The Illinois Center for Broadcasting SportsTownChicago.com’s third annual High School Girl’s All-Star Volleyball Game will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 1 at Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 West College Parkway in Palos Hills.
All proceeds will go to American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
Mother McAuley coach Jen DeJarld’s White team features Abby Luebbers (Breese Mater Dei), Sheila Doyle (Benet Academy), Alysia Baznik (Naperville Central), Erienne Barry (St. Charles East), Krista Brakauskas (Providence), Ciara Hill (Bolingbrook) and Jessica Brezwyn (Hinsdale South).
Also, Morgan Reardon (Joliet Catholic), Meghan McDowell (Hinsdale Central), Melissa Deatsch (York), Danielle Davis (Bloomington Central Catholic), Mallory Wilczynski (Cary-Grove), Kelly Clarke (Mother McAuley), Logan Walling (Normal U-High) and Emily Lindemulder (Chicago Christian).
Edwardsville coach Jami Parker’s Pink Team includes Emily Milligan (Nazareth Academy), Kayla Katarzynski (West Chicago), Lauren Carlini (West Aurora), McKenna Kelsay (St. Francis), Sophia Dodd (St. Ignatius), Mallory Salis (Marist), Caleigh Ryan (Glenbard West) and Tara Blake (Marian Central).
Also, Jane Trzaska (Glenbard South), Katie Roustio (O’Fallon), Amanda Dolan (Lincoln-Way Central), Corinne Gajcak (Naperville North), Sarah Parker (Edwardsville), Hannah Lee (Whitney Young) and Cindy Zhou (Libertyville).
“We are honored to once again host the all-star game to help raise the profile of the sport and bring notoriety to the tremendous talent we have across the state,” said Dr. Peter Ferreri, program director of Sports Town Chicago.
“Our students at the Illinois Center for Broadcasting are looking forward to getting extra hands-on training during this very special broadcast,” he added. “We’re pleased we can provide them these opportunities.”
Two-time Illinois High School Association Class 4A champion Benet Academy (38-4), which became the first large-class team to repeat since Mother McAuley in 1994-95, remained at No. 11 in the Prepvolleyball.com national rankings released November 15.
New Trier (39-2), which led Benet 20-16 in Game 2 before the Redwings went on a 9-2 run to win the set, climbed from No. 72 to No. 21. Mother McAuley, which dropped the last two sets in a three-set loss to New Trier in the semifinals, fell to No. 36 from No. 30.
Other Illinois teams in the top 100 include No. 41. Marist (29-6), up from No. 43; Class 3A state champion St. Francis, up to No. 47 from No. 50; and No. 66 Joliet Catholic (32-7), which showed no movement from the previous rankings.
Illinois teams cracking the bubble were Rockford Boylan, Champaign Centennial, Edwardsville, Glenbard West, Hinsdale South, Libertyville, Lincoln-Way Central, Marian Catholic, Naperville Central, O’Fallon, Quincy, Richmond-Burton, Sandburg, Springfield, Stagg, Stevenson and West Aurora.
Papillion-La Vista South (41-1) of Papillion, Nebraska, which features University of Nebraska-bound twins Kadie and Amber Rolfzien, remained No. 1 after winning their third straight Nebraska Class A title, sweeping Omaha Marian, the fifth time this season that Papillion-La Vista South defeated Marian.
Kadie Rolfzen had 17 kills and Kelly Hunter added 32 assists for the Titans, who have a three-year record of 122-1.
Neuqua Valley’s girls basketball team won the war last Wednesday at York, 46-24, but the Wildcats’ list of wounded continues to grow.
Five-foot-10 senior forward Kennedy Braasch was hurt early in the second half and did not return, while 5-8 junior guard Malia Smith was hurt with about five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and had to be attended to on the court.
“Thank goodness we have Thanksgiving,” said Neuqua Valley coach Mike Williams, whose team went 5-0 to win the tournament title. “We’re banged up. We’re also missing a guard (5-6 freshman Kai Moon), who had a concussion.
“This tournament is always a physical one, so it’s a good one to start off the year,” he added. “I’m pleased with where we are. We responded well and did some nice things.”
Neuqua Valley had enough Friday to stymie Geneva, which has injury problems of its own after losing Michaela Loebel for the season with an ACL.
Mother McAuley’s first-year coach Ashley Clanton admits she doesn’t spend as much time talking to 5-foot-8 senior guard Alyssa Siwek as she should.
Then again, there’s not a whole lot you need to say to somebody who had 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists and nearly help the Mighty Macs upset No. 3-ranked Marian Catholic Saturday.
“I feel bad,” Clanton said. “You’re working with all the other girls, you find yourself not really speaking to her much. I got to make a plan to talk to Alyssa. You don’t even know how good she is. We played all summer and we knew she was good. But once you get into these types of games, you really see.”
Here are a few more girls basketball players to watch this season:
Six-foot-2 senior forward Meri Bennett-Swanson of Vernon Hills; Elk Grove’s 5-10 senior forward Diamond Boyd and 5-7 guard Kelly Naughton; Maine South’s 5-9 senior guard Regan Carmichael; 6-3 senior forward Caelyn Manning-Allen of Curie; and 5-7 senior guard Leah Munzer of Highland Park.
Also, 5-8 senior guard Lauren Parker and 5-11 senior guard Sydni Johnson of Homewood-Flossmoor; 5-9 junior guard Samantha Rodriguez of Zion-Benton; 6-0 senior forward Destiny Young of Hoffman Estates; 5-6 senior guard Nia Pappas of Palatine; and 5-9 senior forward Melanie Ransom of Marian Catholic.
Also, 6-4 senior center Diamond Thompson of Wheaton Warrenville South; 5-8 point guard Georgia Danos of Richards Career Academy; 5-9 senior guard Rachel Ruzevich of Sandburg; and 5-7 guard Kamara Jordan and 5-10 junior guard Amarah Coleman of Bolingbrook.
Also, 6-2 senior center Cate Soane of Glenbard West; 5-7 senior guard Nikia Edom of Plainfield East; 5-9 senior guard Anita Sterling of Willowbrook; and 5-10 senior forward Allison Hedrick and 6-2 sophomore Bryce Menendez of Neuqua Valley.
Keep an eye on 6-foot freshman Kelly Polte of York and 5-6 freshman Myia Starks of Neuqua Valley, whose talents were showcased in the championship game of the York tournament last Wednesday.
Here is the schedule for the Chi-Town Showdown December 7-9 at Whitey Young:
Friday, December 7
Champaign Central vs. Hyde Park, 5:00 p.m.
Proviso West vs. St. Joseph’s (Canada), 6:30 p.m.
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) vs. Whitney Young, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 8
Westinghouse vs. Mother McAuley, 10:00 a.m.
Al Raby vs. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.), 11:30 a.m.
St. Joseph’s (Canada) vs. Bogan, 1:00 p.m.
Penn (Mishawaka, Ind.) vs. Morgan Park, 2:30 p.m.
Milwaukee (Wis.) Riverside vs. Trinity, 4:00 p.m.
Miller Career Academy (St. Louis, Mo.) vs. Marian Catholic, 5:30 p.m.
DeKalb vs. Whitney Young, 7:00 p.m.
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) vs. Rolling Meadows, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 9
St. Joseph’s (Canada) vs. Kenwood, 11:30 a.m.
Naperville North’s 6-foot-5 setter Gert Lisha, who is setting for Sports Performance 18 Mizuno team during the club season, recently committed to Lewis University.
“Gert is definitely going to have a huge role this spring at Naperville North both as a setter and attacker,” Naperville North coach Nathan Bornancin said. “He is putting in the time in the off-season becoming a more well-rounded player and obviously the college scouts took notice.
“I feel like every time I was at the Great Lakes Volleyball Center this past girls season, Gert was in the gym or in the weight room working on something,” the coach added. “I guess hard work does pay off.”