Chicago Sun-Times
By Pat Brozynski

R-B's Frantti named Gatorade Player of the Year

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ricecenter2.jpgBenedictine University is the third area Division III school to recently announce plans to offer men's volleyball.


Richmond-Burton senior outside hitter Ali Frantti has been named Gatorade's player of the year for Illinois.


The 6-foot-2 senior outside hitter recorded 603 kills, 270 digs, 99 service aces and 84 blocks this past season while posting a kill percentage of .540 and leading the Lady Rockets (23-14) to the Class 3A regional semifinals. She also led Richmond-Burton to a second-place finish in 2012.


A 2013-14 American Volleyball Coaches Association First Team Under Armour All-American, Frantti Frantti has maintained a 3.36 GPA in the classroom. She has served as a member of her school's student council and volunteered locally on behalf of an area food pantry and as a youth volleyball coach.
frantti.jpg


"Ali Frantti has the ability to change the course of any given match," Crystal Lake Central coach Lisa Reddish said. "She has always had that ability, but she is also an awesome teammate who plays for the love of the game."


Frantti has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball at Penn State.


The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction girls volleyball.


***


Benedictine University has announced plans to add men's volleyball as an NCAA Division III sport beginning in the fall of 2014.


"This is a tremendous opportunity for our University," Director of Athletics Mark McHorney said. "We feel that there is amazing potential for growth in this sport and we want to capitalize on the incredible talent of student-athletes in the Chicago metropolitan area."


Men's volleyball becomes the 20th NCAA Division III sport offered by Benedictine, which with the addition of men's volleyball now offers 10 men's and 10 women's sports. Men's and women's lacrosse began play in the spring of 2013.


Benedictine becomes the third area Division III school to add men's volleyball recently. Dominican University will begin play this spring and North Central College in Naperville announced that it would add men's volleyball in 2016.


Benedictine also becomes the third member of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) to offer men's volleyball, joining the Milwaukee School of Engineering, which has been sponsoring the sport for several years, and Dominican.


Currently, seven other Illinois schools offer men's volleyball at various levels. Last spring, 61 schools throughout the country competed at the NCAA Division III level.


Most of the growth in collegiate men's volleyball in the last 20 years has been at the NCAA Division III level. The NCAA established a separate volleyball championship for Division III schools in 2012. Springfield College (Mass.) has won both of the first two NCAA Division III championships.


Men's volleyball at Benedictine will participate as an independent for the 2014-15 season.


Benedictine is currently searching for a head coach to begin building the program from the ground level.


***

Prepvolleyball.com has released its final Century Club National Rankings. Class 4A champion Mother McAuley closed its 40-2 season ranked No. 8 nationally, while Class 3A state champion St. Francis finished at No. 13.


Class 4A runner-up Benet finished the season at No. 86, followed by No. 90 New Trier, No. 96 Crystal Lake South, No. 104 Glenbard West, No. 110 Naperville North, No. 111. Plainfield North and No. 187 Waubonsie Valley.


Also breaking into the top 250 were No. 190 Sandburg, No. 191. Marist, No. 194 St. Charles North, No. 207 Keith Country Day, No. 209 Immaculate Conception, No. 226 Rockford Boylan and No. 227 Geneva.


***


The Montini and Wheaton North girls basketball tournaments are already underway, and here is how the rest of the week shapes up:


Montini Holiday Tournament


Thursday, December 26


Game 13 - Trinity vs. Batavia, 3 p.m.
Game 14 - Rolling Meadows vs. Neuqua Valley, 4:45 p.m.
Game 15 - Montini vs. Fremd. 6:30 p.m.
Game 16 - Huntley vs. Marian Catholic, 8:15 p.m.


Friday, December 27


Game 23 - Winners Games 13 and 14, 6:30 p.m.
Game 24 - Winners Games 15 and 16, 8:15 p.m.


Saturday, December 28


Game 31 - Third place, 6:30 p.m.
Game 32 - Championship, 8:15 p.m.


Bill Neibch Falcon Classic at Wheaton North


Thursday, December 26


Game 13 - Glenbrook South vs. Hinsdale Central, 3 p.m.
Game 14 - Wheaton North vs. Downers Grove North, 4:30 p.m.
Game 15 - West Aurora vs. Lyons, 6:00 p.m.
Game 16 - Glenbard South vs. Hersey, 7:30 p.m.


Friday, December 27


Game 23 - Winners Games 13 and 14, 6 p.m.
Game 24 - Winners Games 15 and 16, 7:30 p.m.


Saturday, December 28


Game 31 - Third place, 6 p.m.
Game 32 - Championship, 7:30 p.m.


Hillcrest Holiday Classic


Thursday, December 26


Game 1 - T.F. North vs. Sandburg, 9 a.m. (Gym #1)
Game 2 - Seton vs. Hillcrest, 9 a.m. (Gym #2)
Game 3 - Lockport vs. Rich Central, 10:30 a.m. (Gym #1)
Game 4 - Queen of Peace vs. Bolingbrook, 10:30 a.m. (Gym #2)
Game 5 - Marist vs. Oak Forest, 12 p.m. (Gym #1)
Game 6 - Rich South vs. Tinley Park, 12 p.m. (Gym #2)
Game 7 - Bloom vs. Stagg, 1:30 p.m. (Gym #1)
Game 8 - Thornton vs. Joliet Catholic, 1:30 p.m. (Gym #2)


Thursday, December 26 (all winners' games in Gym #1)


Game 13 - Winners Games 1 and 2, 3 p.m.
Game 14 - Winners Games 3 and 4, 4:30 p.m.
Game 15 - Winners Games 5 and 6. 6 p.m.
Game 16 - Winners Games 7 and 8, 7:30 p.m.


Friday, December 27


Game 23 - Winners Games 13 and 14, 6 p.m.
Game 24 - Winners Games 15 and 16, 7:30 p.m.


Saturday, December 28


Game 30 - Third place, 4:30 p.m.
Game 31 - Championship, 6 p.m.


Dundee-Crown Charger Classic


Thursday, December 26


Game 1 - Hononegah vs. Buffalo Grove, 10 a.m.
Game 2 - Evanston vs. Naperville Central, 11:30 a.m.
Game 3 - Prospect vs. Bartlett, 1 p.m.
Game 4 - Maine South vs. Stevenson, 2:30 p.m.
Game 5 - St. Charles North vs. New Trier, 4 p.m.
Game 6 - Maine West vs. Resurrection, 5:30 p.m.
Game 7 - Burlington Central vs. Mother McAuley, 7 p.m.
Game 8 - Dundee-Crown vs. Barrington, 8:30 p.m.


Friday, December 27


Game 13 - Winners Games 1 and 2, 3:30 p.m.
Game 14 - Winners Games 3 and 4, 5 p.m.
Game 15 - Winners Games 5 and 6. 6:30 p.m.
Game 16 - Winners Games 7 and 8, 8 p.m.


Saturday, December 28


Game 23 - Winners Games 13 and 14, 6:30 p.m.
Game 24 - Winners Games 15 and 16, 8 p.m.


Monday, December 30


Game 31 - Third place, 6:30 p.m.
Game 32 - Championship, 8 p.m.

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