Sports Performance 18 Elite breezes to AAU title

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Gatorade Player of the Year Lauren Carlini, the nation’s No. 1 college recruit, led Sports Performance 18 Elite to the championship of the 18 Open division at the 2013 AAU Girls’ Junior National Championships in Orlando, Fla.

Sports Performance 18 Elite won the national championship in the 18 Open division of the 2013 AAU Girls’ Junior National Championships at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. Wednesday, defeating Asics KIVA 18 Red 25-14, 25-13 in the finals.

SPVB 18 Elite finished 12-0 and did not drop a set during the four-day tournament. The Aurora girls ousted Asics Munciana Samurai 25-12, 25-22 in the semfinals, only the third time they allowed more than 20 points in a game during their Florida run.

“This was an outstanding group to work with all year long,” said Sports Performance director and SPVB 18 Elite coach Rick Butler. “They were focused from the first day of practice until the last point in the championship match.

“I cannot give them enough praise for the job they did this year, especially the four seniors (Lauren Carlini, Alysia Baznik, Sammy Condon and Katie Baki), who were the best leaders and role models a coach could ever ask for,” Butler added.

SPVB 18 Elite finished the season 91-4 including a 48-match win streak to end the season. Sports Performance dropped only two sets (96-2) during that streak.

In a championship bracket feed-in, 1st Alliance 18 Silver dropped a heartbreaking 21-25, 25-17, 18-16 decision to Dead Frog DFFO 18 to finish 7-3. 1st Alliance 18 Silver was powered by Hanna Lee, Ciara Hill and Mallory Salis.

In the 17s, top-seeded Fusion 17 Black (12-0) claimed the AAU national title with a 25-18, 25-22 victory over Academy Volleyball Cleveland. Fusion 17 Black had a scare in the quarterfinals from Alamo 17 Kaepa Premier before escaping 22-25, 25-19, 15-11.

Fusion, whch also won an AAU title as 16 year olds, was led by a trio of Penn States recruits including Richmond-Burton’s Ali Frantti, Bryanna Weiskircher and Simone Lee.

Previously once-beaten Sports Performance 17 Mizuno lost to Asics Munciana Aztecs in a championship bracket feed-in, 25-19, 22-25, 15-13.

Legacy 16-1 won the 16 Open division, 25-17, 25-27, 15-10 over Mizuno Northern Lights. Sports Performance 16 Elite lost to AVOLI 16 Enrique, 25-20, 28-26, in the quarterfinals,

Sports Performance captured its second AAU Open-division national championship of 2013 on Wednesday when SPVB 15 Elite overcame a one-set deficit to defeat Mizuno Northern Lights, 15-25, 25-16, 15-12.

SPVB 15 Elite was powered by outsides Molly Haggerty and Allie Lindroth and setter Mackenzie Welsh.


Minooka girls volleyball coach Chris Hoelscher is hosting a one-day Summer Scrimmage on Friday, July 12 at Minooka’s Central Campus, 301 S. Wabena in Minooka.

Twelve teams are participating in the scrimmage, which begins at 8:00 a.m.

“My goal is to provide an opportunity to play without committing to a league or feeling pressure to win a tournament,” Hoelscher said.

Pool 1 includes (1) Minooka, (2) Rock Falls, (3) Joliet Central and (4) Rosary. Pool 2 features (1) Plainfield Central, (2) Jones Prep, (3) Joliet West and (4) St. Charles East. Pool 3 includes (1) Plainfield South, (2) Bolingbrook, (3) Chicago Christian and (4) Hinsdale South.

The schedule is as follows: Round 1, 1 vs. 3 and 2 vs. 4; Round 2, 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3; and Round 3, 3 vs. 4 and 1 vs. 2.


Volleyball magazine recently announced its Fab 50 list for boys volleyball, The Fab 50 was voted on by a panel of NCAA Division I-II men’s college coaches. Among the selections was Providence’s 6-foot-6 senior middle blocker Brendan Surane (Ultimate), who is headed to Ball State in the fall.

Volleyball magazine also released its list of “25 Underclassmen to Watch.” Among the selections were St. Francis’ 6-7 junior Jeff Jendryk (Sports Performance), Marist’s 6-7 junior Matt Munro (Ultimate) and Mt. Carmel’s 6-10 junior middle blocker Matt Walsh (Ultimate).


Bob St. Leger is on the move again.

The former Marist coach, who guided Wheaton North to a 25-9 record in 2013, is leaving after one year to take the reins at Homewood-Flossmoor.

St. Leger moved to Wheaton North from Marist, where he led the RedHawks to a 172-49 record from 2007 through 2012 that included four regional championships, two state quarterfinals appearances and a state title in 2010.

Homewood-Flossmoor last qualified for the state tournament in 1994 when it finished 24-13 and in fourth place under Katherine McKinnon. The Vikings lost to Oak Park in the third-place match, 15-13, 11-15, 16-14.


West Aurora graduate Lauren Carlini was featured in the latest issue of Varsity, the Official Online Magazine of Wisconsin Athletics. The four-page spread by Mike Lucas, titled “Starting at the Top,” discussed the expectations placed on the nation’s No. 1 recruit.

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