2014 readers choice results
Article updated: 5/30/2013 8:11 PM

Boys volleyball: Northwest all-area team

Grant Andler

Grant Andler

 
Nikita Bulauski

Nikita Bulauski

 
Evan Bunnetto

Evan Bunnetto

 
Fotis Christacos

Fotis Christacos

 
Christian Frahm

Christian Frahm

 
Mike Fuerst

Mike Fuerst

 
Curtis Glennon

Curtis Glennon

 
Brennan Harrington

Brennan Harrington

 
Brian Keough

Brian Keough

 
David Kim

David Kim

 
Stephen Knitter

Stephen Knitter

 
Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz

Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz

 
Brandon Kwiatkowski

Brandon Kwiatkowski

 
Danny Matijevic

Danny Matijevic

 
Matt McKenna

Matt McKenna

 
Bart Migus

Bart Migus

 
Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy

 
Zack Nauert

Zack Nauert

 
Kyle Obernesser

Kyle Obernesser

 
Peter Nickle

Peter Nickle

 
Charlie Spry

Charlie Spry

 
Mark Tomuta

Mark Tomuta

 
Peter VanFossan

Peter VanFossan

 
Ben Wolf

Ben Wolf

 
Ethan Wolf

Ethan Wolf

 
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text size: AAA
By Bill Esbrook

Grant Andler Prospect

Andler was a key contributor for the Knights, leading his team on a long midseason winning streak and helping Prospect finish in the upper echelon of the Mid-Suburban East. "He's been our go-to player all year long," said Prospect coach Mike Riedy. "He led the team in almost every category and could always be relied on to get the job done. Grant had a great year and he's only just begun." The junior hit 286 kills on the season to go along with 28 aces and 61 blocks.

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Nikita Bulauski Buffalo Grove

A standout who Bison coach Matt Aiello calls "the best blocking middle in the Northwest suburbs, both statistically and by reputation," Bulauski earned all-conference honors with his steady performance. "Nikita is all heart," added Aiello. "He's the epitome of what a high school athlete should be." The junior earned Bison Battle all-tourney team honors as well in 2013.

Evan Bunnetto Buffalo Grove

Despite battling injuries all season Bunetto, a Bison captain, led his team to a sectional tourney berth. The senior was one of the top hitters in the Mid-Suburban League with 311 kills, but showed that he was an all-around player as well with 102 digs and 54 blocks. "Evan has the ability to take over a game," said BG coach Matt Aiello. "He can get kills from any position, and when he plays with his high intensity, he is pretty special."

Fotis Christacos Hersey

The good news for the Huskies is that they have this outstanding defensive player returning for one more season. Christacos set the match dig record for Hersey in 2013 with an incredible 33 in a match versus Wheeling. "His ability to keep the ball off the floor was outstanding," said Hersey coach Nancy Lill. "Opponents would think they had a kill or the ball would be down, but Fotis would frustrate them and find a way to keep the ball alive." The junior recorded 559 season digs and had a 2.14 serve receive percentage.

Christian Frahm Palatine

Another outstanding Pirates upperclassman, Frahm was one of the state's best liberos with 557 digs and a 2.40 serve receive percentage, in addition to serving up 18 aces for his team. "Christian is probably the number one biggest surprise for our program this year," said Palatine coach Frank Stark. "His commitment in the off-season made him one of the top players at his position."

Mike Fuerst Hersey

Fuerst was second to none at the net for the regional-winning Huskies, becoming the program record-holder for blocks in a match (12) and season (141). The junior also recorded an amazing hitting efficiency percentage of .427 and swatted 207 kills. "Mike is a great leader," said Hersey coach Nancy Lill. "He's got the ability to dominate a match with his front-row play. He was often times unstoppable offensively, and defensively he was a nightmare for opposing hitters."

Curtis Glennon Prospect

Glennon won an early Knights battle for a starting outside hitter position and quickly established himself as one of the top players in the MSL. "It didn't take him long to take ownership of that position," said Prospect coach Mike Riedy. "Curtis led by example and that motivated younger players to step up their game. He did exactly what a senior should do and his motivation, passion and leadership will be missed." The senior slammed 122 kills during the year, dug 200 balls, had 22 blocks and hit 24 aces.

Brian Keough Palatine

Described by fans and foes alike as one of the top athletes in the Mid-Suburban League, Keough was one of the main cogs in the Pirates' MSL championship campaign. "He did such an amazing job this year," said Palatine coach Frank Stark. "From last season to this season he turned into a very dominant player." Keough led the attack from the service line for the Pirates with 43 aces, knocked out 210 kills and got 62 blocks in 2013.

Stephen Knitter Schaumburg

Knitter was a force at the service line for the Saxons with a 96 percent efficiency rating, and the junior led the team in attack as well with a .333 rating. He excelled as well in passing with an amazing 283 of 287 on the year. "Stephen has been such a pleasure to coach," said Schaumburg coach Jeff O'Brien. "He's incredibly smart, and doesn't make many mistakes. Some players try to hit the ball as hard as they can and get the most powerful kill but Stephen will instead be a surgeon and hit the ball exactly where the other team isn't."

Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz

Ksiazkiewicz was a blocking machine on the year for the Warriors. Some highlights for the senior include 235 season kills, 51 blocks, 16 service aces, and an oustanding 37 kills at the Rolling Meadows tournament. "Tomasz has really improved," said Maine West coach Randy Tiller. "He's an imposing force in the front row. His attack speed and vertical made him difficult to block, and his jump serve was very difficult to pass. He was respected by his opponents on some very strong teams."

David Kim Fremd

Vikings coach Curt Pinley called the reliable Kim the team MVP in 2013. The senior made a big impact with 479 assists this season on 1368 of 1387 setting. "All of David's success this season came from the ability to put his teammates before himself," said Pinley of the two-year starter. "He's the kind of athlete that can inspire other teammates to push harder and achieve even more."

Brandon Kwiatkowski Hoffman Estates

Kwiatkowski earned the respect of everyone in the Hawks program this year in a season that saw him voted team captain by his peers. "Brandon was a three-year varsity starter," said Hoffman Estates coach Dan Hutton. "He was placed in the middle blocker position at the start of his sophomore season and he learned quickly." The senior was 256-of-312 hitting in 2013 with 79 kills, recorded 38 blocks and served at an 89 percent efficiency clip. "His dedication to volleyball, on and off the court, was easily recognized by the athletes around him," said Hutton.

Danny Matijevic Palatine

Matijevic was the man for the Pirates in 2013, slamming 258 kills and becoming a force on defense as well with 245 digs. "Danny is the kind of kid who you never have to question his commitment and his work ethic," said Palatine coach Frank Stark. "He's been a three-year starter and has improved dramatically every year." The senior added 24 aces to his stat total with a serving percentage of .890.

Matt McKenna Elk Grove

Grens great McKenna, a team captain and three-year varsity starter, earned nothing but praise this season from Elk Grove coach Dan Windholz. "Matt took on a huge leadership role on our team this year," said Windholz. "He helped guide our young squad to a successful season. He's the type of player who always gives 100 percent." The senior, who helped his team to regional championships in 2011 and 2012, finished his career on a high note with 392 digs.

Bart Migus Hersey

The only sophomore on the all-area team, Migus made a big impression with his hard-hitting ways. He provided 277 kills, best on the Huskies roster, had 240 digs, 47 blocks and a team-high 30 aces. "He was our go-to player," said Hersey coach Nancy Lill. "Bart was capable of putting the ball down and hitting over most blockers, yet at the same time he led the team in serve receive (2.26 ratio) and aces. He's going to continue to do damage for the next two years."

Kevin Murphy Rolling Meadows

Despite missing a few matches this season due to injury, Murphy was still talented enough to win Mid-Suburban League East player of the year honors. His prowess at the net saw him lead the East-champion Mustangs in kills. "Kevin played all year on a torn meniscus," said Meadows coach Tim Piatek, "and he's having surgery soon. But even having him on a limited basis and at less than full-strength, he still was able to take over many matches and lead us to our best season in years. He was a pleasure to have on the team, he had a cool and collective disposition, and was the type of guy who leads by playing a solid game all around."

Peter Nickle Rolling Meadows

Nickle was the heart and soul of a Mustangs team that enjoyed one of its best-ever seasons. The senior led Meadows in digs and had the team's top serve percentage. "Peter has a great volleyball IQ," said Mustangs coach Tim Piatek, "and having him on the court was like having a seasoned coach out there. He was a great leader and his spirit and thirst for competition and winning was unmatched in high school athletics."

Kyle Obernesser Palatine

Obernesser earned co-Mid-Suburban League West player of the year honors in leading his team to a conference championship and a berth in the MSL title game, where the Pirates triumphed over Rolling Meadows. "Kyle did a great job," said Palatine coach Frank Stark, "of leading by example and running the offense all year." The junior earned 738 assists, got an amazing 99 percent of his serves in, hit 30 aces and 26 kills, and added 284 season digs.

Zack Nauert Wheeling

The dynamic Nauert enjoyed his best-ever season in 2013, maturing to become a captain and program leader. He served at a 93 percentage with 27 aces, had 283 kills with a hitting efficiency of .316, while also recording 32 blocks and 222 digs. "Zack set personal bests in all categories this year," said Wildcats coach Jason Kopkowski. "I asked more from him this season and he exceeded all expectations. We knew when times were tough and there was high pressure, Zack would be there for his team."

Charlie Spry Barrington

The unselfish Spry was an exemplary leader in addition to being one of the top hitters in the MSL. "Charlie's been one of the most important players in Barrington volleyball history," said Broncos coach Rob Ridenour of the co-MSL West player of the year. Spry enjoyed a terrific season on the court with 251 kills, 41 blocks, 25 aces and 205 digs. "He's done so many things behind the scenes to make our program a better place and we're going to miss him immensely."

Mark Tomuta Conant

The multi-talented Tomuta helped steer the Cougars through a challenging season with his 71 games played, 179-of-209 hitting, 191 digs and 9 aces on 130-of-147 serving. "Mark had great intensity," said Conant coach Steven Peter. "He was a pleasure to coach, and he's the kind of player that every coach wants on his team."

Peter Van Fossan Barrington

Van Fossan showed a plethora of poise and maturity in 2013 in leading the Broncos deep into the state playoffs. He had an outstanding hitting percentage of .405 to go along with 172 kills and 54 blocks. "Peter took a leap this year to become a great player," said Barrington coach Rob Ridenour. "There were multiple matches in which he dominated and was the primary reason we won. Peter was the competitive drive of our team."

Ben Wolf St. Viator

Lions coach Chris Boylan was effusive in his praise for senior Wolf, who took a huge step in his growth as a player between his junior and senior seasons. "The time and effort he put in during the off-season helped provide us with the most successful season in school history," said Boylan of the ESCC all-conference player. The dominant upperclassman finished his career on a high note with a program season record of 340 kills, and also pitched in with 215 digs and 45 aces.

Ethan Wolf St. Viator

Ethan's strong effort this season let the Wolf family bask in the glow of having two sons earn ESCC all-conference honors. "Ethan certainly didn't hide in the shadow of his older brother, Ben," said Lions coach Chris Boylan. "He broke onto the varsity scene showing that he is his own player with his athletic play. He was one of our top options this season." Wolf enjoyed a tremendous all-around year with 154 kills, 18 aces, 190 digs and 52 assists as the Lions' second setter.

All-area roster

Player Yr. Pos. School

Grant Andler Jr. RSH Prospect

Nikita Bulauski Jr. M Buffalo Grove

Evan Bunnetto Sr. OH Buffalo Grove

Fotis Christacos Jr. L Hersey

Christian Frahm Sr. L Palatine

Mike Fuerst Jr. MB Hersey

Curtis Glennon Sr. OH Prospect

*Brennan Harrington Sr. S St. Viator

Brian Keough Sr. RSH/MB Palatine

David Kim Sr. S Fremd

Stephen Knitter Jr. OH Schaumburg

Tomasz Ksiazkiewicz Sr. MB Maine West

Brandon Kwiatkowski Sr. MB Hoffman Estates

Danny Matijevic Sr. OH Palatine

Matt McKenna Sr. L Elk Grove

Bart Migus Soph. OH Hersey

Kevin Murphy Sr. OH Rolling Meadows

Peter Nickle Sr. L Rolling Meadows

Kyle Obernesser Jr. S Palatine

Zack Nauert Sr. OH Wheeling

Charlie Spry Sr. OH Barrington

Mark Tomuta Jr. OH/L Conant

Peter Van Fossan Sr. OH Barrington

Ben Wolf Sr. OH St. Viator

Ethan Wolf Jr. Opp. St. Viator

* Honorary captain

Honorable mention

Barrington: Colin Castagna (Jr., MH), Ben Karon (Sr., L), Kevin Eiring (Sr., OH) Buffalo Grove: Jose Aguirre (Sr., M) Fremd: Eric Scott (Sr., OH) Hersey: Matt Torvik (Jr., S), Kevin Schroeder (Sr. OH) Leyden: Ulisses Rodriguez (Sr., S) Maine West: Glenn Beatty (Sr., OH), Paraj Patel (Sr., L) Palatine: Jakub Niedzwicki (Jr., OH), Kareem Anderson (Sr., MB) Prospect: Jacob Schwister (Sr., S) Rolling Meadows: Tim Ellis (Sr., MB), Brett Frey (Sr., S) St. Viator: Anthony Giovenco (Sr., L), Nick Frank (Sr., M), Austin Ziakas (Sr., OH) Wheeling: Tim Lee (Sr., M), Jacob Del Toro (Sr., OH)

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