Sun-Times Top 10 Volleyball teams
(last year’s record in parenthesis)
1. Mother McAuley (40-2) – Top returnees from last year’s Class 4A championship team include leading hitter 5-foot-10 Ryann DeJarld (a Notre Dame recruit), 5-11 middle Kelsey Clark (George Washington), 6-foot junior middle Kayla Caffey (Missouri) and 5-5 outside hitter Kennedy Arundel (Connecticut). Libero Carla Cahill anchors a stubborn defense while another DeJarld, 5-8 junior Jane, sets.
2. St. Francis (39-3) –The Spartans will chase coach Peg Kopec’s 11th state title behind 6-1 junior outside hitter Molly Haggerty, who has committed to Nebraska, Mary Boken, a 6-1 middle who has committed to Clemson, 5-6 defensive specialist Lisa Mordell (Tulane ), 5-7 junior setter Dani Messa and 6-foot sophomore outside hitter Kamryn Molloy.
3. Benet (36-6) –The Redwings are seeking their fifth state appearance in seven years behind 6-3 Northwestern recruit Rachael Fara, 5-9 libero Natalie Canulli (Penn State), 5-10 junior Tiffany Clark (Michigan) and 5-10 outside hitter Dana Griffin. Other top players include 6-foot sophomore Sara Neilson and 5-8 junior defensive specialist Brittany Mankowski.
4. Glenbard West (34-4) – Duke recruit Natalie Schilling has the ability to terminate from anywhere and 5-10 outside hitter Alison Burelbach, 6-1 middle Patty Stirb and 5-11 rightside Caitlyn Motel provide more than adequate support. Kate Wagner will handle the setting duties, while 5-7 Jaime Ryan will try to replace graduated all-area libero Meg DeMaar.
5. Sandburg (30-8) – Five-foot-10 third-year varsity starter Julia Borschel (University of North Carolina-Ashville), who pounded out better than 200 kills a year ago, will be joined up front by a rotating trio of middle hitters – 6-3 Kristina Stoncius, 6-foot Kathleen Bollito and 5-11 junior Caroline Stefanon – 6-foot Leah Lane (200 kills in 2013) and 5-7 setter Sami Knight.
6. Lincoln-Way North (30-7) – Six-foot middle hitter and three-sport star Valen Manns was unstoppable while leading North to the summer league title at Palos Courts. Also watch 6-foot outside Rachel Burkman (149 kills), 5-10 junior outside Allyson Cappel (team-high 150 kills last fall), 5-10 outside Kylie Snyder and setters Sam Ritter and Amanda Rockrohr.
7. Providence (22-14) – The Celtics aren’t tall, but they are loaded with talent led by 5-11 junior Rachel Alles, who had 397 assists, 155 kills and 46 aces as a sophomore. Other key players include setter Liza Ellingson, 5-6 libero Cory Griffith, 5-8 junior outside Emily Boggetto, 5-10 junior middle Katie Compagno and 5-9 junior outside Anna Smagala.
8. De La Salle (27-8) – The Meteors are eyeing their first-ever sectional title behind 5-11 outside hitter Mary Kate Byrnes (Southern Indiana), 5-9 outside hitter Carleigh Barringer, 5-10 outside hitter Kyra White and 5-8 setter Natalie Arredia. Watch 5-11 junior Kelly Lewis, junior libero Dominique Arcieri, 5-6 sophomore Jessica Gorman and 5-7 freshman Taylor Duddleston.
9. Hinsdale Central (11-19) –Lauren Fuller, a 6-3 outside hitter who is committed to the University of San Diego, is joined by 6-foot middle Claire Cornell, 5-10 outside hitter Regan Serwat, 5-10 outside hitter Emily Sulik, 6-foot middle blocker Nikki Hilbrich and 5-10 junior outside Meg Irvin. Brooke Istvan sets and Alexandra Davis (sister of Michigan’s Ally) digs.
10. Geneva (29-10) –New coach Annie Seitelman inherits a talented crew led by 6-2 sophomore Grace Loberg , 6-1 sophomore Ally Barrett and 5-10 Hannah Lanassa. Libero Kelsey Wicinski, whose sister Lauren starred at NIU and Michigan State, anchors the defense. “We might have snuck up on people last year,” Loberg said. “It will be different this year, I think.”
Others: Nazareth, Marist, Lincoln-Way East, Lemont, Lyons, Oak Park, Joliet Catholic, Plainfield North, Glenbard South, Crystal Lake South.
Sun-Times Top 50 Players (50)
Rachel Alles, 5-9, Jr., S, Providence
Carleigh Barringer, 5-10, Sr., OH, De La Salle
Alex Basler, 6-2, Sr., MB, Libertyville
Mary Boken, 6-2, Sr., MB, St. Francis
Mary Kate Byrnes, 5-11, Sr., OH, De La Salle
Rachel Burau, 5-10, Sr., S, Wheaton Warrenville South
Riley Burchett, 5-4, Sr., DS, Nazareth
Carla Cahill, 5-7, Sr., L, Mother McAuley
Natalie Canulli, 5-9, Sr., L, Benet
Kelsey Clark, 5-11, Sr., MB, Mother McAuley
Emma Decker, 6-3, Jr., S, Nazareth
Ryann DeJarld, 5-9, Sr., OH, Mother McAuley
Rachael Fara, 6-2, Sr., MB, Benet
Kaitlyn Fisher, 6-0, Sr., S, Plainfield North
Lauren Fuller, 6-3, Sr., OH, Hinsdale Central
Amanda Green, 6-1, Sr., OH, Niles North
Molly Haggerty, 6-1, Jr., OH, St. Francis
Phoebe Havenaar, 6-2, Sr., MB, Naperville Central
Lane Hindenburg, 5-11, Sr., OH, Fremd
Elizabeth Hyland, 6-2, Sr., OH, Plainfield Central
Maddie Jaudon, 5-6, Sr., L, Batavia
Hannah Juley, 5-11, Sr., S, Lyons
Sami Knight, 5-7, Sr., S, Sandburg
Grace Konovodoff, 5-7, Sr., S, Rosary
Kaylin Korte, 6-0, Jr., OH, Morris
Stela Kukoc, 6-1, Sr., MB, Highland Park
Allie Lindroth, 6-2, Jr., OH, Plainfield North
Grace Loberg, 6-4, Sr., OH, Geneva
Monica Loftus, 6-0, Sr., OH, Montini
Kamryn Malloy, 5-11, So., OH, St. Francis
Valen Manns, 5-11, Sr., MB, Lincoln-Way North
Lexi Mantas, 5-11, Sr., OH, Stagg
Hanna Markewicz, 5-7, Sr., L, Timothy Christian
Mary Murphy, 5-10, Sr., S, Joliet Catholic
Carly Nolan, 6-0, Sr., OH, Crystal Lake South
Ehize Omoghibo, 6-0, Jr., OH, Evanston
Ginger Perinar, 6-0, Jr.., OH, Minooka
Colleen Reilly, 6-0, Sr., MB, Marist
Toni Saracco, 5-6, Sr., DS, Lyons
Julia Saunders, 6-4, Sr., OH, Nazareth
Natalie Schilling, 6-1, Jr., OH, Glenbard West
Ashley Shook, 6-1, So., S, Plainfield Central
Abby Skryd, 5-7, Sr., OH, Neuqua Valley
Symone Speech, 6-3, Sr., MB, Oak Park-River Forest
Haley Sullivan, 5-3, Sr., DS, Lemont
Kacie Stoll, 6-1, Sr., OH, Timothy Christian
Mackenzi Welsh, 6-2, Jr., OH, Plainfield East
Megan Wernette, 6-3, Sr., MB, Naperville North
Kelsey Wicinski, 5-8, Sr., L, Geneva
Lizzie Zaleski,, 6-0,Sr., S, Marist