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Chicago-area talent shines at JVDA championships

By Phil Brozynski

There is some question whether Hampshire will compete in Class 2A or 3A during the 2008-2009 school year (Hampshire is appealing IHSA executive director Marty Hickmans ruling that the school is 3A following an anticipated influx of nearly 200 new students due to a boundary change).

But theres no question that Hampshire has some pretty classy volleyball players.

Sisters Kara and Amy Wehrs were named to the all-tournament team at last weekends Junior Volleyball Directors Association (JVDA) National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky after helping top-seeded Club Fusion 16 Black win the 16 Open title.

Only two weeks ago, Kara Wehrs, a 5-foot-11 setter, was named the most outstanding player after leading Fusion over 1st Alliance for the 16s title at the PrepVolleyball.com Classic in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.

However, last weekend at the JVDA tournament, MVP honors went to the Wehrs teammate Stephanie Holthus, a 5-11 outside from Burlington Central. Holthus rallied Fusion to a 21-25, 21-25, 25-18, 28-26, 15-13 victory over MAVA 16 Elite in the title match.

Another standout in the match for Fusion was Plainfield Norths Kylee Baker, a powerful and promising 6-foot outside hitter whose move to libero to start game three coincided with Fusions big rally.

The rest of the Fusion roster included Prairie Ridges Taylor Brauneis, Barringtons Emily Harris, Crystal Lake Centrals Julie Jeziorwoski, Marian Centrals Mary Kate Manning and Deerfields Taylor Stanfel.

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The south side of Chicago was also represented in the winners circle at Louisville when Celtic Force 17 Green defeated Milwaukee Sting 17 Black 25-17, 25-22 to win the 17 Club division. Celtic Force came all the way back after losing two early pool matches.

Leading the way for Celtic Force was 17 Club MVP Kelly Griffin of Mother McAuley, who figures to lead the Mighty Macs back to Bloomington in November.

Among Griffins Celtic Force teammates were McAuley classmates Catherine and Delores Wildner, Mount Assisis Mary Broadhurst and Providences Kayla Duffy and Mary Kate Schmidt. Duffy and Broadhurst also made the all-tournament team.

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It was no surprise that Sports Performance 18 Elite finished an 83-0 campaign by beating Asics Munciana Samurai 25-18, 26-24, 26-24 in the JVDA 18 Open championship match in front of an estimated 1,500 people.

Behind MVP and Joliet Catholic graduate Kelly Murphy, Sports Performance dropped just two games all weekend.

What was a little surprising was that the 18 group was not the only Sports Performance team to bring home some championship hardware.

Sports Performances 17 Mizuno team, which features some of the top seniors-to-be in the western suburbs, defeated tournament MVP Hannah Werth and top-seeded Illini Elite 17 Cardinal 22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-23 to win the 17 Open title.

Sports Performances Amanda Peterson (Glenbard East), Natalie Patzin (Benet) and Emily McGee (Naperville Central) were named to the all-tournament team. The roster also includes Naperville Centrals Meghan Bray and Benets Ariana Mankus.