Get to know these unfamiliar names from far away places

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St. Francis’ Maddie Haggerty figures to play a priominent role in the 2013 Class 3A title chase.

The 2013 girls volleyball season is just a few weeks away, and it’s time to start looking at some of the players that hope to make an impact this fall by leading lead their teams to Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University.

Among the best downstate players, Dakota’s 5-foot-11 Sarah Thompson will be trying to lead her team the championship game for the third consecutive year. Dakota won the 1A title in 2011 and finished second in 2A in 2012, losing 25-23, 25-21 to Dee-Mack and Lauren Anderson.

Dee-Mack is an interesting story. The Chiefs will be under their third coach in as many years. Mike Bolhuis, a 19-year-old junior at Illinois State last season, led Dee-Mack to the 2A title then was let go in a cost-cutting move.

Bloomington and Julie Laugel could have been a player in Class 3A, but the Raiders were 17 students over the cutoff between 3A and 4A. That might have been a blessing since nobody is likely to stop St. Francis from winning Peg Kopec’s ninth state title.

Rockford Boylan setter Bryanna Weiskircher could be the best player in Illinois not named Tashima, but the Titans will have to navigate the treacherous north and northwest suburbs for fans to get a glimpse of the Penn State-bound All-American in the Class 4A finals.

Here is a look at some of who should be among downstate Illinois’ best players:

Lauren Anderson, 5-9, Jr., S, Deer Creek-Mackinaw

Kortnie Bailey, 5-10, Sr., MH, Christopher

Lizzy Barnard, 5-9, Sr., OH, Tri-County

Abby Barrow, 5-11, Sr., OH, Metamora

Kelli Bates, 5-10, Sr., OH, Bradley-Bourbonnais

Whitney Beck, 6-0, Sr., OH, Edwards County

Courtney Bemis, 6-2, Sr., OH, DeKalb

Kyleigh Block, 5-9, Sr., OH, Deer Creek-Mackinaw

Allana Bramwell, 6-2, So., MB, Belleville Althoff

Allison Brent, 5-10, Jr., MH, Sacred Heart-Griffin

Rachel Buck, 5-8, Jr., OH, Dakota

Jaycee Cleaver, 5-8, Jr., S, Dakota

Olivia Cotton, 5-2, Sr., L, Genoa-Kingston

Kristen DeHart, 5-9, Sr., OH, Bloomington

Brandi Donnelly, 5-8, Sr., OH, Williamsville

Rebekah Ehresman, 5-7, Sr., OH, El Paso-Gridley

Kristen Gengenbacher, 5-9, Sr., S, Quincy Notre Dame

Laura Gross, 5-11, Jr., S/MH, Danville Schlarman

Regan Coughlin, 5-10, Jr., OH, Normal

Cassidy Foley, 5-5, Sr., OH, Quincy Notre Dame

Gabby Gallois, 5-10, Sr., OH, Sparta

Alora Goodey, 6-0, Sr., MH, Lincoln

Emily Halliday, 5-9, Sr., OH, Coal City

Jordi Harre, 5-6, Jr., S/OH, Nashville

Megan Huffman, 5-9, Jr., S, Columbia

Kaeli James, 5-11, Jr., OH, Edwards County

Jaelyn Keene, 6-2, Sr., MH, Jacksonville

Michelle Kelly, 5-5, Sr., S. Princeton

Abby Kreuser, 6-0, Sr., MB, Normal

Adeja Lambert, 6-2, Sr., OH, Keith Country Day

Julie Laugel, 5-11, Sr., OH, Bloomington

Jessica Lee, Deer Creek-Mackinaw

Alexis Lee, 5-11, Jr., OH, Normal U-High

Marie Less, 5-10, Sr., OH, St. Teresa

Delaney Mahoney, 5-5, Jr., S. Oregon

Iman McGary, 5-11, Jr., OH, Keith Country Day

Peyton Mink, 6-1, Sr., MH, Riverdale

Whitney Nichols, 5-10, Jr., MH, Mt. Pulaski

Briana Nowak, 5-10, Jr., OH, Belleville Althoff

Madeline Oh, 5-6, Sr., L, Springfield

Katie Olson, 5-7, Sr., S, Rock Falls

Courtney Pence, 5-8, Jr., OH, Springfield

Alex Rosignol, 5-11, Sr., MH, Mount Carmel

Montana Schafer, 6-0, Sr., MH, Marion

Abby Smith, 5-11, Sr., MH, Tri-County

Taylor Smith, 5-10, Jr., OH, Mattoon

Taryn Vanearwage, 5-9, Jr., OH, Rock Island

Alexis Varga, 6-0, Jr., OH, Rockford Boylan

Sarah Thompson, 5-11, Sr., OH, Dakota

Madison Timmerman, 5-10, Sr., MH, Breese Central

Lexi Wallen, 6-0, Jr., OH, St. Thomas More

Bryanna Weiskircher, 6-0, Sr., S, Rockford Boylan

***

Sky High Volleyball Club is sponsoring a beach volleyball tournament at Sideouts in Island Lake at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 3 for 16 and 18 and under teams. There is a $40 entry fee. Contact Ramon Borrero at (815) 356-0006 or borrerostyle@gmail.com to register.

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