By Pat Brozynski

Get to know these unfamiliar names from far away places

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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 borrerostyle@gmail.com to register.

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This page contains a single entry by Back Row published on July 29, 2013 8:14 PM.

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