Volleyball players take to the beach; St. Louis gets Kemph

SHARE Volleyball players take to the beach; St. Louis gets Kemph

Julia Thompson (left) ruled North Avenue Beach with partner Lyndi Scholl in the 18-and-under division July 6, while Thompson’s former partner Emily Casaletto (right) and partner Avalon Nero finished second in the 18-and-under division on July 13.

The girls indoor volleyball season may be on hiatus for a few weeks, but there’s still plenty of action to find on the beach.

Hundreds of boys and girls ages 12-18 converged on North Avenue Beach Saturday for the last in a series on AAU Juniors Beach Summer Tournaments.

The West Coast AAU Junior Olympics (national championships) are scheduled for July 27-30 at Hermosa Beach, California.

Local qualifiers will return home for the Windy City Championships on August 3.

The North Avenue AAU Juniors Beach Summer Tournament (www.juniorsbeachvolleyball.com) is hosted by the North Avenue Beach Club. Players range in age from 12-18 with nearly 60 percent age 15-16. Ninety percent are girls.

The first of five local qualifiers was held in Lisle in June 15. Winners included:

Girls 14-and-under:

1st place: Charlie Stancik (Countryside) and Sarah Rose (Elmhurst)

2nd place: Jen Bloum (Western Springs) and Emma Finkle (Western Springs)

Girls 16-and-under:

1st place : Emma Decker (LaGrange) and Meg Kern (LaGrange)

2nd place: Anne Ryan (Hinsdale) and Maeve Grimes (Hinsdale)

3rd place: Blaire Barnett (Munster) and Abby Alexander (Portage, Ind.)

Palatine was the second of the second tournament of the season on June 22. Winners included:

Girls 16-and-under:

1st place: Abby Marchewka (Crystal Lake) and Zoe Lindsey (McHenry)

2nd place: Brittany Lownds (Crystal Lake) and Jenna Van Bosch (Crystal Lake)

3rd place: Maddy Katchen (Fox River Grove) and Eden Doleza (Laporte, Ind.)

The first tournament at North Avenue Beach was held July 6. Winners in their respective divisions were:

Girls 12-and-under:

1st place: Chelsea and Katie Andrews (Chicago)

2nd place: Wren Decker (LaGrange) and Kelly Kern (Chicago)

3rd place: Camille Hurta (Hickory Hills) and Olivia Rocco (Burr Ridge)

Girls 14-and-under:

1st place: Lexi Pitsas (Munster, Ind.) and Alaina Chacon (Highland, Ind.)

2nd place: Eden Dolezal (LaPorte, Ind.) and Allison (unknown)

3rd place: Victoria Phistry (Naperville) and Taylor (unknown)

Girls 16-and-under:

1st place: Brook Burlong (Naperville) and Caroline Corder (Naperville)

2nd place: Halle Truett (Elmhurst) and Madisen Babich (Willow Springs)

3rd place: Meg Kern (La Grange) and Emma Decker (La Grange)

Girls 18-and-under:

1st place: Julia Thompson (Fox River Grove) and Lyndi Scholl (Chicago)

2nd place: Kelly Murphy (Northlake) and Ariah Palter (Countryside)

Boys 16-and-under:

1st place: Quinn Isaacson (Plainfield) and Logan Nash (Plainfield)

2nd place: Noah Marzuki (Aurora) and John Lynch (Aurora)

3rd place: Cody Smith (Orland Park) and Scott Tabletion (Orland Park)

The second tournament at North Avenue Beach was held July 13. Winners in their respective divisions were:

Girls 12-and-under:

1st place: Emma Cogan (Chicago) and Carrie Leazer (Mt. Prospect)

2nd place: Kennedy Muff (Trevor, Wis.) and Cenie (unknown)

Girls 14-and-under:

1st place: Grace Loberg (Chicago) and Erin Burke (Chicago)

2nd place: Abby Vedder (Chicago) and Ally Barrett (Chicago)

3rd place: Brigid Brennan (Lake Forest) and Emma Patlovich (Lake Bluff)

Girls 16-and-under:

1st place: Brooke Burling (Naperville) and Caroline Corder (Naperville)

2nd place: Nina Capuani (Addison) and Samantha Herron (Chicago)

3rd place: Mica Beckmann (Naperville) and Alyssa Kirkman (Naperville)

Girls 18-and-under:

1st place: Ariah Palter (Countryside) and Kelly Murphy (Northlake)

2nd place: Avalon Nero (Crystal Lake) and Emily Casaletto (Barrington)

3rd place: Frankie Taylor (Marengo) and Allie (unknown)

4th place: Natalie and Dominique Arcieri (Chicago)

Boys 16-and-under:

1st place: Noah Marzuki (Aurora) and John Lynch (Aurora)

3rd place: Sam Bugaieski (Willow Springs) and Isaac Husemann (La Grange Park)


The two teams that met in the Class 4A girls basketball championship game last year are making news again.

One team is making news for where their players are going. The other because their coach is leaving.

Rolling Meadows point guard and Chicago Sun-Times All-Area selection Jackie Kemph and 6-foot-2 sharpshooting teammate Jenny Vliet recently committed to play collegiately at St. Louis University.

“Jackie and Jenny felt extremely comfortable with St. Louis from their first visit,” Rolling Meadows coach Ryan Kirkosky said. “They felt it was the perfect combination of location coupled with an esteemed academic institution. They seemed to connect immediately with the coaching staff and are excited about the future of the basketball program.”

Their teammate Ashley Montanez gave a nod to University of Indianapolis.

“Ashley seemed to really connect with the coaching staff at the University of Indianapolis,” Kirkorsky said. “She is going to a very successful program that holds her in high regard. It seems like a perfect fit for her academically and athletically.”

Rolling Meadows, the only team to beat Marian Catholic last year (at the Montini Christmas Tournament), returns four starters and six of its top seven players from last year’s 30-4 team. This summer, they won the Oak Lawn tournament and the University of Wisconsin team camp.

“When you have a season like last year, you really don’t want it to end,” Kirkorsky said. “We were excited about getting back on the court this summer, and we just keep stressing all the little things that got us to that point.”


Annie Byrne, who coached Marian Catholic to the school’s first girls state basketball title in 2012-13, is leaving the Chicago Heights school to take a position as the director of operations at Legends Sportsplex in Bourbonnais.

“It (the decision) was a combination of things, but this is a great position,” Byrne told Tony Baranek of the Southtown Star. “It’s going to really be a new challenge professionally. I’m very excited about the people I’m going to work for.”

Byrne posted a 216-51 record at Marian since taking over in 2005 including last year’s 33-1 mark.

“I just think it’s a huge privilege to be a coach and to be able to have a constant impact on young peoples’ lives,” Byrne said. “It’s a lot more than just coaching. Coaching is so much fun and you learn so much from it, but it’s also a life lesson, especially in my own life.”


Another talented point guard from the Class of 2014, Fenwick’s 5-foot-8 Jade Owens, has decided to continue her career at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.

Owens was an East Suburban Catholic Conference All-Conference selection for the second time and was runner-up in the conference MVP voting in 2012-2013. She scored her 1,000th career point in late January, and averaged 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals per game.

Owens was selected as the MVP at the Niles North Thanksgiving tournament and was also named to the All-Tournament team at Dundee-Crown.


New Trier setter and senior-to-be Taylor Tashima and St. Francis sophomore-to-be Molly Haggerty were named to the 12-member U.S. Girls’ Youth National Volleyball Team that will compete in the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Girls’ U18 World Championship July 25-August 4 in Nakhon Ratchisima, Thailand.

Tashima, one of the top recruits in the state’s Class of 2014, was also a member of the 2012 team.

“I like our team,” head coach Jim Stone said. “We have some very athletic middles, two very accurate setters and good ball control outside hitters.

The 12 players were selected from a pool of 16 athletes taking part in a third tryout and training session that started July 8 at the American Sports Centers in Anaheim, Calif., which serves as the USA Men’s and Women’s National Teams Center.


New Trier’s 6-foot-5 middle hitter Sarah Shafiq has orally committed to play college volleyball at California. Shafiq helped the Trevians advance to the Class 4A finals last season before they lost to two-time defending state champion Benet.

California finished with a 15-16 record last season, losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament.


Prepvolleyball.com recently released its end-of-season club rankings for the 17s, 16s and 15s age groups.

In the 17s, AAU national champion Club Fusion 17 Black finished fourth after starting the season ranked No. 1, 1st Alliance 16 Silver finished seventh in the 16s and Sports Performance 15 Elite finished sixth in the 15s after beginning the season ranked No. 1.

Michio 16 National, which won the USAV title as 15s, finished 12th after moving up an age group this season.

The Latest
Survey indicates blue catfish are doing well (so are largemouth bass) at Braidwood Lake, which reopens to fishing on Friday, March 1.
Bailey, a former Republican candidate for governor, is calling the 12th Congressional District GOP primary race a battle of “America First vs. D.C. Swamp,” while Bost is using an endorsement by former President Donald Trump — and his campaign cash to tout that he’s prioritizing southern Illinois.
Officers responding to a call in the 2300 block of North Laramie Avenue about 7:02 p.m. Monday swerved to avoid hitting two people on a scooter. The squad car struck struck a parked car and caught fire.
Blue Demons can go all sorts of ways with successor for Stubblefield, but one coach stands out most
One person was killed and three others wounded in a shooting Monday in the 7100 block of South State Street, police said. The gunman was wounded and taken into custody. A second shooter is at large.