Here is a more in-depth look at the members of the 2012 Chicago Sun-Times All-Area Team:
School: West Aurora
Position: Setter/rightside hitter
College: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Season highlights: The 2012 Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year was named the top college recruit in the nation by Prepvolleyball.com. She was named to the all-tournament teams at the Benet invite, the Glenbrook North Discovery Tournament and the Autumnfest Tournament hosted by Glenbard East.
About the player: Carlini is a four-year varsity letterwinner and was captain of the team for the past three years. Her dedication to her sport and her motivation to always be better set her apart. She dominates as a hitter, set up the offense as a setter and possesses a dynamite jump serve. She set an example by her own hard work as well as her ability to motivate her team.
Quote: “Carlini is the ultimate physical setter. Her fitness level is extreme. You have to respect her offense so when she jumps to set, the defense MUST jump also, creating one-on-ones all over the court. Her blocking can shut down the best left-side attackers. She is one of the most competitive ‘Hate-to-lose’ players I have ever seen.” – Prepvolleyball.com’s John Tawa.
School: Naperville Central
Position: Setter/outside hItter
College: University of Evansville
Season highlight: Baznik was named all-tournament at the Wheaton Classic and Autumnfest hosted by Glenbard East. Baznik was also named to the DuPage Valley Conference all-conference team.
About the player: Baznik finished the regular season with 304 kills, 174 digs, 20 blocks and 58 aces for a team that lived on the fringe of the Sun-Times Top 10 most of the season and finished one game behind West Aurora for the league title.
Quote: “Alysia is a four year varsity starter. She is an impact player from all six rotations on the floor. She finds ways to score despite being double- and triple-blocked. She is a great leader both on and off the floor and is simply irreplaceable.” – Naperville Central coach Brie Isaacson.
School: Hinsdale South
Position: Outside hitter
College: North Carolina-Greensboro
Season highlight: Brezwyn helped lead her team to a first place finish in the Lyons Invite hitting over .500 and producing over 32 kills in two matches and 21 digs. She was named to all-tournament teams twice this year and had a season-high 23 kills versus Libertyville.
About the player: Brezwyn is graduating as one of Hinsdale South’s best players to come through the door. A four-year varsity starter, she accumulated many accolades throughout her four years, including all-conference all four years. Brezwyn led the Hornets in kills and was second in digs each of the last two years.
Quote: “Jessica has truly blossomed into an amazing all around volleyball player. She went from being a shy, long and gangly freshman who was a starter on varsity, to a player that can not only control a match, but take over a match. I am so honored that I got to spend four years coaching Jess, and the best part about her is she has yet to hit her glass ceiling. Although she is one of the strongest players in the area, she still craves information to continue to improve her all-around game. Her dedication to this sport has truly paid off.” – Hinsdale South coach Lisa Martinez.
About the player: Conrad had 208 kills, 414 assists, 35 aces, 155 digs and 196 service points during the regular season.
Quote: “I remember coaching Jill at our junior high basketball and volleyball camps at Stagg and thinking ‘Wow, this kid is going to be good…really good.’ Jill is a player you can’t help but love to watch. She has some of the best setter’s hands we have seen at Stagg. Jill has been the starting setter on the varsity team her freshman through senior year. I don’t think there has ever been a match where Jill wasn’t a stat leader. Her competitive nature is one that is admired by all her teammates. The Stagg volleyball program will experience a great loss as we say goodbye and good luck to Jill.” – Stagg coach Deanna Storino.
School: Benet Academy
College: North Carolina
Season highlight: Doyle was named all-tournament at the Mizuno Scholastic Cup and Wheaton Classic tournaments and was named the MVP at the Benet invite and Autumnfest hosted by Glenbard East. She was named to the East Subruban Catholic All-Conference team and was the Daily Herald Player of the Year.
About the player: Doyle was a two-year starter at libero and had 307 digs through the regular season in 2012 after compiling 286 as a junior.
Quote: “Shelia is one of the best liberos I have ever seen. Most defensive players excel at playing defense or serve receive, but Sheila does both at an elite level. She is an extremely quick and fast player, but what makes her great is her ability to read plays early and put herself in position to make plays. Sheila is a high energy, high motor player who attacks the ball. Where she has come from in the last four years speaks (Doyle was on the ‘B’ team as freshman) to her work ethic and her want to be great. She is committed to North Carolina where I expect her to make an immediate impact.” – Benet coach Brad Baker.
Position: Outside hitter
College: University of South Florida
Season highlight: Hampton accumulated more than 50 kills in the Maine West Tournament to lead Sandburg to the championship. She had 320 kills and 200 digs through the regular season.
About the player: Hampton could be the most powerful player Sandburg has seen in a decade. A three-year varsity starter that has improved her game each and every year, she is a complete player both offensively and defensively. Few teams challenge her blocking and she has single-handedly won games at the service line. Defensively, she covers the court from corner to corner and remains an offensive threat from the back row.
Quote: “Dakota impresses others on the court but it is what she brings to the team off the court that sets her above the rest. She has taken ownership of the team in preparation and focus. She will be her teammate’s biggest critic but will be the biggest cheerleader when they are successful. She wants to win and has convinced all 14 teammates to give 100 percent during every game, every practice and every off day.” – Sandburg coach David Vales.
School: Benet Academy
Season highlight: Kaminsky was named the MVP of the Mizuno Scholastic Cup and Wheaton Classic tournaments.
About the player: All Kaminsky has done in her career is win. She is 16-0 lifetime in tournaments, and has lost only lost five times in her high school career (17-0 if you include last year’s state tournament). A two-time All-East Suburban Catholic Conference selection, Kaminsky had 976 assists as a junior to help lead the Redwings to the Class 4A state title and had 859 through the end of the regular season this fall.
Quote: “Hannah is a winner. She makes other players around her better and rise to a level that they have never played at before. While the most important aspect of being a great setter is delivering a hittable ball every time, what separates Hannah from other setters is her ability to do everything else at an elite level. She has an extremely effective serve, plays defense at a D-I libero level and communicates better than any setter I have seen. She is also a great teammate who sets an example for everyone else by making sure she is working hard and always improving her skills. The most impressive part is that she did not become a full-time setter until her sophomore year, meaning her best days are still ahead.”
School: Nazareth Academy
College: North Dakota State
About the player: Milligan is the latest in a long line of strong defensive players for Nazareth Academy. She led the team in aces and serving percentage, and averaged five digs per game. She was a unanimous All-East Suburban Catholic Conference selection, and was named to the all-tournament teams at the Body and Sole Charger Invitational and the Darla Moldenhauer Boilermaker Classic. She helped lead the Roadrunners to back-to-back regional titles.
Quote: “Emily is one of the most intense players I have ever coached, whether in practice or a match. She always brings the same hustle and determination. She is the quarterback, constantly calling out what is happening on both sides of the net, helping her teammates and at the same time playing her position like few others can. Emily has been a big part of the success of the team over the past three years.” – Nazareth Academy coach Wayne Saunders.
School: Joliet Catholic
Position: Outside hItter
Season highlight: Reardon had season-best 25 kills in a 25-17, 23-25, 25-17 victory over Wheaton St. Francis in the semi-final consolation match of the Gold Division at the Asics tournament.
About the player: Reardon is the latest in a long line of superlative volleyball players for Joliet Catholic. She averaged 10 kills, nine digs, and 4.2 service points per match for the Angels. She was named to the all-tournament teams at the Asics Challenge, the Mizuno Scholastic Cup, and the Glenbard East Autumnfest Tournament. She will graduate as the fourth-leading attacker in Joliet Catholic history behind 2007 Gatorade National Player of the Year Kelly Murphy, DePaul Basketball standout Allie Quigley and Wisconsin’s Annemarie Hickey.
Quote: “Morgan is one of the best players I have ever coached. She has had a tremendous impact on our team the past three years and is a big reason for all the success we’ve had. She was a marked person by other teams, yet she was always able to come up with the big kill, big serve or the big defensive play. She is simply irreplaceable.” – Joliet Catholic coach Chris Scheibe.
School: Glenbard West
Position: Setter/outside hitter
Season highlight: Ryan scored game point against Downers Grove North to give the Hilltoppers their first conference title since 1984.
About the player: Ryan has been a four-year starter for Glenbard West. She was converted into a setter during her sophomore year. Her athleticism and leadership have been significant in Glenbard West’s back-to-back 30-win seasons and more than 100 wins the past four years. Ryan has been named to eight all-tournament teams, and will graduate as the program’s all-time assist leader with more than 2,012 assists, surpassing Amy Kendall (Miami of Ohio).
Quote: “Caleigh has been responsible for our resurgence as a program. She refuses to take a day off or even a play off. Her demeanor on and off the court will be hard to replace. She has had a relentless work ethic that has allowed her to juggle her remarkable athletic career with an amazing 5.8 GPA. Our entire school community will miss Caleigh as a leader, student and athlete.” – Glenbard West coach Pete Mastandrea.
Position: Outside hitter
College: Ohio University
Season highlight: Salis was named the MVP of the NIKE Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, Ariz., leading the RedHawks to the title of the 64-team tournament featuring some of the top teams from around the country.
About the player: Salis finished the season with 311 kills, 389 service receptions, 350 digs, 166 service points, 77 aces and 40 blocks. She was named the East Suburban Catholic Conference “Player of the Year” and to the all-tournament teams at the Wheaton Classic, Rich East and the Asics Challenge.
Quote: “Mallory is the most versatile and well-rounded attacker to come out of the Marist volleyball program in the 11-year history of our program. Mallory is a six-rotation threat. She is a classic “Old-school” outside hitter who can make a tremendous impact in all six rotations. Her defense is as exemplary as her offense. When looking at the impressive quality of teams that we played consistently all season, it is beyond impressive to see the impact that Mallory has made. Her leadership skills have grown tremendously throughout her journey at Marist. She is widely respected and viewed as a positive role model among not only her teammates, but her opponents as well.” – Marist coach Natalie Holder.
Season highlight: Zhou amassed more than 520 assists, 167 kills, 156 digs and 38 aces during the regular season and led the team in aces and assists, was second in kills and third in digs. She was named to the all-tournament team at the Wheaton Classic.
About the player: Zhou holds the Libertyville school record in assists with more than 1,900 in her four-year varsity career, although she set a 6-2 as a freshman. Zhou has led the team to two North Suburban Conference titles in three seasons and has more than 120 career victories as a Wildcat.
Quote: “Cindy is the best offensive setter we’ve ever had, and certainly the best offensive setter in our area over the past couple of seasons. She has the ability to not only dish assists, but also she can attack from any rotation effectively. The greatest growth area for her has been her leadership and determination to win. In several matches, she’s literally put the team on her back and simply willed us to win. Her decision-making and precision sets puts defenses on their heels as she can literally go anywhere with the ball. I’ve been most impressed with Cindy’s poise, her character and her sportsmanship, all things we will be very sad to see departing Libertyville at season’s end. She has made her Libertyville volleyball family very, very proud.” – Libertyville coach Greg Loika.