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Girls Volleyball: September 2011 Archives

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Barrington's Julia Thomson and Emily Casaletto ruled North Avenue Beach last summer, and have the Fillies rocking the hardwood at 17-2 this season.


West Aurora's Lauren Carlini said she had never seen anything like the rabid enthusiasm shown by the fans during the 2011 FIVB Girls' Youth World Championships in Turkey last summer.

Carlini, a 6-foot-1 junior setter, participated in the games as a member of the U.S. Girls' Youth National Team. The team spent 20 days training in the United States and another two weeks participating in the tournament.

"It was absolutely amazing," she said. "Turkey played China in the finals and everybody had their red and white on, they had their Turkey flags waving and the sound during the national anthem gave me shivers. Everyone was so proud and patriotic about their county,

"During the game...usually in America when somebody is serving it's totally quiet," Carlini added. "But over there, it was so loud you couldn't even hear yourself think. When China was serving, everybody had these noisemakers. Your ears were ringing so loud.

"Just watching this game and how passionate they are about volleyball there, it was amazing," she said.

Carlini was the starting setter for the U.S. team, which defeated Slovakia for ninth place. She said the physicality of the foreign players and their knowledge of the game surprised her.

"The players were very physical, very built, very muscular," she said. "They were also some of the smartest people I met as far as volleyball goes."

Carlini also learned that you have to be pretty tough and pretty resilient to compete at the international level.

"The one thing the coaches drove into our heads in international play was that if they think you are weak, they will just keep serving you and serving you," she said. "It's no mercy.

"Mental toughness is one of the most important parts of the game," Carlini added. "It's all about your mental game. It was really an eye-opener for me."

Carlini and her West Aurora teammates have also opened some eyes this fall. The Blackhawks are embroiled in a three-way tie atop the DuPage Valley Conference standings with Naperville North and Naperville Central.

***

Minooka and Stacey Perinar may not be flying under the radar much longer.

Perinar, who is committed to Eastern Michigan, has led the Indians to a 13-2 record by averaging 5.3 kills per game. She has been even hotter as of late, helping her team take home the championship of the West Aurora tournament.

Thursday, Perinar had 10 kills in a 25-13, 25-9 victory over Plainfield East after a 14-kill performance Tuesday in a 25-21, 25-18 victory over Plainfield North.

Minooka is a program on the upswing under second year coach Chris Hoelscher, who previously served as an assistant under Lisa Kasper at Rosary. Last year, Minooka won its conference championship and the school's first regional championship since 1999 before losing in the sectional championship to Edwardsville.

The Indians will get a better idea of where they stack up when they host their own tournament October 14-15 and participate in the Lyons tournament with the likes of York and the hosts October 21-22.

***

Sandburg coach David Vales admits he can't take many more matches like the one his team played Saturday against Marist in the Gold Consolation final of the Asics Challenge at Mother McAuley.

Sandburg (20-4) trailed 17-10 and 23-18 in the third game, but rallied behind 6-1 junior Dakota Hampton to beat the RedHawks 13-25, 27-25, 25-23.

"I'm still young, but I can't handle many more matches the way we've been running the past 10 or 12 times out," Vales said. "But retire? Uh, no."

After beating Sacred Heart (Louisville, Ky.) and Downers Grove North in three games Friday and losing to Mother McAuley 25-20, 25-15 in Saturday's quarterfinals, Sandburg defeated Huntley 25-14, 25-22 to earn a shot at Marist.

"After McAuley hit us and we came back to beat Huntley, the team was making a joke, 'Hey, we won a game in two here,'" Vales said. "Then you get down 25-13 in the first game (against Marist). What do you expect? We expected to come back because we did it all week."

***

Mother McAuley coach Jen DeJarld was not very optimistic about the injury to libero Bridget Powell. Powell suffered a serious right knee injury early in the Mighty Macs' semifinal loss to (Tampa, Fla.) Berkeley Prep a Saturday at the Asics Challenge.

But DeJarld is confident her team will adjust.

"What doesn't kill us will make us stronger," she said. "What if this happened in a state playoff game? You have to be able to cope and move forward, and I think we did in Game 1. They really fought to come back in Game 2. They just lost their focus and starting overplaying and overthinking.

"I think the girls freaked out a little bit, but I am proud of them," she added. "They rebounded and played much tougher during the second half of the second game. But missing a libero the caliber Bridget is a real tough adjustment to make."

Powell did not appear to get tangled up with a teammate when the injury occurred.

"She told me she was covering (a block), she moved and she slipped," DeJarld said. "Her leg went one way and she went another. She felt the pop in in her knee. I told the girls to expect the worse, but let's hope for the best. I just feel that with a knee, it's never anything little.

"I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Bridget's sake and for our team's sake," she added. "It would be a big loss to us."

***

Joliet Catholic came into the Asics Challenge unbeaten. But the Angels had not been challenged since early in the season. Their soft schedule may have hurt them when they lost to Newport Harbor (Calif.) 25-20, 25-15 in the quarterfinals.

"We were never right from the very beginning, and then you make mistakes on your own side by not serving the ball in the court and give them momentum," Joliet Catholic coach Chris Scheibe said. "They're such a good solid team.

"Every pass they had was to target, they played defense, and when we were not able to do the things we wanted to do on our side of the court, we gave them too many opportunities," she added. "They're too good of a team for that. They were basically running their offense at will."

Newport Beach's quick offense also gave Joliet Catholic fits.

"Our blockers were getting lost a few times, and our defense was out of position," Scheibe said. "I don't know if we played a team this season who's run that fast of an offense and was able to do whatever they wanted to do like that."

Joliet Catholic (17-2) lost to Marist 25-17, 25-19 in the consolation semifinals, but bounced Huntley 25-22, 25-16 for seventh place behind 10 kills and five blocks from Morgan Reardon and eight assists and six digs by Lauren Robertson.

"I think this is good for us now," Scheibe said. "We know what we've got to work on and go back to the drawing board. We had a few strong matches at the beginning of the season, but our recent schedule has not been as strong. So to come out and see this is good for us."

***

It was a rough week for Huntley.

The Red Raiders (16-4), who snapped Cary-Grove's regular-season win streak at 59 two weeks ago, were stunned by Prairie Ridge earlier in the week then went 2-3 at the Asics Challenge including 0-3 on Saturday.

But the Red Raiders did provide some excitement early Saturday when they rallied from a 21-16 deficit in Game 1 against (Tampa, Fla.) Berkeley Prep to win 25-23.

However, Berkeley recovered to win the match, 23-25, 25-15, 25-15.

"They're a great team, and you know the first game we didn't have the errors we had in the second and third games," Huntley coach Michelle Jakubowski said. "We forced them to make some errors. But in the second game, we missed serves, we shanked some passes and made a lot of hitting errors.

"A team like that, they got their confidence back and they're going to put balls away," she added.

Nevertheless, Jakubowski said her team made a statement by upsetting Catholic Memorial (Wis.) in pool play and taking Berkeley the distance in the quarterfinals.

"We're Huntley, you know, who's heard of where Huntley's at?" she said. "It's good that we showed we deserved to be in this gold bracket. We worked hard enough to get here. If you can keep it all together, you can beat a team like that (Berkeley)."

***

You can't expect to go 5-0 at the Asics Challenge. 4-1? Maybe.

St. Francis went 3-2.

The Spartans (23-6) lost to eventual champion (Louisville, Ky.) Assumption in pool play, rebounded to beat Notre Dame (Ky.) and defending Asics champion Cary-Grove in Silver division play, then fell to Sacred Heart (Ky.) 25-20, 25-15 in the Silver division finals.

"When you come here, you have to have your head on straight," St. Francis coach Peg Kopec said. "You're not going to be 5-0, you may not be 4-1. We'd like to be. We're 3-2. I'm happy with that. I could have been happier with some things.

"I'm very happy with the way we played Cary-Grove," she added. "I'm happy with the way we played Notre Dame. At one point, we were 17-17 with Assumption. We did not win that game. We kind of goofed up at the end of the first game, and they kind of manhandled us in the second.

"But if we can play as well as we did at some points of this tournament, while we're having a fine season, we could have an even better season," she said.

***

Cary-Grove has had better Asics Challenges.

The Trojans, who won the Challenge a year ago, went 2-3 this year. But at 21-4 overall, Patty Langanis isn't throwing in the towel.

"We fight hard to catch up in matches, to stay in it, but when we have a team on the ropes we don't seem to have the killer instinct to put the match away," she said after the Trojans lost to Catholic Memorial 25-20, 21-25, 25-22 in the Silver division third-place match.

"As the season goes on, we need to start seeing the ball a little more on the other side of the net," Langanis added "We're waiting so long to react to everything. That was happening in that second match today (vs. St. Francis). We need to pick up our reactions.

"When we get the ball to our setter, our offense is lethal," she said. "The problem is getting a consistent ball to our setter. We did a little better job against Catholic Memorial."

Nevertheless, Langanis was happy to be a part of the Challenge and believes it will only make the Trojans better in the long run.

"Last year was fun, it was unbelievable," she said. "This year, we knew things were going to be a little tougher. It's still a fantastic tournament. The talent of all these teams is great, and be able to come here and get challenged every match is only going to make us so much stronger."

***

The Lyons Township volleyball program will host a charity event to benefit the Sarcoma Foundation on Tuesday, October 11 when the Lions host Hinsdale Central. The event will honor Erin Potts, a volleyball player at Lyons who passed away in December 2009 from sarcoma cancer.

Volleyball players are selling T-shirts, and all proceeds will go to the foundation. Donations will be accepted at the gate on the day of the match.

***
Rosary will be hosting a "Kills for Kylie" fundraiser when it hosts Montini on Monday, October 3.

Kylie Schalz, who played at Rosary from 2004-2007, has severe scoliosis. Last June, she went in for surgery to help correct the curvature that was starting to affect internal organs. During the surgery, the doctors noticed that nerve conduction was cut off at T4 and stopped the surgery.

Although the spinal cord had not been compromised, Schalz was paralyzed from mid-back down. Once the swelling went down, some feeling and movement have returned, but she has had to learn to walk all over again.

Schalz was at the Rehabilitation Institute all summer and is now home, but still needs braces to walk. She had been attending Oakland University in Michigan where she was playing softball.

"Kylie is one of the hardest working players I have ever coached and her goal is to get herself back on the softball field and playing again," Rosary volleyball coach Lisa Kasper said. "She has a very long way to go to reach that goal, and she needs our help and support."

***
Lakes Community and Antioch will combine forces to "Volley for the Cure" on Monday, October 3 at lakes. Both schools hope to exceed last year's numbers - in the stands (last year was standing room only) and in money collected.

During the past three years, the teams have raised nearly $30,000 at this event. All proceeds from this event go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in support of Breast Cancer Research. There will be several raffles, activities, and a special recognition of Breast Cancer survivors throughout the evening.

For more information, contact Lakes coach Molly May at mmay@sequoits.com or Carla Thompson cthompson@lakeseagles.com.

***
The St. Charles North and East volleyball programs will host their third annual "Volley for the Cure" match on Tuesday, October 4 at St. Charles North. All proceeds are donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation.

***
Wheaton Warrenville South and Naperville Central will hold their annual game to benefit the "Volley for the Cure" on Monday, October 3 in Naperville. However, the DuPage Valley Conference rivals have made it easier for their friends and families to donate by providing an online link to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Online donations made to the following link will be credited to the WW South/Naperville Central "Volley for the Cure" effort, which raised more than $30,000 in 2010 after collecting more than $20,000 in donations in 2009.

To donate on behalf of WW South and Naperville Central, go to http://chicagoland.info-komen.org/site/TR/Events/HIL_ChicagolandAreaAffiliate?pxfid=185156&fr_id=1704&pg=fund.

For more information, contact Colleen Abrahamovich at (630) 947-3714 or Vickie Bischoff at (773) 491-5247.

Teams are taking the court to help others

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The Lyons Township volleyball program will host a charity event to benefit the Sarcoma Foundation on Tuesday, October 11 when the Lions host Hinsdale Central. The event will honor Erin Potts, a volleyball player at Lyons who passed away in December 2009 from sarcoma cancer.

Volleyball players are selling T-shirts, and all proceeds will go to the foundation. Donations will be accepted at the gate on the day of the match.

***
Rosary will be hosting a "Kills for Kylie" fundraiser when it hosts Montini on Monday, October 3.

Kylie Schalz, who played at Rosary from 2004-2007, has severe scoliosis. Last June, she went in for surgery to help correct the curvature that was starting to affect internal organs. During the surgery, the doctors noticed that nerve conduction was cut off at T4 and stopped the surgery.

Although the spinal cord had not been compromised, Schalz was paralyzed from mid-back down. Once the swelling went down, some feeling and movement have returned, but she has had to learn to walk all over again.

Schalz was at the Rehabilitation Institute all summer and is now home, but still needs braces to walk. She had been attending Oakland University in Michigan where she was playing softball.

"Kylie is one of the hardest working players I have ever coached and her goal is to get herself back on the softball field and playing again," Rosary volleyball coach Lisa Kasper said. "She has a very long way to go to reach that goal, and she needs our help and support."

***
Lakes Community and Antioch will combine forces to "Volley for the Cure" on Monday, October 3 at lakes. Both schools hope to exceed last year's numbers - in the stands (last year was standing room only) and in money collected.

During the past three years, the teams have raised nearly $30,000 at this event. All proceeds from this event go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in support of Breast Cancer Research. There will be several raffles, activities, and a special recognition of Breast Cancer survivors throughout the evening.

For more information, contact Lakes coach Molly May at mmay@sequoits.com or Carla Thompson cthompson@lakeseagles.com.

***
The St. Charles North and East volleyball programs will host their third annual "Volley for the Cure" match on Tuesday, October 4 at St. Charles North. All proceeds are donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation.

***
Wheaton Warrenville South and Naperville Central will hold their annual game to benefit the "Volley for the Cure" on Monday, October 3 in Naperville. However, the DuPage Valley Conference rivals have made it easier for their friends and families to donate by providing an online link to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Online donations made to the following link will be credited to the WW South/Naperville Central "Volley for the Cure" effort, which raised more than $30,000 in 2010 after collecting more than $20,000 in donations in 2009.

To donate on behalf of WW South and Naperville Central, go to http://chicagoland.info-komen.org/site/TR/Events/HIL_ChicagolandAreaAffiliate?pxfid=185156&fr_id=1704&pg=fund.

For more information, contact Colleen Abrahamovich at (630) 947-3714 or Vickie Bischoff at (773) 491-5247.

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Barrington improved to 16-2 by going 5-0 to win the Elk Grove Invitational on Saturday. The Fillies defeated Stevenson 25-21, 25-13 in their final match of the day.


The Illinois High School Association has no sense of the dramatic.

The association that governs interscholastic sports held its annual "rolling of the peas" last week to determine the semifinal pairings for the girls state volleyball tournament. And it was not good news for the top contenders in Class 3A and 4A.

If the top teams avoid upsets and reach Redbird Arena in Bloomington, Sun-Times' No. 1-ranked Benet would meet York in one Class 4A semifinal while defending state champion Breese Mater Dei and Joliet Catholic would collide in a Class 3A semifinal.

***

Prepvolleyball.com recently released its latest national high school rankings, and defending Class 3A champion Breese Mater Dei is the highest-ranked team in Illinois. The Knights (18-0), who have won 39 consecutive matches are ranked 17th.

Benet, the top-ranked team in the Chicago area, sits at No. 23, followed by York at No. 25. Joliet Catholic checks in at No. 57, followed by No. 58 Huntley, No. 64 Cary-Grove, No. 88 Marist, No. 90 Mother McAuley and No. 94. Edwardsville.

Sandburg is listed among the teams "waiting in the wings" and St. Francis fell out of the rankings after reaching No. 91 in the previous poll.

***

Three former Joliet Catholic Academy volleyball players - Kelly Murphy, Alyssa Warren and Lainey Wyman - were honored as "Players of the Week" by major collegiate conferences last week.

Warren was named Big East Player of the Week. The sophomore libero is the first Seton Hall volleyball player to earn the award. She set a career-high with five aces against. Hofstra and then set a school mark with 45 digs against. Boston College.

Her 45 digs broke the old mark of 41, which stood for 21 years. She was also named to the Seton Hall Invitational All-Tournament Team.

Murphy (Florida) was named Offensive Player of the Week by the SEC, and Wyman (Mississippi State) was named Freshman of the Week by the SEC.

***

Lyons' senior outside hitter Laura Williams may be known for her hard hitting from the outside, but she made big news at her high school recently for what she has been doing in the backrow.

Last week at Glenbard West, the Duke-bound senior smashed the school dig record of 860.

The previous Lyons record was held by Jamie Lundstrom, who was a starting libero for three years before graduating in 2010. Lundstrom is now the libero at Division I Belmont University, where she sets the single-game dig record.

However, Williams is not likely to hold the record for long. Senior libero Megan Miller, who has committed to Wake Forest, is hot on Williams' heels.

***

Benet and Joliet Catholic figure to go off as the top two seeds at the 24-team Mizuno Cup tournament hosted by St. Charles East at the Great Lake Volleyball center October 7-8. But it's anybody's guess how the rest of the top eight seeds will shake out.

Hinsdale South seemed like a lock for a top eight seed after its performance at the Wheaton Classic, but the Hornets faltered at the Waubonsie Valley Warrior Blast. St. Charles East should be somewhere in the top eight.

Edwardsville also would have been a lock for a top eight berth, but the Tigers were stunned by 7-7 Belleville Althoff last week. Edwardsville committed more than 30 errors in the marathon three-set match, which does not bode well for their anticipated state title run.

The best of the out-of-state group appears to be Leon (Fla.), which was 9-1 at the end of last week. Elkhart Central (Ind.) Is probably a top 16 choice, while Muskego (Wis.) Is hovering around the .500 mark in the dairy state.

***

Crystal Lake South is 9-9 after its third-place finish at the Elk Grove round-robin Saturday and starting to turn the corner despite a roster that features only four seniors.

"You can see the inconsistencies are usually just the young part of working it out, figuring out how to be that strong consistent self for an entire match," Crystal Lake South coach Jorie Fontana said.

"We've been battling that all season, and we're starting to make the steps toward progressing," she added. "We're definitely hitting a turning point where its turning more in our favor."

Among the youngsters who see plenty of court time for the Gators are junior libero Katie Myers , sophomore rightside hitter Avalon Nero, 5-11 freshman outside Carly Nolan, and 6-1 sophomore middle Nicole Slimko.

And there's another Burkle on the way, too - 6-foot freshman middle Emma Burkle.

***

Stevenson's junior outside hitter Rachel Baader has been sidelined with a thumb injury, but coach Tim Crow said the doctors believe it is sprain and not a torn ligament as initially feared. Baader could be back by this weekend's Stevenson invite.

"Her return just depends on what I allow and her pain," Crow said. "We're looking at senior night on Tuesday and our invitational coming up this weekend, so that gives us a little bit of time. We'll try it out in practice and see how she feels."

Stevenson is 15-5 with a win over LIbertyville last week and second-place finishes at the Jacobs and Elk Grove tournaments.

***
Jean Field, whose coaching career spans 37 years, 808 wins and a pair of state championships at Immaculate Conception, has no immediate plans to retire.

"I'll keep going for awhile," she said recently. "I enjoy it, so I haven't found any reason to stop. I like the competition, and I've worked with a lot of great people. You don't get this far without a lot of great people around you.

"Talk to Peg (St. Francis coach Kopec), talk to anybody else who has been around for a long time and won a lot of games," Field added. "It's because of the people you've worked with and the kids you've had playing for you. It's a nice journey."

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Benet won the Wheaton Classic tournament Saturday, defeating Hinsdale South behind tournament MVP Jenna Jendryk and all-tournament selection Meghan Haggerty.


Think Sandburg was fixating on Marist well before their meeting Saturday at the Wheaton Classic?

"We were pumped for that match from Wednesday (after both teams won their pools) to Saturday," Sandburg coach David Vales said. "Marist is a hometown rival, they're the ones we get to see all the time, a lot of the girls play each other in club.

"We had three days to look forward to Marist," he said.

After stunning Marist 25-20, 25-21 in the Gold division quarterfinals, whatever focus Sandburg had went right out the proverbial window prior to their meeting with Hinsdale South in the semifinals.

"Once that thing happens and you win it, I think the girls lost focus," Vales said. "Hinsdale South was ready to play. They didn't have that kind of match to open up. I'm a little disappointed in the way we played."

One player did show up for Sandburg against Hinsdale South...6-foot-1 junior outside Dakota Hampton.

"Dakota put on a show to try to win this thing because she knew how important it was," Vales said. "She knows a lot of those girls from club. It was a big match for her. It was a little too late for the rest of the team.

"But Hinsdale South was unbelievable," he added. "They just went power outside and we couldn't slow them down. They looked good and they stayed energized, and even when they were down 18-13 in the second game."

Sandburg lost some steam at that point when Hampton went to the backrow.

"At that point, our serve-receive broke down and we couldn't get anything going again," Vales said. "Hinsdale South showed us some things we're still weak on, and we have plenty of time to still work on. That's why we like this tournament, we learn a lot from it."

***

Hinsdale Central suffered a big blow when 6-foot-2 setter/outside hitter Meghan McDowell was likely lost for the season with torn ligaments in her ankle.

But the Red Devils have turned to 5-foot-7 senior Ellie VanKeirsbilck and played well over the weekend while reaching the Gold division semifinals at the Wheaton Classic.

"We have been playing well lately," Hinsdale Central coach Sheralynn Kellough said. "The nice part is Ellie ran a 5-1 all last season, so it's not like she's brand new to that position. She's doing a great job, she's a competitor and she's deceptively better than most people think she is because of her size.

"Of course, she's not 6-2 6-3 or a lefty or any of that sort of thing," Kellough added with a laugh. "But she gets stuff done. Two or three weeks from now, she could be 6-2, or 6-3. We're stretching her every day."

***

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the Wheaton tournament, and the young season, is Jennifer Urban's Naperville North Huskies.

The Huskies' week included wins against previously unbeaten West Chicago in DuPage Valley Conference play, a pool win over higher-seeded Evanston at the Wheaton tournament, and a victory over Rosary in the Gold division consolation semifinals.

The Huskies' losses? Unbeaten Huntley at the Plainfield North tournament, and once-beaten Benet and once-beaten Marist at Wheaton.

"Right now we've had one practice with our entire roster," Urban said Saturday after a quarterfinal loss to Benet at Wheaton. "We are just looking for continuing to practice and getting better in the gym, and translate that over to our matches."

Naperville North's setter, 5-6 senior Christine Wu, injured her ankle two days before the team's first match and only returned this week. The Huskies also feature only three other seniors - outside Ashley Crawford, middle Madison Murphy and outside Sam Scroggins.

None of the seniors, nor any of the other players on the team, have made college commitments.

"We don't have a lot of superstars on our team," Urban said. "We've got a lot of solid volleyball players. Finding that team chemistry on the court has kept us in a lot of matches. The girls are playing well together and working together."

***

Think previously unbeaten Marist was ready to have the boom lowered on it when it faced Sandburg in the Wheaton quarterfinals Saturday?

"The bottom line is Sandburg played an excellent match," Marist coach Natalie Holder said. "Sandburg came out they executed. We scouted them before, but give them credit. They didn't look anything like they looked when we saw them play.

"But like I told our girls, it doesn't matter. Every day is a new day. There are things on our side of the net we need to take care of. Sandburg did a real good job. They played well, they executed and they did it when it counted."

Marist was down two big bodies against Sandburg (6-2 rightside Elyse Panick injured an ankle in warmups prior to Marist's match against Mother McAuley earlier in the week) and like every other team that faced Sandburg had trouble containing 6-1 Dakota Hampton.

"Our goal was never to be undefeated in the regular season," Holder said. "Our goal is to be undefeated in the playoffs, and that's why we're in this tournament and that's why were playing great teams and Sandburg's a real great team."

Holder also downplayed the neighborhood rivalry aspect.

"I guess I don't think of them as south side," she said. "I think of them as suburban because they're out in Orland. But it doesn't matter whether they're from the south side or they're from Topeka. It doesn't matter. They showed up and we didn't."

***

A few fans had to be taken aback during the introductions prior to York's match with Lyons in LaGrange last week. The starting libero was 6-1 sophomore outside hitter Amy Nosek

Talk about being throw to the Lions.

"She was my starting outside hitter before the year started, but she got hurt and she's not quite ready to hit," York coach Patty Iverson said. "She has been back not even a week and by having her at libero I'm working her back in.

"Is she my best ballhandler?" Iverson added. "No. Is she my best passer? No. But I want her to be a good ballhandler and I want to have at least three people interchangeable so if one has an off game I can put her at libero and the other two can hit."

Although just a sophomore, Nosek does not get rattled even when her game is off, Iverson said.

"She's unflappable," the coach said. "If she doesn't play well, she doesn't play well. She doesn't get all worked up and she basically gives her best no matter what. So it was a no-brainer."

You cannot argue with success. York won the rematch in LaGrange and then defeated Lyons for a second time in four days Saturday in the finals of the McAuley Preview.

***
St. Charles North players are learning there is more to being a student-athlete and a member of the community than just playing volleyball.

Recently, team members participated in a team building activity at the Build-A-Bear Workshop at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. The team created bears that are being donated to the pediatric unit at Sherman Hospital.

The girls also recently spent some time visiting and volunteering at the Marklund Home, the Geneva facility for adults with special needs. These special guests were honored at St. Charles North's game against Streamwood.

Kudos to St. Charles North coach Lindsey Hawkins and her players for giving back to the community.

***
Right place, right time?

Saturday at the Wheaton Classic, Benet won the Gold Division, Libertyville won the Silver division and Waubonsie Valley won the Bronze division.

So what's so odd about that?

They all emerged from the same pool.

Benet, Libertyville and Waubonsie Valley were grouped together in Pool A played Wednesday at Wheaton North. Benet won the pool, defeating Waubonsie Valley 25-7, 25-14 and Libertyville 25-15, 25-18. Libertyville finished second, defeating Waubonsie 25-21, 25-20.

Saturday, all three teams went 3-0. Benet won the overall title by defeating Hinsdale South 25-16, 25-22, Libertyville outlasted St. Charles North 25-20, 26-28, 25-19 to win silver, and Waubonsie Valley survived Downers Grove North 25-16, 32-30 to win the bronze division.

Libertyville, led by Michigan recruit Cindy Zhou, a 6-foot junior setter, was making its first appearance in the tournament and hopes it made an impression on the rest of the coaches. The Wildcats will be a factor in the title hunt next year with four juniors starting in 2011.

In addition to Zhou, coach Greg Loika will welcome back libero Kristen Webb and outside hitters Taylor Zant and Julia Smagatz next fall.

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Julia Conard (right) and her West Chicago teammates are off to a 12-0 start after winning the Bartlett tournament Saturday.


Need a player to watch this season? Check out Richmond-Burton's 6-foot sophomore Alexandra Frantti.

"She's up-and-coming sophomore," said Prepvolleyball.com webmaster and Club Fusion director Eric Schulze. "She's probably under the radar in the McHenry County area because she plays at Richmond-Burton and not one of the Fox Valley schools, but by the end of this season everybody is going to know her name."

Frantti grew about two inches since last season and improved her reach by nearly six inches. She was a member of the Fusion 15 Black team that finished third in the 15 Open last year at AAUs. Recruiters are all over her right now including many Big 10 schools, Schulze said.

"She physically built very similar to (Northwestern's Stephanie) Holthus," he said. "Her athletic abilities are very similar. She probably will get tired of the comparisons at some point, but being a 6-foot blonde skinny kid who explodes and touches over 10 foot, the comparisons are inevitable."

***

Nazareth was 7-2 after Friday's Lyons quad after it lost to the hosts but defeated Glenbrook South and Normal. However, Loyola recruit and 5-11 senior outside hitter/setter Brittany Brown injured her shoulder during the tournament, and was unavailable Saturday at Prairie Ridge.

The Roadrunners went 0-5 without their top gun Saturday, but they were the only team to take a game off eventual champion Cary-Grove.

"We had to go to a 5-1, which limits our offense a little bit because we run Brittany out of the backrow," Nazareth coach Wayne Saunders said. "She hits very well from there. She blocks well, she's an offensive standout and she sets really well.

"We had to change around a lot and we had to do it on the fly, so we didn't know what's what before we played Prairie Ridge," the coach added. "So I'm pleased only had two real bad games - one against Cary-Grove and one against Barrington."

Brown's availability this week and the rest of the season is uncertain.

"She's got her whole career at Loyola ahead of her so I am not going to rush her back," Saunders said.

***

West Chicago's Kayla and Mary Kate Katarzynski are sisters who have their little spats, and sometimes they bicker a little bit on the court. But they also have one very important thing in common - they hate to lose.

Mary Kate transferred to West Chicago after spending her freshman year at St. Francis. The 5-foot-9 sophomore's decision to join her sister at West Chicago was good for the volleyball team, but not always so good for the sisters.

"Its different with her playing with us," said Kayla, a 5-3 junior libero. "She is good and I knew she would make varsity. I also knew it would be difficult for us to get along. We do get along at home for the most part, but volleyball is kind of getting in the way."

Mary Kate Katarzynski and Payton Bayless set in West Chicago's 6-2 offense. Setting is something the younger Katarzynski had never done prior to the recently-concluded club season.

"I was an outside hitter," Mary Kate said. "I started setting this year for the first time. I like hitting because you get more credit. You get credit for setting, too. But I feel like if I do go far in volleyball, I'll do better as a setter because I'm not tall."

But she still towers over her older sister.

"We get along off the court sometimes," Mary Kate said. "It's just little sister fights. It's like, 'Get out of the way.' It's things sisters always do."

Whatever disagreement the sisters may have, it has not stopped the West Chicago volleyball team. The Wildcats improved to 12-0 by winning the Bartlett tournament Saturday.

***

Eight Illinois players were named to Prepvolleyball.com's "Senior Aces," the 100 best volleyball recruits in the current senior class.

The eight Illinoisans (and their college choices) are No. 14 Meghan Haggerty (Wisconsin) of Benet, No. 33 Samantha Epenesa (Purdue) of Edwardsville, No. 34 Alexis Viliunas (Illinois) of Lyons, and No. 52 Ally Davis (Michigan) of Hinsdale Central.

Also, No. 54 Emily Bemis (Arizona) of DeKalb, No. 80 Katie Gallagher (Iowa State) of York, No. 63 Amelia Anderson (Indiana) of Crystal Lake Central, and No. 93 Jenna Jendryk (Virginia Tech) of Benet.

Just missing the top 100 were Bloomington Central Catholic's Meredith Boe (St. Louis), Batavia's Mary Nilles (Marquette), St. Francis' Carly Warner (Cincinnati), Benet's Gabby Pethokoukis (Villanova) and Lake Zurich's Amanda Orchard (Pittsburgh).

Also, Carmel's Taylor Pippen (Southern Illinois), West Chicago's Julia Conard (Illinois), Huntley's Amy Dion (Maryland), York's Caroline Rose (Western Michigan), Evanston's Casey Durham (Pittsburgh), Providence's Nora Mitros (uncommitted) and Lake Forest's Mary Streidl (Pittsburgh).

Among those just missing the "Senior Aces" were York's Sam Schrenker , St. Francis' Daiva Wise, Marist's Lauren Zielinski, Cary-Grove's Melanie Jereb, St. Charles East's Meghan Niski, Lyons' Laura Williams, Marist's Megan Miller and Mother McAuley's Bridget Powell.

Also, Nazareth's Brittany Brown and Downers Grove North's Jessie Tulacka.

***

And finally, congratulations to Immaculate Conception's Jean Field, who recently became just the seventh coach in Illinois High School Association history to reach the 800-win plateau.

Field led the Knights to state titles in 1981 and 1984 and runner-up finishes in 1979, 1980 and 1983. She has coached a number of different sports at the west suburban school for 37 years.

Cary-Grove is still....well, Cary-Grove

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Julia Conard (pictured right) has West Chiicago soaring after last week's Willowbrook tournament.


Gone is Kelly Lamberti, the Sun-Times 2010 Player of the Year. Gone, too, is Colleen Smith, who took her multiple talents to Indiana, and outside hitter Allison Whimpey, who was third in kills on last year's team.

But don't cry for Cary-Grove. The Trojans still have 6-foot middle hitter turned outside hitter Ashley Rosch, 6-foot senior outside hitter Melanie Jereb and 6-2 junior middle Mallory Wilcynski.

The only thing missing, perhaps, is the comfort zone created by Lamberti and Smith, who were able to provide the big hits or the big plays when they were needed.

"It is a little like starting from scratch," Cary-Grove coach Patty Langanis said. "We're feeling each other out to see who's going too take over. I think Ashley stepped up (Saturday), especially in the first Stevenson game with 16 kills in that match.

"She showed she's ready to take the team on her back," Langanis added. "But so many new kids are just excited to be on the court, trying to find their footing and say, 'Hey, know who I am.' Most of these girls have been in the program for four years. They're ready to take their chance,"

Cary-Grove is coming off a 41-1 season in which is was extended to three games only three times, including the state championship match against Lyons. Langanis does not expect anything to come that easy this season.

"It is a challenge," she said. "We know that this year we have to work extremely hard for every point. The nice thing is that the target is not on our back like last year.

"They're busting their butts in practice every day, and as coaches were trying to take these kids who don't play volleyball all year round and make them competitive.

"If we can get this team back to Redbird Arena, that's going to be some hard work and we'll know that was done in the gym," she said.

***

St. Ignatius might have been suffering from a little bit of bus lag after the 90-minute trip from the westside of Chicago to Jacobs Saturday. No sooner had they disembarked their bus than the Wolfpack found themselves staring across the net at Cary-Grove.

Their second match was no picnic, either. St. Ignatius squared off against Stevenson, which advanced to the tournament finals by stunning Catholic Memorial of Waukesha, Wis. in the semifinals.

Despite the setbacks, the questionable seeding and faulty pool play assignments, St. Ignatius coach Erik Eastman was happy to have the opportunity to travel beyond the comfort of the city limits.

"This was good for us," he said. "We switched things (schedule) around this year. We don't need to play a lot of the teams that we've seen in the past. We have to come out and play these kinds of teams and if we have to travel to do it, OK.

"Like I tell the girls all the time, this is preseason," he added. "No one is going to remember what your record is someday. What they're going to remember is if you're holding the big trophy in your hands. Nobody cares about anything else."

***

High school play has just gotten underway but it's never too early to start thinking about club season.

Sky High Volleyball Club in Crystal Lake will begin holding tryouts on October 1 at its locations in Vernon Hills, Crystal Lake and Hoffman Estates. Sky High offers two divisions - Junior Olympic (most competitive) and Regional (shorter season).

Sky High 17 Black won an AAU national championship in 2011, and its 16 Black and 16 Red teams both finished fifth in their respective divisions. Sky High's Julia Thompson and Emily Casaletto also won AAU and USA national beach titles in the 16U division.

Sky High offers teams in Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake Barrington, Libertyville and Vernon Hills.

For information about tryouts, visit www.skyhighvolleyball.org or call (815) 356-0006.

***

Top Flight Volleyball Club in Elgin will begin holding tryouts for its junior girls programs on October 1. Top Flight VBC offers club volleyball for boys and girls age 7-18 and has teams in Palatine, Arlington Heights and Elgin.

Top Flight is located at 1360 Madeline Lane Suite 400 in Elgin. For more information about tryouts, visit www.topflightvbc.com or call (630) 606-1342.

***
In case you missed them in Monday's paper, here are this week's girls volleyball rankings with last week's ranking in parenthesis:

1. Benet 7-1 (5)
Hannah Kaminsky finding her attackers.

2. York 8-2 (1)
Caroline Rose, Melissa Deatsch can hit.

3. Joliet Catholic 8-0 (4)
Junior Morgan Reardon powers Angels.

4. Marist 3-0 (7)
RedHawks stop Mishawaka (Ind.) Marian.

5. Mother McAuley 2-1 (6)
Lizzie Scanlon packs a powerful wallop.

6. Cary-Grove 6-0 (NR)
Ashley Rosch on outside looking strong.

7. St. Francis 6-0 (NR)
Daiva Wise, Spartans have Saints' number.

8. Huntley 7-0 (NR)
Can Sam Boesch & Co. dispel doubters?

9. St. Charles East 7-2 (9)
Erienne Barry is back and Saints are glad.

10. West Chicago 6-0 (NR)
Mary Kate Katarzynski is nice addition.

Others: Marian Central, Rosary, Barrington, St. Ignatius, Providence, Sandburg, Lyons, New Trier, Glenbard West, Hinsdale South.

Girls Volleyball: October 2011: Monthly Archives

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Girls Volleyball category from September 2011.

Girls Volleyball: August 2011 is the previous archive.

Girls Volleyball: October 2011 is the next archive.

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