Thursday, 12 November 2015

The DuPage County All-Area girls volleyball team

Brooke Burling, Waubonsie Valley
The senior outside hitter finished with 142 kills, 201 digs and 37 aces while earning all-DuPage Valey Conference honors and all-tourney recognition at Autumnfest and the Wheaton Classic. She'll play beach volleyball for the University of Arizona next year. "Brooke has been a special player for us for four years and this year was her best yet, especially in terms of defense, passing and shot selection. She sees the court so well and did a great job of mixing up her shots to keep teams guessing," coach Kristen Didier said. "Her passion for the sport and for competing in general is not often found. I would not be surprised if we saw her on the pro beach tour down the line."

Emily Bushman, Naperville North

The three-year varsity libero helped the Huskies win two DuPage Valley Conference championships as well as a second regional crown in 2015. Committed to play at Iowa, she had 362 digs, 32 aces and a 2.21 passing rating this season. "Emily is the vocal leader on and off the court for the Huskies," Naperville North coach Jen Urban said. "She is one of the most hardworking and dedicated players I have coached. She inspires her teammates to give their best effort each time they are in the gym." The two-time team captain was named all-tourney at the Wheaton Classic.

Gina Cappetta, Montini

"Gina is the definition of a leader. This year she had to guide, teach and lead three starting freshmen on and off the court," coach Steve Dowjotas said of his setter. "Last season she led Montini to the first state finals trips in Montini history for girls volleyball. This season after losing 12 seniors and her being the only returning starter, Gina was able to take this team to a .500 record against 4A schools and to the regional final." She recorded 424 assists, 54 blocks and 112 digs and is committed to Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla.

Tiffany Clark, Benet

Committed to Michigan and regarded by some to be the best libero ever to come out of Illinois, the senior also has excelled on the outside for the two-time defending Class 4A champions. Clark, also a member of this past summer's USA Junior National team, is a two-time AAU national champion. She recorded 148 kills, 17 blocks, 41 assists and a team-high 360 digs before this week's sectional. "Tiffany is the hardest-working player we have ever had at Benet. She has an extremely high motor and is driven to be best. She sets high goals for herself and works very hard to achieve them," coach Brad Baker said.

Jennifer Dore, Naperville North

The senior setter helped the Huskies upset Geneva in last week's regional finals and piled up 747 assists, 152 digs, 38 aces, 53 kills and 31 blocks heading into the Class 4A sectional semifinals this week against St. Charles North. The three-year varsity player helped Naperville North to two DuPage Valley Conference titles and a second-place finish in 2015. "Jenn is a calming presence on the court for the Huskies," coach Jen Urban said. "With only one returning hitter in the lineup, Jenn is constantly striving to put her younger hitters in position to score." Named all-tournament at the Falcon Classic, Dore is committed to Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Claire Grove, Neuqua Valley

The senior outside hitter and team MVP led the Wildcats with 269 kills through last week, which saw the program capture its first regional title and set a school record with 29 wins. Also a solid server and passer, Grove had 227 digs and 39 blocks and was named all-tournament at all four tourneys this season. "Claire thrives on pressure, rises to the occasion and is always ready to compete," Neuqua Valley coach Kelly Simon said. "She plays with a high level of intensity but maintains composure on the court, and she is well respected by her teammates."

Molly Haggerty, St. Francis

The All-Area team captain is hoping to guide the Spartans to a fourth consecutive state championship. Heading into the Class 4A East Aurora sectional, the senior outside hitter, who is headed to Wisconsin, had 388 kills, 259 serve receptions and 42 blocks. Haggerty was named all-conference all four years, including Player of the Year honors from both the Suburban Christian last year and the GCAC in 2015. "If she's not the best player we've ever had she is right there," said St. Francis coach Peg Kopec, who has coached the program for four decades. "She's just an exceptional hitter. She just mauls the ball and she can hit any shot." Haggerty was named Gatorade Player of the Year for Illinois last year as a junior.

Ronni Katarzynski, West Chicago

A four-year varsity starter, the senior libero recorded 466 digs, 437 receptions and 45 aces for a 21-win Wildcats squad. "Ronni is probably the best libero to come out of West Chicago," coach Kris Hasty said of her team captain. "Ronni is all over the place. I think we take her for granted sometimes because the ball just does not hit the floor when she is back there. She has so much pride and compassion for her school team. Considering Ronni was a national champion for her club team, she gives 100 percent to her high school team, as well." The two-time all-conference selection will play at North Carolina-Greensboro next year.

Kora Kauling, Neuqua Valley

Committed to Wichita State University, this athletic junior setter/right side did a little of everything this fall for the Wildcats and was named to three all-tourney teams along the way. Through last week's regionals, Kauling had 462 assists, 205 kills, 43 blocks and 116 digs. "She's a consistent and dependable setter who controls the offense, plus she controls the flow of the court with tremendous athletic ability," Neuqua Valley coach Kelly Simon said of her 6-foot-2 leader. "Kora also provides a solid first line of defense with her blocking ability."

Claudia Koch IC Catholic Prep

One of three captains for the Knights, the senior outside hitter notched 300 kills and 233 digs for a 24-12 squad. "Claudia moved from the middle blocker position (in the 2013 and 2014 seasons) to an outside attacker for us this year because we needed her to get more offensive touches on the ball and utilize her ball control and defense," IC Catholic Prep coach Nancy Damore said of Koch, who started on the school's Clss 2A championship team in 2013. "She had a way of stepping up in the big pressure times -- she watched her senior leaders do it in the biggest ways in 2013, and she wanted to do the same for her team last year and this year."

Kamryn Malloy, St. Francis

Verbally committed to Indiana, this 6-foot junior outside hitter/middle blocker would be the shining star on pretty much any team that didn't also include Molly Haggerty. Going into Tuesday's sectional win over Neuqua Valley, the all-GCAC performer had 299 kills, 251 serve receptions and 140 digs. "Kamryn Malloy just doesn't get seen because of Molly. I think she may be the most underrated player in the state," Spartans coach Peg Kopec said. "She bounces that ball. She bounces it down. One of our primary captains, she's a lot like Molly. She's not quite as big and as strong, but Kamryn is so coachable and she just does all the shots and is willing to try anything new."

Kristin Martin, Wheaton Warrenville South

An All-Area honorable mention selection a year ago, the Tigers senior outside hitter picked her game up a notch and recorded 353 kills, 190 digs, 23 solo blocks and 19 aces this season. "She has really grown as a player this year," WW South coach Bill Schreier said of Martin, who was named a second time to the all-DuPage Valley Conference squad. "She added another level as her hitting improved once again this year. There were moments this year when she really demanded the ball at crunchtime and usually delivered." She finished her three-year varsity tenure as the third-best hitter in Tigers volleyball history.

Daniele Messa, St. Francis

The Missouri State-bound senior setter is looking to lead the Spartans to a third straight state title with her in charge of running the potent offense. After St. Francis' 26th straight regional crown last week, Messa had a stat line of 93 percent serving, 75 kills, and 741 assists. "I think Dani is a very underrated player, in part because her mannerisms are not flashy," coach Peg Kopec said of her co-captain. "She's kind of a quieter person, but she has done nothing but get better, get better and get better. She really has honed her skill. We taught her to tip and this year that has come to fruition. She's quite a player to contend with."

Sara Nielsen, Benet

As a talented sophomore last year, Nielsen ran a Redwings attack that captured a second straight state title. This fall the junior setter, committed to Minnesota, is playing even better. Heading into Tuesday's sectional win over Sandburg, she had 798 assists and added 36 kills, converted a team-best 98.9 percent of her serves, 13 blocks and 168 digs. "Sara is one of the most talented setters to have ever played at Benet," Redwings coach Brad Baker said. "She is a constantly working to become the best player she can be. She is also a very talented defensive player and has been our best server for two years. But what separates her is how she can take any pass and put our hitters in a position to make a play."

Alexandra Preuss, York

The four-year varsity starter recently notched her 1,000th varsity kill for the Dukes. The senior outside hitter also recently committed to play at Lewis University. Heading into Tuesday's sectional defeat of Whitney Young, Preuss had 474 kills, 247 digs, 41 aces and 30 blocks on the year. "She is a super athlete with a great vertical and a lot of power," York coach Patty Iverson said. "She has the ability to make great kills and digs look easy. Alex is a versatile player who will attack or dig wherever she is needed and a wonderful teammate who is ready to listen. She is also a fierce competitor who accepts nothing less than her best as success."

Natalie Schilling, Glenbard West

The 6-foot-1 senior outside hitter committed to Duke is the best player to come through the school in at least a decade. The four-year starter had 453 kills and 40 aces heading into Tuesday's sectional sweep of St. Ignatius. "She is the school record holder for kills in sets, matches, season and career. Natalie is a model student and for sure the best that I have had in my 10 years at West," coach Peter Mastandrea said. "Natalie is having a player of the year, all-state, all-American year for us." Schilling was all-conference three times and this is her second year as an All-Area player.

Grace Tiesman, Wheaton North

Serving as co-captain along with her sister, Abby, the senior outside hitter had a knack for coming up big at just the right moments. When the Falcons knocked off Waubonsie Valley to claim their first outright DuPage Valley Conference title, she had 11 kills, 3 blocks and 13 digs. For the year she recorded 265 kills with 36 blocks and 213 digs. A solid passer, the four-year varsity starter also was named all-tournament this year at the Wheaton Classic, the Falcon Blue and Gold and at Jacobs.

Dani Van Laten, Timothy Christian

After a junior season in which she helped the school go 36-3 and win a Class 3A regional, the senior setter has played great again in 2015 and on Tuesday helped the Trojans outlast Latin in three sets in a Class 2A sectional semifinal. With 689 assists on the year, she has topped 1,500. "After being a part of a school-record season last fall, Dani has picked up right where she left off," said coach Scott Piersma, whose teams have claimed five straight conference championships. "For the second straight year, Dani led the team to four regular-season tournament championships and earned all-conference honors. As a senior captain, she has been invaluable as a leader and mentor to the younger players." Van Laten, who has 205 digs, 98 kills and 49 blocks, will continue playing at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights next year.

Kate Wagner, Glenbard West

As a four-year starter along with Natalie Schilling, the 5-foot-7 senior setter has helped lead the Hilltoppers to 30 or more wins every year while finishing 62-1 at home. Tuesday's sectional semifinal win marked the 134th varsity win for Wagner, a school record. "Kate makes us go. In addition to her setting, she has been our top server the last three years," coach Peter Mastandrea said. "Both her and Natalie (Schilling) are unreal." The two-time all-West Suburban Conference player had 631 assists and 45 aces heading into Tuesday's sectional victory.

MacKenzie Watterson, Glenbard South

The Metro Suburban West MVP broke her own school record for kills in a season with 418 heading into this week's Class 3A sectional semifinals. The senior outside hitter added 219 digs and 32 aces for the 25-win Raiders and has been all-conference three times while earning her second Daily Herald All-Area recognition. "She took her game to another level this year. She had to put a very young team on her back at times. Our team and our program would not be where we are today without Kenzie," Raiders coach Chad Grant said. Watterson, the school's all-time kill leader with 1,116 so far, is also the winningest player in the history of the program with 111 varsity wins.

Honorable mention

Alexis Bass, Metea Valley; RS, senior; Payton Carli, Glenbard South, libero, senior; Caroline Cordes, Waubonsie Valley, MH, senior; Taylor Dunwell, Waubonsie Valley, RS, senior; Becca Fernandez, St. Francis, libero, junior; Sam Herron, Naperville Central, OH, senior; Sarah Kushner, Naperville North, OH, freshman; Bethany Loftus, Montini, OH, junior; Allie Maloney, Wheaton North, libero, senior; Nora Meehan, Neuqua Valley, libero, junior; Sarah Petrbok, Addison Trail, OH, jr.; Tess Reardon, IC Catholic Prep, S/OH, junior; Sarah Rose, York, setter, junior; Rachel Schneider, Downers Grove South, OH, senior; Veronica Snelling, Benet, OH, senior; Jessie Spontak, Glenbard East, libero, senior; Abby Tiesman, Wheaton North; MH, senior; Halle Truett, York, libero, senior; Quianna Ware, Glenbard West, OH/MH, senior; Ava Venema, Timothy Christian, MB, junior.

source :

Monday, 14 May 2012