Jess Bartczyszyn Cary-Grove
The latest in a long line of Cary-Grove setters to commit to a Division I college program (Louisiana-Lafayette), this 5-foot-10 senior led a very young team to a winning record a year after she set the Trojans in the Class 4A state title match. "She's a fantastic leader for this team," Cary-Grove coach Patty Langanis said of the two-time all-area pick. "We put a lot on her shoulders. She's a teacher who continuously tried to teach the younger players how to be successful after she's gone. It's hard to put into words the passion and heart she brings to this team."
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Lexie Bouza Burlington Central
This senior opposite added to her arsenal this season. "Last year she was a strong hitter by the end of the season," Burlington Central coach Marv Leavitt said. "Now she's just a complete player. She has a great jump serve, her defense has gotten really good and she's a good blocker." Through the end of the regular season, Bouza led the Rockets in kills (214), blocks (47), aces (50) and was second in digs (233).
Sydney Doby Harvest Christian Academy
Setting this 6-foot-2 junior outside hitter means the ball will be put to the floor more often than not. A leading figure in Harvest Christian's Elite Eight run last season, Doby entered regional play with 233 kills and a 52.1 hitting percentage. She also had 87 blocks, 158 digs, 30 assists and 79 jump-serve aces. The first-team all-Northeast Athletic conference selection amassed such statistics despite missing a full week due to injury and playing front row only for the two weeks after she returned. "She's such a really impressive all-around player with a dangerous serve," Harvest Christian Academy coach Kim Floyd said.
Jenny Dumoulin Hampshire
This 5-foot-9 senior outside hitter contributed in all areas for Hampshire. The senior entered regional play this week with 170 kills, 177 digs and 34 aces. "She was one of our top players and leaders throughout the season," first-year Hampshire coach Andrew Lindley said. "She did a great job leading our team by always working hard in practices and on the court during games."
Alyssa Ehrhardt Jacobs
A four-year varsity starter who has played in every Jacobs match for four seasons, the honorary captain of the Daily Herald all-area team added to her impressive career resume with a brilliant senior season. A 5-foot-11 outside hitter committed to Toledo, the three-time all-area selection finished with 457 kills (47.7 kill percentage) and a whopping total of 144 aces, both area bests. She demonstrated her all-around versatility with 218 digs, second on her team. Ehrhardt completed her career with the third-most aces in IHSA history (357) and ranks 15th on the state's all-time kill list (1,342).
Olivia Kofie Larkin
Larkin's 6-foot-1 vocal leader does more than just present a strong block. Quick for a middle hitter, Kofie plays all the way around the rotation, which added fuel to the offense of a 19-win team. She finished the season with 254 kills, 88 blocks, 193 digs, 39 aces and 17 assists. "I don't know many middles that are playing all the way around with her skill set," Larkin coach Henry Graack said. "Being able to hit out of the back row helps, and her blocking is huge. Having a middle who can move to both sides and block all three players is such a huge help for our defense behind it."
Alex Larsen Cary-Grove
Perhaps no player in the area progressed as much as this 6-foot outside hitter who made the switch from the right side. Larsen became the Trojans' top weapon this season after putting in months of work to learn the position. "She's been an incredible player to watch develop from the beginning of last season when she was raw and inconsistent," Cary-Grove coach Patty Langanis said. "All the way around, she's probably one of the best left sides in our conference. She worked tremendously hard mentally and physically to become a dependable player."
Katie Meyers Crystal Lake South
This 5-foot-2 libero packs a punch. "She's a tiny little thing, but she plays relentless, precise, disciplined defense," Crystal Lake South coach Jorie Fontana said. "She plays the way skills should be executed on serve receive and defense. She preforms them flawlessly all the time." Whether making the routine play or making the great play look routine, the senior co-captain entered Thursday's regional title match with 350 digs, 490 total passes, a 2.10 passing average, 37 assists and 15 aces.
Ashley Oandasan South Elgin
This junior helped South Elgin reach new heights in her third varsity season. The outside hitter helped lead the Storm to a school-record total of 19 wins with 143 kills, 25 aces and 206 digs. "She's a solid all-around player, back row, front row," South Elgin coach Joni Plach said. "She hits well and she takes playing back row as seriously as her hitting. She knows it takes defense and passing to win."
Allie O'Reilly Burlington Central
The Rockets won 25 games, thanks in part to this volleyball savvy co-captain. "If you see her on the court, she is directing everybody like a quarterback," Burlington Central coach Marv Leavitt said. "She tells the blockers to get line or hit seam. She's constantly watching and reading. She's been fantastic all year and just a great leader on the court." O'Reilly set a new single-season school record for digs. The 5-foot-4 junior libero finished with 553 digs, breaking 2012 graduate Sam Bohne's record of 449. Entering regional play, she had committed only 29 errors in 413 serve receive attempts, and she served 39 aces.
Allison Osborne South Elgin
This third-year varsity performer was a key figure in South Elgin's 19-win season, thanks to her game-time demeanor. "She's a really sweet girl, but she can be mean on the court and that's a good thing for us," South Elgin coach Joni Plach said. "She takes each point like it's her last." Osborne's acute volleyball IQ and court vision helped her notch a team-best 177 kills, 33 blocks, and 15 aces. Though this middle doesn't play all six rotations, she is a solid defender after she serves, demonstrated by 59 digs.
Nicole Slimko Crystal Lake South
Opposing offenses faced a formidable roadblock in this athletic, 6-foot-1 junior middle hitter. Slimko helped the Gators win a share of the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division title by amassing 73.5 blocks, 160 kills in 323 attempts (. 356) and 30 digs through the regional semifinals. "It's the force of her," Crystal Lake South coach Jorie Fontana said. "Teams had to have a plan for her and work around her. She can swing from the 10-foot line and block left and right. When she's on her game, she's all over the place."
Maris Smith Jacobs
A two-time all-area selection, this enthusiastic outside hitter was an all-around standout for a team that won 27 matches. The 5-foot-7 senior entered regional play with 153 kills, 149 digs, 43 aces and 9 blocks. "She's been fantastic," Jacobs coach Lisa Dwyer said. "She's a demanding kid and really fights hard on the floor. She brings a lot of energy to the team when she's on fire and attacking and diving after every ball."
Brianna Stewart Larkin
Whether she was pounding kills from the right side or the back row or fooling blockers with precision tipping, this 5-foot-11 junior developed into an all-around force for a team that won 19 games. Stewart led the Royals in kills (260) and blocks (95) and added 142 digs and 22 aces. "She's a great player and a great person," Larkin coach Henry Graack said. "She does what you ask and she's mature. I don't know any juniors that have some of the shots she has like roll shots. She can hit for power, she can set. I would say she's the best all-around player I've probably ever coached."
Katie Swanson St. Edward
Whether she was at her normal position of outside hitter or playing in the middle during certain rotations, this 5-foot-10 junior was a key performer for the Green Wave. "Katie is a very good all-around player," St. Edward coach Jaime Dovichi said. "I could use in any position this year and she would excel for us." Swanson finished her second varsity volleyball season with a team best 203 kills and demonstrated her defensive skill set with 150 digs.
Hailey Vitacco Huntley
This 6-foot middle blocker made the adjustment from being a component of a 31-win team a year ago the mentor of a rebuilding squad that fought to win 14 matches. "She's done a great job for us as a leader on the court and off the court," Huntley coach Karen Liss said. "She comes to practice and works hard and motivates her teammates to work hard. She did a great job of pushing her teammates and helping her team improve." Vitacco finished her senior season with 163 kills, 71 blocks and 19 aces.
Bartlett -- Katie Hrbacek (OH, Jr.)
Burlington Central -- Jess Emrich (S, Sr.), Lauren Wiltsie (OH, So.)
Cary-Grove -- Mallory Wilczynski (MH, Sr.)
Crystal Lake South -- Avalon Nero (S/RS, Jr.), Carly Nolan (OH, So.)
Dundee-Crown -- Stephanie Magsamen (OH, Sr.)
Elgin -- Hope Demel (S/RS, Sr.)
Elgin Academy -- Brigitte Keslinke (OH, Sr.)
Hampshire -- Arianna Rominski (RS/MB, Jr.)
Harvest Christian Academy -- Jordan Sollars (S/OH, Sr.)
Huntley -- Emily Westermeyer (OH, Jr.)
Jacobs -- Kassie Kasper (L, So.), Taylor Lauder (S, Sr.)
St. Edward -- Allison Kruk (L, Jr.), Rena Renallo (OH, Sr.)
South Elgin -- Rachel Murray (L, Sr.), Amanda Nadler (MH, Sr.)
Streamwood -- Hannah McGlone (MH, Jr.)
Westminster Christian -- Claire Speweik (MH, Jr.), Cara Tyrrell (OH, Sr.)
Captain's Honor Roll
1995 -- Jaime Johnson (CL South)
1996 -- Stacy Barnett (CL South)
1997 -- Vicki Lublow (Larkin) and Joni Melahn (Larkin)
1998 -- Sarah Ahnen (Jacobs) and Nicole Kwasniewski (Elgin)
1999 -- Marion Hansen (Huntley), Julie Malm (Larkin) and Jorie Miguel (Jacobs)
2000 -- Erin Borhart (Huntley) and Kelly Hopkins (St. Edward)
2001 -- Erin Borhart (Huntley) and Jamie Hastings (Cary-Grove)
2002 -- Meredith Stach (St. Edward) and Aimee Knott (St. Edward)
2003 -- Brittney Aldridge (Hampshire)
2004 -- Alyssa Groves (St. Edward)
2005 -- Hillary Haen (Prairie Ridge) and Paige Johnson (St. Edward)
2006 -- Hillary Haen (Prairie Ridge) and Paige Johnson (St. Edward)
2007 -- Katie Post (Streamwood) and Molly Turk (Burlington Central)
2008 -- Molly Turk (Burlington Central)
2009 -- Stephanie Holthus (Burlington Central)
2010 -- Kelly Lamberti (Cary-Grove)
2011 -- Amy Dion (Huntley)
2012 -- Alyssa Ehrhardt (Jacobs)