Sun-Times girls volleyball All-Area team

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Led by Player of the Year Ryann DeJarld of Mother McAuley, the Chicago Sun-Times 2014 All-Area Girls Volleyball Team is loaded with big time talent.

Libertyville’s Alex Basler hit a gaudy .474 during the regular season with team highs in kills (276), blocks (74) and aces (33). But what is she most proud of? Her seven assists. A starter on the Wildcats’ 2012 state semifinalist, her experience was a key to Libertyville’s success the past two seasons.

Kelsey Clark became a powerful force in the middle for Mother McAuley and a driving force behind their run to a 2013 state title and No. 5 national ranking in 2014.

“Kelsey is such a leader for us,” coach Jen DeJarld said. “She’s really grown as a person, and has really come a long way with her leadership skills.”

Northwestern recruit Rachael Fara led Benet in hitting percentage, kill percentage and blocks and at 6-foot-3 was an imposing presence at the net.

“When not dominating with her hitting, her length and speed from pin to pin allows her to change the game with her blocking,” coach Brad Baker said.

Lauren Fuller is heading to San Diego next fall where she hopes to heat up the court like she did at Hinsdale Central, where she amassed 379 kills, 30 blocks, 33 aces, 201 digs and 357 serve receptions for the Red Devils.

Nebraska can’t wait to get their hands on St. Francis’ Molly Haggerty, who had 339 kills and 49 blocks during the regular season. But they will have to wait another year.

“Molly is an exceptional talent,” coach Peg Kopec said. “She is physically mature in skills well beyond her years.”

Hannah Juley of Lyons missed a big chunk of last season due to injury, but she returned with a purpose this fall and led the Lions to the sectional finals before wrapping up her career with more than 1,500 assists, 300 kills, 80 aces and 140 blocks.

Sami Knight led Sandburg to a 124-29 record during her career, the best four-year stretch in school history, while eclipsing the 2,100-assist mark for her career.

“Sami is a one of a kind talent,” coach David Vales said. “Maybe overlooked due to her height, she makes up for it with speed and consistency in her setting.”

Look for Carly Nolan to turn heads at Cincinnati. The four-year star already left a mark at Crystal Lake South, leading the Gators to the Class 4A state semifinals in 2013.

“Carly is an all-around athlete,” coach Jorie Fontana said. “Whatever she attempts, she has the ability to succeed. She will be missed here.”

Watch for Julia Saunders on the Big Ten Network when the Nazareth Academy standout heads north to play at Wisconsin. Her 323 kills, 51 blocks, 28 aces and 279 serve receptions earned the 6-foot-3 outside hitter her third All-East Suburban Catholic Conference nod this fall.

Six-foot-1 junior Natalie Schilling has compiled more than 900 kills in her three-year varsity career at Glenbard West, and she’s not finished.

“Natalie has the potential to be one of the finest players to come through our program,” coach Pete Mastandrea said. “She is a pleasure to coach and an exciting player to watch.”

Lizzie Zaleski created a lot of excitement wherever she went, and her 680 regular-season assists, 65 aces, 98 blocks, and 138 kills led to a lot of wins for Marist.

“Lizzie not only brings her strong physical presence to the game, but the heart,” coach Julie Popp-Hopkins said.

Sun-Times 2014 All-Area Girls Volleyball team First TeamAlex Basler, 6-2, Sr., MB, LibertyvilleKelsey Clark, 5-11, Sr., MB, Mother McAuleyRyann DeJarld, 5-10, Sr., OH, Mother McAuleyRachael Fara, 6-2, Sr., MB, BenetLauren Fuller, 6-3, Sr., OH, Hinsdale CentralMolly Haggerty, 6-1, Jr., OH, St. FrancisHannah Juley, 5-10, Sr., S, LyonsSami Knight, 5-7, Sr., S, SandburgCarly Nolan, 6-0, Sr., OH, Crystal Lake SouthJulia Saunders, 6-3, Sr., OH, NazarethNatalie Schilling, 6-1, Jr., OH, Glenbard WestLizzie Zaleski,, 6-0, Sr., S, Marist Second TeamMary Boken, 6-2, Sr., MB, St. Francis

Rachel Burkman, 6-0, Sr., OH, Lincoln-Way NorthMary Kate Byrnes, 5-11, Sr., OH, De La SalleKaelan Haag, 6-1, Sr., S, Neuqua Valley

Elizabeth Hyland, 6-2, Sr., OH, Plainfield CentralMaddie Jaudon, 5-6, Sr., L, BataviaLeah Lane, 6-0, Sr., OH, Sandburg

Crystal Lee, 5-11, Sr., OH, T.F. South

Allie Lindroth, 6-2, Jr., OH, Plainfield NorthGrace Loberg, 6-3, So., OH, GenevaLexi Mantas, 5-11, Sr., OH, StaggMegan Schildmeyer, 5-9, Sr., S, St. Charles EastThird TeamRachel Burau, 5-10, Sr., S, Wheaton Warrenville South

Grace Larson, 5-10, Sr., OH, Downers Grove North

Lexie Lobdell, 5-11, Sr., OH, Metea ValleyMonica Loftus, 6-0, Sr., OH, Montini

Hanna Markewicz, 5-7, Sr., L, Timothy Christian

Mary Murphy, 5-10, Sr., S, Joliet Catholic

Ginger Perinar, 6-0, Jr., OH, Minooka

Grace Schofield, 6-0, Sr., OH, Carmel

Kristin Somerville, 6-2, Sr., MH, St. Ignatius

Kacie Stoll, 6-1, Sr., OH, Timothy ChristianHaley Sullivan, 5-3, Sr., L, LemontSydney Vischer, 5-11, Sr., OH, Wheaton Academy

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