The heart of the Redhawks program the last four years, is this senior outside. Committed to Division I Edwardsville, Baznik's growth and maturity is a big reason behind Naperville Central's success. She serves, blocks, plays defense, passes and is passed to out of the middle of the court in five of six rotations. All-Tournament at Wheaton Classic, Mizuno Cup and Autumnfest, Baznik has 346 kills, 189 digs, 59 aces and 33 blocks. "I don't know if we can replace her," Redhawks coach Brie Isaacson said.
The senior outside and four-year starter is one of the area's smallest yet strongest attackers. Always a good attacker, Brewzyn grew into a six-rotation standout as a senior. Committed to UNC-Greensboro, Brezyn has 402 kills with 252 digs, 57 blocks and 72 aces. Brezwyn was all-tournament at Plainfield North and Mizuno Cup. "She's grown from a gangly little kid to a woman who can control a match," Hornets coach Lisa Martinez said. "She can carry this team on her shoulders."
The only senior on a 28-8 Warriors team, this outside has been Wheaton Academy's go-to hitter throughout high school. Cifaldi, a three-year varsity starter, led the area in kills with 417, hitting at a .395 percentage, with 216 digs, 35 aces and 33 blocks. The Suburban Christian Conference Gold Player of the Year is committed to Kent State. "She is just a player and a teammate every coach would love to have," Warriors coach D.A. Nichols said.
A true middle in every sense, this rangy senior combines with Nikki Connors to form one of the area's best middle tandems. Committed to Oakland University, Condon has 182 kills with 75 blocks and 54 digs. Just her presence on the court brings blockers and she also sets a strong block to allow the defense to set up behind her. "I believe she's up there with every good middle in the state," Redhawks coach Brie Isaacson said. "When we ballhandle well she can take over a match."
A green Dukes team leaned heavily on this four-year starter, and she did it all. One of the area's elite outside hitters who can also block, defend and serve well, Deatsch put down 354 kills with 62 blocks, 307 digs and 36 aces. She is committed to Oakland University. "Everybody that we play plays defense to stop Melissa," York coach Patty Iverson said.
The talented junior could play anywhere, but for the 34-2 Hilltoppers she is best-suited at libero. The future Division I libero with good size for the position is drawing heavy Division I interest. DeMaar is the school's all-time leader with more than 1,000 digs and had 28 last year in regional final, capping off a breakout sophomore season. This year DeMaar has 232 digs, 49 kills and 28 aces for the West Suburban Silver champs. Her defensive mentality is the glue that holds Hilltoppers together. "We're a different team without her," Hilltoppers coach Pete Mastandrea said.
The 2012 Daily Herald All-Area Captain, is this senior libero committed to North Carolina. Instinctive and quick, Doyle quarterbacked an outstanding defensive Benet team and is also strong on serve-receive. Doyle has 307 digs and has served at a 97 percent rate. She was MVP of the Benet Invite and Autumnfest. Remarkably, the former Freshman B player didn't become a full-time varsity starter until midway through her junior year. "She had to earn what she got," Benet coach Brad Baker said.
The third-year starter came into her own in this, her senior season. Gajcak, who will play at Iowa, scores serving, blocking and attacking and is a strong defender. When a young Huskies team needed a boost, Gajcak was always there. Blessed with a tremendous volleyball IQ, Gajcak's numbers skyrocketed this year with improved consistency. She had 251 kills with 204 digs and 43 aces. "She is a vocal leader," Huskies coach Jennifer Urban said.
The junior outside, hero of Benet's state championship win last fall, continued to be one of the area's most dominant hitters in her first year at St. Francis. Haggerty, committed to Nebraska, has 229 kills with 24 blocks, 218 digs and is passing at a 2.07 rate. Haggerty was all-tournament at Effingham and Rich East invites. Her passing and serve receive shouldn't be overlooked. "She is an intimidating force," Spartans coach Peg Kopec said. "Everybody wants to talk about her offensive skills, but her defensive skills help us so much."
Put simply, a winner. A two-year varsity starting setter for the defending Class 4A champs has never lost a tournament match in high school. Pushed to run a 5-1 in one of the more dynamic offenses around, Kaminsky has 859 assists with 106 digs and 25 aces. Kaminsky, whose older brother Frank plays basketball at Wisconsin, was MVP of the Mizuno Cup and Wheaton Classic. "She wins like I've never seen anyone win," Benet coach Brad Baker said. "Her passion and how hard she works rubs off on other kids."
St. Francis coach Peg Kopec called her senior setter "the type of young woman that everyone would like on their team." The enthusiastic, inclusive talented leader is the heart and soul of the 31-5 Spartans. Her older sister Kristen now sets at Michigan State, and McKenna is being recruited by Michigan State and Illinois. The first Spartans setter to lead the team in digs with 227 and also has 710 assists, 61 kills and 31 aces with just 3 missed serves all year. Kelsay was all-tournament at Effingham. "She practices the same way that she plays," Kopec said.
Small in stature, this tough-as-nails senior libero is a rock in the Huskies' back row. The third-year starter and team MVP last year, Larson leads the team in digs with 348 and in passing percentage at 2.1 with 30 aces. The hard-working Larson, drawing interest from several Division I schools, stepped into a leadership role this year in a back row full of juniors. "She sets a good example for our other defensive players," Huskies coach Jennifer Urban said.
An all-around talent and competitive spirit, this junior setter was the engine that made the Trojans offense run smoothly. The well-loved team captain was all-tournament at Manteno and Plano and 2011 Metro Suburban Conference MVP. Lodewyk has set 712 assists with 108 kills, 184 digs and 66 aces for the conference co-champs. "She can make our hitters and passers look very good," Trojans coach Lindsey VanSchepen said.
Downers Grove North
There is no better right-side hitter in the area than this lanky junior lefty. Mahlke, drawing Division I interest from the likes of Miami (Ohio), Ohio State and Marquette, had 277 kills with a variety of shots, as well as 43 blocks and 58 digs. All-tournament at Waubonsie Valley and Downers North, Malke was a rock and calming force for a young Trojans team. "She hits so high," Trojans coach Mark Wasik said, "and creates angles that people are not used to seeing."
McDowell missed all but the first six matches last year with a foot injury, sprained her ankle first day of tryouts this August but returned as one of the area's elite setters for a rebuilding Red Devils team. The driven 6-foot-3 senior committed to Virginia is ranked No. 41 nationally on PrepVolleyball.com's "Senior Aces" list. McDowell has set 689 assists with 155 kills, 107 digs, 31 aces, 32 solo blocks and 35 assist blocks. "She's the person we count on," Hinsdale Central coach Kelly Moran said. "She really takes the team on her shoulders."
Given the chance to start for the first time on varsity, this senior outside opened eyes. Mattaliano hits a multitude of shots, carries her smarts onto the court and runs the back-row attack as well as any outside around. A quick, dynamic talent who will play next year in the Ivy League also passed out of every rotation and has 337 kills with 164 digs. "She is the kid that nobody knew about before this year," Benet coach Brad Baker said, "but when you got done playing us you knew exactly who she was."
The junior setter/right-side committed to Michigan State carried a young Warriors team. Battling through injuries, Minarick had 188 assists running a 6-2, and put down 229 kills at a .307 percentage with 112 digs and 23 aces. Her quickness allows her to get her hands on more passes than most setters, and she also boasts a strong jump float serve. Minarick was a unanimous all-Upstate Eight selection. "Her natural athleticism helps," Waubonsie coach Kristen Stuart said, "but she is a very hard worker, humble and always wanting to improve."
Pressed into action last year because of injuries, this junior emerged into perhaps the area's best middle this fall. Committed to Boston College, Pavich has put down 237 kills with 44 blocks. Pavich not only has prototypical size for a middle, she also understands the game and where to be at the right time. Pavich was all-tournament at Autumnfest. "She hits the ball hard," Benet coach Brad Baker said, "and she can hit every shot in the book."
When Ryan moved from outside to setter as a freshman, Hilltoppers coach Pete Mastandrea called it "a magical transition that has changed our whole program." Indeed, no player is more responsible for the renaissance on the volleyball court in Glen Ellyn than this senior who will play at Northwestern. The school's all-time assist leader with more than 2,000 has 700 assists, 190 digs, 38 aces and 72 kills this year hitting at a .726 percentage. The four-year starter led the Hilltoppers to the school's first West Suburban Silver title since 1985. "We will miss her dearly," Mastandrea said.
The four-year starter has been a leader since she stepped on the court freshman year. In helping turn around the Raiders volleyball program, The senior outside will graduate as the school's all-time leader in kills and aces. This year she has 246 kills with 264 digs and 58 aces for the Metro Suburban Conference co-champions. Trzaska is a role model for younger Raiders with her attitude. She was the starting catcher and cleanup hitter for Glenbard South's state softball champs. "She would be good at anything she wants to do," Raiders coach Chad Grant said.