seasons recently signed their national letters of intent to play Division I volleyball.

Sophia Dodd, who had 648 kills, 120 aces, 1,836 assists, 177 block assists, 21 block solos and 826 digs during her stellar career, signed with Wake Forest. Camille Evans, who had 776 kills, 61 aces, 87 block assists, 13 block solos, 294 digs and a hitting percentage of .359 at the near west side school, signed with the University of Connecticut.

Casey Harris, who had 246 kills, 169 block assists, 49 block solos and hitting percentage of .334 during her career at St. Ignatius, opted to stay close to home and inked a letter with the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Former Barrington and University of Illinois basketball star Ashley Berggren, who now teaches and coaches girls basketball at Schaumburg, will be inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame later this season.

Berggren is Illinois' all-time leading scorer, amassing 2,089 points during her career. She was Big Ten Player of the Year as a junior in 1997, leading the Illini to a Big Ten championship and an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance. During her senior year of 1997-98, Berggren earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor and led the Orange and Blue to their second consecutive NCAA Sweet 16.

She is the only Illini to be named first team All-Big Ten for three seasons, and also earned national recognition as an Associated Press Third Team All-American in 1998 and an honorable mention All-American in 1996 and 1997.

A 1994 graduate of Barrington, Berggren holds the Illinois record for points scored in a season with 689 in 1995-96. She also holds the school record for career free throws made (562), is tied for second in field goals made (748), is fifth on the career assists list (328), seventh on the career rebounding list (779) and eighth on the career steals list (183).

She scored a career-high of 43 points, the second highest single-game total in U of I history, on January 14, 1996.

If cycling is ever replaced with basketball in triathlons, Colleen Krawczykowski might be unbeatable.

Willowbrook's senior guard has qualified for state in swimming as a sophomore, junior and senior, earning all-state honors this fall as a member of the District 88 co-op 200 meter relay team which finished 12th.

She also qualified in the 50 free and 200 free relay as a sophomore and the 100 free and 200 and 400 free relays as a junior.

"I finally broke through this year," Krawczykowski said.

In track, the fleet-footed Krawczykowski will set her sights on a fourth straight trip to state after finishing fourth in the long jump as a freshman and seventh in the 4-by-100 relay as a sophomore.

She also qualified in the long jump and the 4-by-200 relay as a sophomore and in all three events as a junior.

So when does Krawczykowski get time off?

Maybe never.

Three days after swimming at the state meet, Krawczykowski was playing 17 minutes off the bench in the Warriors' loss to Walther Lutheran at the Willowbrook Thanksgiving tournament. She started the next night in a five-point loss to No. 6-ranked Plainfield East.

"Although we are deep, Colleen is one of the players you have to have on the court if possible," Willowbrook coach Terry Harrell said. "She has a very high basketball IQ, she is a lockdown defender and a dependable player in pressure situations."

The hardest part of transitioning from swimming to basketball?

"Remembering all the plays," she said.


The schedule for the McDonald's Chicagoland Classic January 18-20 at Willowbrook High School has been released. Here is the lineup:

Friday, January 18
Guerin vs. St. Ignatius, 6:00 p.m.
Warren vs. Hinsdale Central, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 19
Prospect vs. Bogan, 11:00 a.m.
Wheaton North vs. Maine West, 12:30 p.m.
Metea Valley vs. Morgan Park, 2:00 p.m.
Romeoville vs. Geneva, 3:30 p.m.
Fremd vs. Neuqua Valley, 5:00 p.m.
Hillcrest vs. Wheaton Warrenville South, 6:30 p.m.

Monday, January 21
Andrew vs. Niles West, 9:00 a.m.
Vernon Hills vs. Benet, 10:30 a.m.
Plainfield North vs. Willowbrook, 12:00 p.m.
Rolling Meadows vs. Fenwick, 1:30 p.m.
Marist vs. Trinity, 3:00 p.m.
Bloom vs. Providence, 4:30 p.m.
Bolingbrook vs. Marian Catholic, 6:00 p.m.
Montini vs. Whitney Young, 7:30 p.m.


Here is the schedule for the Chi-Town Showdown December 7-9 at Whitey Young:

Friday, December 7
Champaign Central vs. Hyde Park, 5:00 p.m.
Proviso West vs. St. Joseph's (Canada), 6:30 p.m.
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) vs. Whitney Young, 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 8
Westinghouse vs. Mother McAuley, 10:00 a.m.
Al Raby vs. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.), 11:30 a.m.
St. Joseph's (Canada) vs. Bogan, 1:00 p.m.
Penn (Mishawaka, Ind.) vs. Morgan Park, 2:30 p.m.
Milwaukee (Wis.) Riverside vs. Trinity, 4:00 p.m.
Miller Career Academy (St. Louis, Mo.) vs. Marian Catholic, 5:30 p.m.
DeKalb vs. Whitney Young, 7:00 p.m.
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) vs. Rolling Meadows, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 9
St. Joseph's (Canada) vs. Kenwood, 11:30 a.m.


The Big Ten Conference honored freshman Jocelynn Birks (Lyons Township H.S.) and junior Jessica Jendryk (Benet Academy) of Illinois with postseason awards. Birks was unanimously voted to the All-Freshman team as well as receiving All-Big Ten Honorable Mention, and Jendryk was honored with a Sportsmanship Award.

Birks led the Illini with 510 kills and 27 aces and ranked second in digs (262). She finished her freshman season ranked ninth all-time in single-season kills and recording the second-best freshman season in Illini history. Volunteer assistant coach Laura DeBruler (Downers Grove Noerth) had 577 in 2007.

In 30 matches this season, Birks tallied 20-or-more kills 11 times, ranking sixth all-time at Illinois, and put up 13 double-doubles, all with double-digit kills and digs. She became the 17th Illini to record a 20-20, compiling 20 kills and 23 digs against No. 1 Penn State on October 6.

The Willow Springs native finished the regular season ranked fifth in the Big Ten in kills and sixth in points. Additionally, she ranked 42nd overall and third among freshmen nationally in kills and 51st overall and fifth among rookies in points.

Jendryk was one of 12 conference players selected by their coaches as individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. They must being in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.

"Jess is a respected competitor and set a standard for all of us when it comes to sportsmanship," said Hambly. "I am happy that she was honored for the award."

Jendryk appeared in four matches this season, getting into the action against the University of Central Florida at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational on September 15, then starting the final three matches of the season in Anna Dorn's position.

She hit .381 with 12 kills, five blocks and an assist in 13 sets. In her first career start on November 17, Jendryk led the Illini to a 3-1 victory over Michigan, hitting .571 with five kills and a block. She followed that with two block assists at Northwestern and four kills and two blocks at Iowa.

Jendryk will graduate from Illinois this spring with one additional year of NCAA eligibility after redshirting the 2009 season. She plans to attend graduate school and finish her eligibility at St. Louis University.

Other Big Ten award recipients include juniors Lauren Wicinski (Geneva) of Michigan State and Stephanie Holthus (Burlington Central) of Northwestern, who were named to the 12-member All-Big Ten team.

Sportmanship Award recipients included Indiana's Samantha Thrower (Sycamore), Michigan State's Kristen Kelsay (St. Francis), and Allison Straumann (Cary-Grove) of Iowa.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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