Chicago Sun-Times
By Pat Brozynski

July 2013 Archives

Thumbnail image for maddie.jpgSt. Francis' Maddie Haggerty figures to play a priominent role in the 2013 Class 3A title chase.

The 2013 girls volleyball season is just a few weeks away, and it's time to start looking at some of the players that hope to make an impact this fall by leading lead their teams to Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University.

Among the best downstate players, Dakota's 5-foot-11 Sarah Thompson will be trying to lead her team the championship game for the third consecutive year. Dakota won the 1A title in 2011 and finished second in 2A in 2012, losing 25-23, 25-21 to Dee-Mack and Lauren Anderson.

Dee-Mack is an interesting story. The Chiefs will be under their third coach in as many years. Mike Bolhuis, a 19-year-old junior at Illinois State last season, led Dee-Mack to the 2A title then was let go in a cost-cutting move.

Bloomington and Julie Laugel could have been a player in Class 3A, but the Raiders were 17 students over the cutoff between 3A and 4A. That might have been a blessing since nobody is likely to stop St. Francis from winning Peg Kopec's ninth state title.

Rockford Boylan setter Bryanna Weiskircher could be the best player in Illinois not named Tashima, but the Titans will have to navigate the treacherous north and northwest suburbs for fans to get a glimpse of the Penn State-bound All-American in the Class 4A finals.

Here is a look at some of who should be among downstate Illinois' best players:

Lauren Anderson, 5-9, Jr., S, Deer Creek-Mackinaw
Kortnie Bailey, 5-10, Sr., MH, Christopher
Lizzy Barnard, 5-9, Sr., OH, Tri-County
Abby Barrow, 5-11, Sr., OH, Metamora
Kelli Bates, 5-10, Sr., OH, Bradley-Bourbonnais
Whitney Beck, 6-0, Sr., OH, Edwards County
Courtney Bemis, 6-2, Sr., OH, DeKalb
Kyleigh Block, 5-9, Sr., OH, Deer Creek-Mackinaw
Allana Bramwell, 6-2, So., MB, Belleville Althoff
Allison Brent, 5-10, Jr., MH, Sacred Heart-Griffin
Rachel Buck, 5-8, Jr., OH, Dakota
Jaycee Cleaver, 5-8, Jr., S, Dakota
Olivia Cotton, 5-2, Sr., L, Genoa-Kingston
Kristen DeHart, 5-9, Sr., OH, Bloomington
Brandi Donnelly, 5-8, Sr., OH, Williamsville
Rebekah Ehresman, 5-7, Sr., OH, El Paso-Gridley
Kristen Gengenbacher, 5-9, Sr., S, Quincy Notre Dame
Laura Gross, 5-11, Jr., S/MH, Danville Schlarman
Regan Coughlin, 5-10, Jr., OH, Normal
Cassidy Foley, 5-5, Sr., OH, Quincy Notre Dame
Gabby Gallois, 5-10, Sr., OH, Sparta
Alora Goodey, 6-0, Sr., MH, Lincoln
Emily Halliday, 5-9, Sr., OH, Coal City
Jordi Harre, 5-6, Jr., S/OH, Nashville
Megan Huffman, 5-9, Jr., S, Columbia
Kaeli James, 5-11, Jr., OH, Edwards County
Jaelyn Keene, 6-2, Sr., MH, Jacksonville
Michelle Kelly, 5-5, Sr., S. Princeton
Abby Kreuser, 6-0, Sr., MB, Normal
Adeja Lambert, 6-2, Sr., OH, Keith Country Day
Julie Laugel, 5-11, Sr., OH, Bloomington
Jessica Lee, Deer Creek-Mackinaw
Alexis Lee, 5-11, Jr., OH, Normal U-High
Marie Less, 5-10, Sr., OH, St. Teresa
Delaney Mahoney, 5-5, Jr., S. Oregon
Iman McGary, 5-11, Jr., OH, Keith Country Day
Peyton Mink, 6-1, Sr., MH, Riverdale
Whitney Nichols, 5-10, Jr., MH, Mt. Pulaski
Briana Nowak, 5-10, Jr., OH, Belleville Althoff
Madeline Oh, 5-6, Sr., L, Springfield
Katie Olson, 5-7, Sr., S, Rock Falls
Courtney Pence, 5-8, Jr., OH, Springfield
Alex Rosignol, 5-11, Sr., MH, Mount Carmel
Montana Schafer, 6-0, Sr., MH, Marion
Abby Smith, 5-11, Sr., MH, Tri-County
Taylor Smith, 5-10, Jr., OH, Mattoon
Taryn Vanearwage, 5-9, Jr., OH, Rock Island
Alexis Varga, 6-0, Jr., OH, Rockford Boylan
Sarah Thompson, 5-11, Sr., OH, Dakota
Madison Timmerman, 5-10, Sr., MH, Breese Central
Lexi Wallen, 6-0, Jr., OH, St. Thomas More
Bryanna Weiskircher, 6-0, Sr., S, Rockford Boylan

Sky High Volleyball Club is sponsoring a beach volleyball tournament at Sideouts in Island Lake at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 3 for 16 and 18 and under teams. There is a $40 entry fee. Contact Ramon Borrero at (815) 356-0006 or to register.

thompson casaletto new orleans.jpgJulia Thompson (left) ruled North Avenue Beach with partner Lyndi Scholl in the 18-and-under division July 6, while Thompson's former partner Emily Casaletto (right) and partner Avalon Nero finished second in the 18-and-under division on July 13.

The girls indoor volleyball season may be on hiatus for a few weeks, but there's still plenty of action to find on the beach.

Hundreds of boys and girls ages 12-18 converged on North Avenue Beach Saturday for the last in a series on AAU Juniors Beach Summer Tournaments.

The West Coast AAU Junior Olympics (national championships) are scheduled for July 27-30 at Hermosa Beach, California.

Local qualifiers will return home for the Windy City Championships on August 3.

The North Avenue AAU Juniors Beach Summer Tournament ( is hosted by the North Avenue Beach Club. Players range in age from 12-18 with nearly 60 percent age 15-16. Ninety percent are girls.

The first of five local qualifiers was held in Lisle in June 15. Winners included:

Girls 14-and-under:
1st place: Charlie Stancik (Countryside) and Sarah Rose (Elmhurst)
2nd place: Jen Bloum (Western Springs) and Emma Finkle (Western Springs)

Girls 16-and-under:
1st place : Emma Decker (LaGrange) and Meg Kern (LaGrange)
2nd place: Anne Ryan (Hinsdale) and Maeve Grimes (Hinsdale)
3rd place: Blaire Barnett (Munster) and Abby Alexander (Portage, Ind.)

Palatine was the second of the second tournament of the season on June 22. Winners included:

Girls 16-and-under:
1st place: Abby Marchewka (Crystal Lake) and Zoe Lindsey (McHenry)
2nd place: Brittany Lownds (Crystal Lake) and Jenna Van Bosch (Crystal Lake)
3rd place: Maddy Katchen (Fox River Grove) and Eden Doleza (Laporte, Ind.)

The first tournament at North Avenue Beach was held July 6. Winners in their respective divisions were:

Girls 12-and-under:
1st place: Chelsea and Katie Andrews (Chicago)
2nd place: Wren Decker (LaGrange) and Kelly Kern (Chicago)
3rd place: Camille Hurta (Hickory Hills) and Olivia Rocco (Burr Ridge)

Girls 14-and-under:
1st place: Lexi Pitsas (Munster, Ind.) and Alaina Chacon (Highland, Ind.)
2nd place: Eden Dolezal (LaPorte, Ind.) and Allison (unknown)
3rd place: Victoria Phistry (Naperville) and Taylor (unknown)

Girls 16-and-under:
1st place: Brook Burlong (Naperville) and Caroline Corder (Naperville)
2nd place: Halle Truett (Elmhurst) and Madisen Babich (Willow Springs)
3rd place: Meg Kern (La Grange) and Emma Decker (La Grange)

Girls 18-and-under:
1st place: Julia Thompson (Fox River Grove) and Lyndi Scholl (Chicago)
2nd place: Kelly Murphy (Northlake) and Ariah Palter (Countryside)

Boys 16-and-under:
1st place: Quinn Isaacson (Plainfield) and Logan Nash (Plainfield)
2nd place: Noah Marzuki (Aurora) and John Lynch (Aurora)
3rd place: Cody Smith (Orland Park) and Scott Tabletion (Orland Park)

The second tournament at North Avenue Beach was held July 13. Winners in their respective divisions were:

Girls 12-and-under:
1st place: Emma Cogan (Chicago) and Carrie Leazer (Mt. Prospect)
2nd place: Kennedy Muff (Trevor, Wis.) and Cenie (unknown)

Girls 14-and-under:
1st place: Grace Loberg (Chicago) and Erin Burke (Chicago)
2nd place: Abby Vedder (Chicago) and Ally Barrett (Chicago)
3rd place: Brigid Brennan (Lake Forest) and Emma Patlovich (Lake Bluff)

Girls 16-and-under:
1st place: Brooke Burling (Naperville) and Caroline Corder (Naperville)
2nd place: Nina Capuani (Addison) and Samantha Herron (Chicago)
3rd place: Mica Beckmann (Naperville) and Alyssa Kirkman (Naperville)

Girls 18-and-under:
1st place: Ariah Palter (Countryside) and Kelly Murphy (Northlake)
2nd place: Avalon Nero (Crystal Lake) and Emily Casaletto (Barrington)
3rd place: Frankie Taylor (Marengo) and Allie (unknown)
4th place: Natalie and Dominique Arcieri (Chicago)

Boys 16-and-under:
1st place: Noah Marzuki (Aurora) and John Lynch (Aurora)
3rd place: Sam Bugaieski (Willow Springs) and Isaac Husemann (La Grange Park)


The two teams that met in the Class 4A girls basketball championship game last year are making news again.

One team is making news for where their players are going. The other because their coach is leaving.

Rolling Meadows point guard and Chicago Sun-Times All-Area selection Jackie Kemph and 6-foot-2 sharpshooting teammate Jenny Vliet recently committed to play collegiately at St. Louis University.

"Jackie and Jenny felt extremely comfortable with St. Louis from their first visit," Rolling Meadows coach Ryan Kirkosky said. "They felt it was the perfect combination of location coupled with an esteemed academic institution. They seemed to connect immediately with the coaching staff and are excited about the future of the basketball program."

Their teammate Ashley Montanez gave a nod to University of Indianapolis.

"Ashley seemed to really connect with the coaching staff at the University of Indianapolis," Kirkorsky said. "She is going to a very successful program that holds her in high regard. It seems like a perfect fit for her academically and athletically."

Rolling Meadows, the only team to beat Marian Catholic last year (at the Montini Christmas Tournament), returns four starters and six of its top seven players from last year's 30-4 team. This summer, they won the Oak Lawn tournament and the University of Wisconsin team camp.

"When you have a season like last year, you really don't want it to end," Kirkorsky said. "We were excited about getting back on the court this summer, and we just keep stressing all the little things that got us to that point."


Annie Byrne, who coached Marian Catholic to the school's first girls state basketball title in 2012-13, is leaving the Chicago Heights school to take a position as the director of operations at Legends Sportsplex in Bourbonnais.

"It (the decision) was a combination of things, but this is a great position," Byrne told Tony Baranek of the Southtown Star. "It's going to really be a new challenge professionally. I'm very excited about the people I'm going to work for."

Byrne posted a 216-51 record at Marian since taking over in 2005 including last year's 33-1 mark.

"I just think it's a huge privilege to be a coach and to be able to have a constant impact on young peoples' lives," Byrne said. "It's a lot more than just coaching. Coaching is so much fun and you learn so much from it, but it's also a life lesson, especially in my own life."


Another talented point guard from the Class of 2014, Fenwick's 5-foot-8 Jade Owens, has decided to continue her career at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.

Owens was an East Suburban Catholic Conference All-Conference selection for the second time and was runner-up in the conference MVP voting in 2012-2013. She scored her 1,000th career point in late January, and averaged 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals per game.

Owens was selected as the MVP at the Niles North Thanksgiving tournament and was also named to the All-Tournament team at Dundee-Crown.


New Trier setter and senior-to-be Taylor Tashima and St. Francis sophomore-to-be Molly Haggerty were named to the 12-member U.S. Girls' Youth National Volleyball Team that will compete in the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship July 25-August 4 in Nakhon Ratchisima, Thailand.

Tashima, one of the top recruits in the state's Class of 2014, was also a member of the 2012 team.

"I like our team," head coach Jim Stone said. "We have some very athletic middles, two very accurate setters and good ball control outside hitters.

The 12 players were selected from a pool of 16 athletes taking part in a third tryout and training session that started July 8 at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif., which serves as the USA Men's and Women's National Teams Center.


New Trier's 6-foot-5 middle hitter Sarah Shafiq has orally committed to play college volleyball at California. Shafiq helped the Trevians advance to the Class 4A finals last season before they lost to two-time defending state champion Benet.

California finished with a 15-16 record last season, losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

*** recently released its end-of-season club rankings for the 17s, 16s and 15s age groups.

In the 17s, AAU national champion Club Fusion 17 Black finished fourth after starting the season ranked No. 1, 1st Alliance 16 Silver finished seventh in the 16s and Sports Performance 15 Elite finished sixth in the 15s after beginning the season ranked No. 1.

Michio 16 National, which won the USAV title as 15s, finished 12th after moving up an age group this season.

all-area.jpgMarist graduate and Ohio University receruit Mallory Salis (front row, second from left) was named one of the top defensive players in the country by

To almost no one's surprise, AAU National Champion Sports Performance 18 Elite, led by Gatorade Player of the Year Lauren Carlini (West Aurora, Wisconsin), was named the No. 1 team in the nation among 18s by John Tawa of

"It's an honor to be chosen as the No. 1 team by," said Sports Performance coach and club director Rick Butler. "I can't say enough about how proud I am of the work the kids did and the sacrifices that were made to not only win the AAU championship, but to also put them in a position to even be considered as the No. 1 team in the country."

SPVB 18 Elite finished the season 91-4 including a 48-match win streak to end the season. Sports Performance dropped only two sets (96-2) during that streak.

The Aurora club was selected ahead of USAV national champion Texas Advantage (TAV) 18 Black. Pre-season No. 1 Laguna finished a distant 19th.

"I know the Texas Advantage 18 Black team is a great team as well, so we feel very fortunate to have been chosen ahead of them," Butler said. "Congratulations to them on a gold medal at the USAV Junior National Championships."

In addition to Carlini, SPVB 18 Elite team members included defensive specialist Katie Baki, outside hitter Alysia Baznik, middle hitter Samantha Condon, outside hitter Annika Albrecht, outside hitter Ashley Hitchcock, setter Kate Federico, outside hitter Maddie Haggerty, defensive specialist Ellie Ivancich and middle hitter Brittany Pavich.

Albrecht, Hitchcock, Federico, Haggerty, Icvancich and Pavich are only juniors.

Missed the action? You can watch some of the AAU Junior Nationals championship matches by clicking the following link:


Three area players, including two who will return for the 2013 season, have been named to's "Dandy Lions" list.

The players on this list are all-around high school or club players who project as back row specialists at the next level. named five teams of 12 with everyone else receiving honorable mention recognition.

Players were nominated by high school coaches and club directors. Each player had to be generally considered among the best 10 defensive players in her state regardless of class year or school classification.

Named to's "Dandy Lions" list were:

Mallory Salis (Marist, Senior) - A first-team Sun-Times All-Area selection, Salis was named to the first team of "Dandy Lions" by Salis slammed 311 kills, contributed 77 aces and dug up 349 balls for the RedHawks last fall. Salis is expected to have a chance to attack for Ohio University, where she will play this fall, but most likely be a libero for the Bobcats.

Ryann DeJarld (Mother McAuley, Sophomore) - A second-team "Dandy Lion," DeJarld racked up 387 digs, 200 kills, 42 aces and 30 blocks as a six-rotation outside hitter for McAuley. She is being recruited as a libero in college and is deciding between a number of Division I schools. "What sets Ryann apart from most is her leadership skills," McAuley coach Jen DeJarld said. "She sets the tone for her team and leads by example."

Delaney D'Amore (IC Catholic Prep, Junior) - D'Amore led IC Catholic Prep with 379 digs (4.68 per set) and 308 serve receptions (94 percent passing). She also topped the team in passer rating at 2.25. She also had 301 kills and 27 aces for the Knights, who lost to Nazareth 25-13, 25-18 in the regional finals. "You can put Delaney anywhere on the court and she will do a great job for the team," IC coach Jean Field said. "If you needed her to be a middle blocker or a setter for the team she could do it and do it well."


Remember Mike Bolhuis?

Bolhuis was the 19-year-old Illinois State University junior who led Deer Creek-Mackinaw to a 38-1 record and the Illinois High School Association Class 2A state title last fall with a 25-23, 25-21 victory over junior Sarah Thompson and the Dakota Indians.

Like his predecessors, Bolhuis' coaching career at Dee-Mack was short-lived.

The school recently named Brandon Mueller its new head coach. Mueller is a Bartlett native who played collegiate volleyball at Springfield College in Massachusetts before spending time playing overseas and coaching club ball at Illini Elite in Bloomington.

Mueller could become the second head coach in two years to win a state title at Dee-Mack. The Chiefs return leading attackers Lauren Anderson (330 kills in 2012), Kyleigh Block (230 kills) and Beth Michna and defensive specialist Jessey Lee (343 digs).

*** released its inaugural Club Volleyball All-American list honoring the top players in the country during the 2013 club season.

The 18s selections included Sports Performance 18 Elite setter Lauren Carlini of West Aurora (first team) and her SPVB teammates Maddie Haggerty of Benet (third team) and Alysia Baznik of Naperville Central (honorable mention).

The 17s selections included Fusion 17 Black's Bryanna Weiskircher of Rockford Boylan and Ali Franti of Richmond-Burton (first team). Honorable mentions included Fusion 17 Black's Simone Lee of Menomonee Falls (Wis.) and 1st Alliance 17 Silver's Katherine Mahlke of Downers Grove North.

1st Alliance 16 Silver setter Hannah Juley of Lyons and middle Symone Speech of Oak Park were third-team selections among the 16s, where their teammate Julia Saunders of Nazareth Academy was an honorable mention pick.

The 15s All-Americans included SPVB 15 Elite's Molly Haggerty of St. Francis (first team), Tiffany Clark of Benet (third team) and Allie Lindroth of Plainfield North (honorable mention).

Go to for the complete list.

2013 all-area boys 2.jpgSun-Times Player of the Year Austin Royer (back row, fourth from left) of Lincoln-Way East and All-Area selection Brad McFarland (back row, third from right) of IHSA runner-up Lincoln-Way North helped lead Ultimate B17 Gold to an 11th-place finish at the recent USAV Junior Boys Volleyball Championships in Reno, Nevada.

Ultimate Volleyball Club of Frankfort led the local entries at the recent USAV Boys Junior National Championships in Reno, Nevada with a pair of fifth-place finishes in the 18 and 16 Open divisions, an 11th place finish in the 17 Open division and a 23rd-place effort in the 15 Open division.

Ultimate 18 Gold finished 6-3 in the 18 Open division behind Brother Rice junior and all-tournament selection Mitch Weiler; Ultimate 17 Gold finished 3-6 in the 17 Open division behind a trio of Lincoln-Way East players - Austin Royer, Nate Van Dellen and Ryan Vorderer - and Brad McFarland of Lincoln-Way North; and Ultimate 16 Gold finished 6-3 in the 16 Open division behind Sandburg sophomore and all-tournament selection Paul Chmura.

You can watch Weiler and his Ultimate 18 Gold teammates in action in Reno at

Ultimate also finished 23rd in the 15 open division, going 3-6 overall.

Adversity 18 Purple out of Vernon Hills finished fifth in the 18 Open division at 6-3 behind all-tournament selection Carlos Zambrano, Adversity 17 Purple went 6-5 in the 17 Open division to tie Ultimate 17 Blue for 17th place, and Adversity 15 Purple went 5-4 good for 17th place in the 15 Open division.

Among other local entries, Nick Timreck of state champion Downers Grove South helped Sports Performance B18 Mizuno go 5-7 for 10th place in the 18 Open division, and Sun-Times All-Area selection Tom Wesolowski of Young and Will Kozlowski of Glenbrook South helped D1 Chicago 18 George take 17th place in the 18 Open division at 4-5.

Loyola's David Wieczorek, another Sun-Times All-Area selection, helped lead Energy Boys 17 Nike to a 21st place finish in the 17 Open Division, Sports Performance finished 17th in both the 17 and 16 Open divisions, and UNO Boys 15 Elite finished in 15th place in the 15 Open division, going 6-7.

*** recently released its list of the country's top "Gym Dandies," full-time back row players, both high school and club, nominated by their high school coaches and club directors.

Two local players - Benet's Sheila Doyle and Libertyville's Kristen Webb - were named to the first team. Doyle was a first-team Sun-Times All-Area selection who helped the Redwings win back-to-back state titles and is headed to North Carolina in the fall.

"Sheila is an extremely aggressive defender whose quickness and ability to read hitters is at an elite level," Benet coach Brad Baker said. "Sheila will have the chance to be a difference maker from Day 1 of her career at North Carolina."

Webb was a second-team Sun-Times All-Area selection who led the state in digs last season with 775.

"Kristen is a tremendous leader with great ball-control skills," Sky High's Scott Harris said. "Her work ethic is amazing and she will pursue every loose ball on the court. She is quick, reads and anticipates extremely well."

Named to the third team was Hersey's Auburn-bound Taylor Schill, who had a school-record 636 digs in 2012 along with 40 aces. Nazareth's Emily Milligan, a Sun-Times First Team All-Area choice, was named to the fourth team after recording 347 digs and leading the Roadrunners in serve-receive and aces.

Sophomore Carla Cahill of Mother McAuley was a fifth-team choice who had 552 digs for the Mighty Macs, while a little down the road Carolyn Yerkes of Marist was among the sixth-team honorees after amassing 475 digs and 30 aces.

Geneva's Kelly Dalheim was an eighth-team selection after setting a school record with 573 digs, Stagg's Morgan Thomas (464 digs, 71 aces and 307 service points) was a ninth-team selection and Katie Baki (Rosary) and Madeline Oh (Springfield) were 10th team choices.

Members of the 11th team included Lyons sophomore and Lions' MVP Toni Saracco (606 digs, 24 aces), while Stevenson's Peyton Bykowski was a 12th team choice.

Named honorable mention were Lyons freshman Madison Babich, Benet sophomore Natalie Canulli, Glenbard West junior Meg DeMarr, Benet senior Brittany Kmieciak, Lemont sophomore Haley Sullivan, and Benet junior Caroline Wolf.


Minooka girls volleyball coach Chris Hoelscher is hosting a one-day Summer Scrimmage on Friday, July 12 at Minooka's Central Campus, 301 S. Wabena in Minooka.

Twelve teams are participating in the scrimmage, which begins at 8:00 a.m.

"My goal is to provide an opportunity to play without committing to a league or feeling pressure to win a tournament," Hoelscher said.

Pool 1 includes (1) Minooka, (2) Rock Falls, (3) Joliet Central and (4) Rosary. Pool 2 features (1) Sterling, (2) Jones Prep, (3) Joliet West and (4) St. Charles East. Pool 3 includes (1) Plainfield South, (2) Bolingbrook, (3) Chicago Christian and (4) Hinsdale South.

The schedule is as follows: 1 vs. 3, 8:00 a.m.; 2 vs. 4, approximately 8:30 a.m.; 1 vs. 4; 2 vs. 3; 3 vs. 4; and 1 vs. 2.

Area girls dominate AAU All-American teams

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Dakota Hampton.jpgFour members of the 2012 Sun-Times All-Area Girls Volleyball Team were named All-Americans at last week's 2013 AAU Junior National Championships in Orlando, Fla., including Dakota Hampton (top row, third from right), Lauren Carlini (top row, far right), Jessica Brezwyn (front row, second from right) and Alysia Baznik (front row, far right).

Twenty-three athletes from Sports Performance Volleyball Club in Aurora were named All-Americans at last week's 2013 AAU Junior National Championships in Orlando, Florida.

SPVB 18 Elite, which won the 18 Open division, put three girls on the All-American team led by tournament MVP Lauren Carlini (Aurora West). Joining Carlini on the All-American team were Maddie Haggerty (S. Francis) and Alysia Baznik (Naperville Central).

Meg McDowell (Hinsdale Central) and Jess Brezwyn (Hinsdale South) were named All-Americans after leading Sports Performance 18 Red team to a third-place finish in the 18 Club division. SPVB 18 White finished fifth behind All-American McKenna Kelsay (St. Francis).

Sports Performance 18 Navy reached the finals of the 18 Classic Division before falling to Fusion South (Batavia). Leading SPVB 18 Navy were All-Americans Caitlyn Ballard (St. Charles East), Kate Keegan (St. Francis) and Rebecca Naumann (Yorkville).

SPVB 16 Elite's Rachel Burau (Wheaton Warrenville South) was named to the All American team for the 16 Open division, and SPVB 16 White finished fifth in the 16 Club division behind MacKenzie Rombach (Ottawa).

Sports Performance 16 Blue captured the 16 Classic division title behind a trio of All-American's including tournament MVP Aileen Griffin (Benet). Also named to the All-American team were Brook Istvan (Hinsdale Central) and Maddie Jaudon (Batavia).

Led by MVP Molly Haggerty (St. Francis) and All-Americans Mackenzi Welsh (Plainfield East) and Tiffany Clark (Benet), the Sports Performance 15 Elite team beat Northern Lights 15-1 in the finals of the 15 Open championship.

Allie Maloney (Wheaton North) was named to the All American team in the 15 Club division; Ashley Shook (entering Plainfield Central), Kamryn Malloy (entering St. Francis) and Holly Behrends (entering Oswego) were named All-Americans in the 14 Open division; and SPVB 14 Navy's Lindsey Haag (entering Neuqua Valley) was named to the All American team in the 14 Classic division.


Other area athletes named All-Americans at last week's 2013 AAU Junior National Championships included Rolling Thunder 18 Blue's Casie Chaplinsky, Megan Tallman and Allie Mueller (18 Club division), and 1st Alliance 18 Black's Dakota Hampton, Alexa Riccola and MVP Elyse Panick (18 Club division).

1st Alliance 18 Black defeated Rolling Thunder 18 Blue, 25-23, 22-25, 15-11, to win the 18 Club division.

Fusion South 18 Silver's Hannah Buck, Devan Orr and MVP Kate Stefanski were named All-Americans in the 18 Classic division, won by Fusion 25-23, 22-25, 15-13 over Sports Performance 18 Navy, while 17 Open division champion Fusion 17 Black's Simone Lee, Alexandra Frantti and MVP Bryanna Weiskircher were named All-Americans.

1st Alliance 17 Black's Amy Nosek, Jackie Langer and MVP Molly Mayo were named All-Americans in the 17 Club division, won by the girls from Western Springs, 25-23, 25-21, over Gainesville (Fla.) Juniors Nike Elite 17.


AAU national champion Fusion 17 Black's bid to win the USAV Junior National Championship was thwarted Monday at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas when the girls from Marengo were beaten twice after opening the tournament 6-0.

Fusion 17 Black lost to Coast (San Diego, Calif.) 17-1 in the early morning session, 25-16, 20-25, 15-7, then dropped a three-set decision to Spiral (Chandler, Ariz.) 17 Black in an afternoon challenge match, 15-25, 25-13, 15-11.

Fusion 17 Black (7-3) finished 10th, losing to Sunshine 17 Hurley, 25-17, 20-25, 15-12, in the Bronze medal match.

Elsewhere in the 17s tournament, Gabrielle Ennis, Sam Pethokoukis and Michio Chicago 17 National (7-3) finished sixth in the USA division, falling to Boise VBC 17-1 25-15, 25-22 in the fifth-place match, and Uno 17 Elite took 13th in the 17 American division.

In the 18s, Fusion White (5-4) finished seventh in the 23-team USA division field; Uno Girls 18 Blue finished 13th in the 47-team American division field; and in the National division, Morgan Reardon led Uno Girls 18 Elite (5-4) to 13th place in the 47-team field.

In the 16s, Lyons setter Hannah Juley, Oak Park's 6-foot-3 middle Symone Speech and 1st Alliance 16 Silver was still alive in the championship race at 7-1 after defeating pre-season No. 1 Front Range 25-13, 25-19 and Circle City 16 Nike Elite 17-25, 25-18, 15-11.

However, 1st Alliance lost to unbeaten Asics MAVS 16 Blue in a challenge match, 25-20, 26-24. MAVS advance to the championshp semifinals Friday at 8:00 a.m.1st Alliance drops into Silver.

Not faring so well is Michio 16 National (4-4), which dropped four of its first seven matches before bouncing back to beat Skyline 16 RSB Royal, 25-22, 25-21.

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