The DuPage County Girls Volleyball All-Area Team

Meg DeMaar, Glenbard West

With 501 digs this season, the senior libero takes a school-record 1,776 varsity digs into the postseason. The four-year starter also has a team-leading 51 aces this season. “Meg DeMaar is the best player we have had in our program. She has been a part of 126 varsity wins in her four-year starting role,” coach Pete Mastandrea. “I am truly convinced she is the best libero in the state. She is the record holder for digs in a game, season and career.” DeMaar broke Tori Clifford’s school records for digs (Miami of Ohio libero) and is fully committed to play next fall at Furman University.

Sam Dubiel, St. Francis

The Spartans have graduated several defensive stars over the years and this year topped 30 wins for the 28th straight season, yet veteran coach Peg Kopec ranks the Florida-bound Lubiel at the very top. “Sam is the best libero in St. Francis history,” Kopec said. “She is bright, quick, determined, tough, in addition to being a great person.” Dubiel has 502 digs, a 2.5 passing percentage, 56 assists and 31 aces.

Rachael Fara, Benet

When injuries hit the Redwings at times this year, this junior in the middle made sure the wins kept on coming. Fara led Benet in kills, blocks and hitting percentage during the regular season and helped the program pile up 30 wins and earn a top sectional seed. “Rachael is a point scorer with both her hitting and blocking,” coach Brad Baker said. “She has an extremely fast arm and hits the ball at a high point, which most defenders do not see. When she connects with the ball she is virtually unstoppable.” She is committed to Northwestern.

Lauren Fuller, Hinsdale Central

Through 28 matches the junior outside hitter recorded 231 kills, 23 aces, 27 blocks, and 205 digs. She committed to play at San Diego. “Lauren has developed a lot during the high school season,” coach Kelly Moran said. “She was asked to take on a much more significant role this year after we graduated five starting seniors, and she accepted this role wholeheartedly and has accepted criticisms from the coaching staff and has made the appropriate adjustments. She is doing a great job leading her team to work hard and fight to win through her example.”

Maddie Haggerty, St. Francis

The senior outside hitter, committed to Nebraska, had her season cut short by injury but still recorded 144 kills, a 42 kill percentage, a 2.3 passing percentage and 20 blocks in just 27 games. “Maddie has grown remarkably in her time at St. Francis,” said coach Peg Kopec, who has her team gunning for a 10th state title. “She is a born leader and teammates naturally turn to her for leadership. She has shown great perseverance and is highly skilled.”

Molly Haggerty, St. Francis

Only a sophomore, this powerful outside hitter has 269 kills, a 53 kill percentage, 49 blocks, 33 aces and a 2.2 passing percentage. She leads a heavy hitting attack into the postseason as a top seed in Class 3A. “Molly has vast potential as only a sophomore. She already possesses many of the skills for an extraordinary volleyball player. She is skilled beyond her years,” coach Peg Kopec said.

Meghan Hanewall, Glenbard East

Meghan is a four-year varsity starter and also was one of the Rams’ captains. The outside hitter piled up 320 kills, 35 aces, 22 blocks and 136 digs during the regular season. “She is a clutch player that was dependable the entire season,” coach Marci Maier said. “She played consistently well the entire season. Meghan is a leader that sets the bar high for the team and even higher for herself. She is one of the most intense and competitiveplayers I have coached. She will be missed next year.” Still undecided on college, she is looking at a school in New York and one in Ohio to play at next year.

Talia Holze, Wheaton Warrenville South

The talented setter has committed to play at Rutgers, but this season she as led the Tigers’ attack because her offense was just too impressive to ignore. “Always willing to do whatever it takes to make the team as successful as possible,” WW South coach Bill Schreier said. “She’s a solid athlete who is at home anywhere on the court. This is exemplified by her moving to the outside this season even though she is a setter by nature.” The three-year varsity starter leads the team in kills and aces.

Emily Kwak, Naperville North

Kwak is a three-year varsity setter for the Huskies, who earned the No. 2 seed behind Benet at the Class 4A Plainfield South sectional. She recorded 750 assists, 26 aces and 147 digs during the regular season. “She is a steady player who works hard to create offensive opportunities for all of her hitters. She has a tireless work ethic and is an extremely coachable player,” coach Jennifer Urban said.

Lexie Lobdell, Metea Valley

With 268 kills the junior outside hitter powered the Mustangs to a perfect 6-0 run to the Upstate Eight Valley title. She added 23 blocks, 34 aces and 155 digs. “Lexie has done a great job stepping in to a leadership role this season as a junior,” coach Dave Macdonald said. “She is a smart hitter that can unleash some serious pop on the ball when the time is right. Lexie is a hard worker in practice and the scary thing is that I don’t think she has reached her full potential yet.”

Jenna Lodewyk, Timothy Christian

The senior setter has a total of 605 assists along with 65 service aces and 61 digs for the 27-8 squad that went 10-2 in conference. “Jenna has had another wonderful year as the leader of our team,” coach Scott Piersma said. “Jenna is also an offensive threat with timely attacks that have resulted in 84 kills.” Her .436 hitting percentage led the team, and she was named to the all-tournament teams at Manteno and Plano. “She has been a great leader for all the girls in our program, demonstrating the hard work that it takes to be successful at a high level. She will be missed next year as we look to fill a role that she has filled for the last three years,” Piersma added.

Bridget Lucas, Montini

The senior libero is a four-year varsity player with 372 digs, 21 aces, a 2.25 serve receive percentage, and she holds the Montini all-time record for digs with 1,402. “Bridget may be the best libero I have ever seen at the high school level,” said Broncos coach Steve Dowjotas, whose team takes a 27-3 record into the postseason. “She’s a game-changer. She can win a match all by herself.”

Katherine Mahlke, Downers Grove North

The senior right had 274 kills, 70 blocks, 33 aces and 196 digs through 35 matches. “Katherine has always had a strong attack given that she jumps very well and she is a lefty. Plus, she has a repertoire of shots,” coach Mark Wasik said. “What I am most pleased with is that she has become a six-rotation player this year as to years past. Also, she has developed nicely into a strong, vocal leader which hasn’t always come instinctively.” Named to the Warrior Blast and Autumnfest all-tourney teams, she led Downers North to sixth place at Autumnfest, and during a signature win over Benet had 13 kills, 3 blocks, an ace and 4 digs. The University of Michigan-bound player is No. 68 out of the top 150 seniors in the nation on and has been nominated as an AVCA all-American.

Kimmy Martino, IC College Prep

“Kimmy makes an effort to get a hittable ball up in the air for our attackers no matter where she is on the floor,” coach Jen Field said after her setter had 705 assists this season to reach a varsity mark of 1,586. “She is highly respected by her teammates not only for her leadership but also her work ethic. She is totally in charge of the offense when she is on the floor. In my 39 years of coaching, she is one of the best setters I have had in our program.” She also had 106 kills, 18 aces, 124 digs and 27 blocks this season. A Daily Herald Honorable Mention selection the last two years, she also was a 2012 AAU National Champion (16 & Under).

Rachel Minarick, Waubonsie Valley

The Daily Herald All-Area Team Captain capped off four years on varsity with a tremendous all-around senior campaign. The unanimous all-conference selection had 346 kills with a .494 hitting percentage, but the Michigan State-bound setter also had 431 assists, 42 aces, 96 blocks and 144 digs. She was an AAU All-America on her 16 Elite team at Sports Performance, is up for Under Armour All-America and Illinois Gatorade player of the year honors. She was also named Prep Volleyball’s No. 22 senior ace going into the season.

Amy Nosek, York

The senior outside hitter and three-year varsity player put up 261 kills, 15 aces, 205 digs and 52 blocks for the Dukes this season while playing both left side and right side. This year she is a co-captain and plays in the outside hitting position. “In addition to being a good attacker, she is also a very strong blocker, adding her height of 6-foot-1 to a pretty tall and strong front line,” coach Patty Iverson said. “In addition to her strong front row play, Amy is also a very good attacker out of the back row and has a good serve that has been instrumental in winning us points. All of these strengths combine to make Amy a dominant player for our team and in our conference.”

Natalie Schilling, Glenbard West

The 6-foot sophomore outside hitter is a two-year starter for the 32-3 Hilltoppers who had 336 kills, 185 digs and 36 aces this season. “Natalie has been our ‘stone cold killer’ all season. As a sophomore her presence has been known during every match we have played,” coach Peter Mastandrea said. “In our two-set victory over Marist she had 14 kills and in the conference championship match vs. Downers Grove North she had 19 kills and 5 blocks. She has an amazing future and is a top recruit in the class of 2016.”

Tarah Valdez, Glenbard South

The senior outside hitter was named Metro Suburban Conference MVP and is a third-year varsity player who was named all-conference for three seasons. Valdez had 232 kills, 241 digs, 24 aces and 25 blocks for a 29-6 Raiders team that earned the No. 1 seed in the Class 3A Morton sectional. Also named all-tournament at Wheaton North. “Tarah is our best passer and also leads the team in digs. She has a very high volleyball IQ and does a good job helping out our young team on the floor during matches,” Glenbard South coach Chad Grant said. “She has been a huge part of our success the past few years. She is incredibly competitive, and sometimes that can be contagious.”

Megan Wernette, Naperville North

One of two Huskies to make the first team as a junior, Wernette helped lead the team to a 31-4 mark during the regular season. The middle blocker had 198 kills, 24 blocks, 28 aces and a .440 hitting percentage. “Megan is a dynamic hitter who has the ability to change the momentum of the match,” Naperville North coach Jennifer Urban said. “She is a leader by example on the court, and she is respected by her teammates and coaches.”

Caroline Wolf, Benet

The senior libero had 426 digs and a 96 serving percentage for the two-time defending Class 4A champs. She was named MVP at the Benet Invite and Wheaton Classic, and also earned all-tourney honors at Autumnfest. “Caroline has been an impact player for us all year long. She is the leader of our defense and also an emotional leader on and off the court,” said Redwings coach Brad Baker. “She is committed to Wake Forest where I expect her to make an impact on and off the court for their program.”

Honorable mention

Joyce Balash, Montini Catholic, MH, senior; Whitney Battoe, Benet Academy, OH, senior; Mary Boken, St. Francis, MH, junior; Becky Breuer, Waubonsie Valley OH, junior; Rachel Burau, Wheaton Warrenville South, setter, junior; Delaney D’Amore, Immaculate Conception College Prep, OH, senior; Brenna Dunckel, Neuqua Valley, MH, senior; Phoebe Havenaar, Naperville Central, MH, junior; Kayln Hugdahl, Neuqua Valley, OH, senior; Maddie Hutchinson, Wheaton North, RH/OPP, senior; Mary Kate Katarzynski, West Chicago, setter/OPP, senior; Monica Loftus, Montini, OH, Junior; Emily Mankowski, Naperville North, Right Side, senior; Ellie Petersen, Metea Valley, setter, senior; Becca Shearer, St. Francis, OPP/Setter, senior; Stephanie Sinnappan, Benet Academy, setter, senior; Kacie Stoll, Timothy Christian, OH, junior; Kaylyn Torain, Metea Valley, MH, senior; Sydney Vische, Wheaton Academy, OH, junior; MacKenzie Watterson, Glenbard South, OH, sophomore.

Images: Daily Herald Soccer and Volleyball Team Captains

Sam Dubiel
Rachael Fara
Lauren Fuller
Maddie Haggerty
Molly Haggerty
Meaghan Hanewall
Talia Holze
Emily Kwak
Lexie Lobdell
Jenna Lodewyk
Bridget Lucas
Katherine Mahlke
Kimmy Martino
Rachel Minarick
Amy Nosek
Natalie Schilling
Tarah Valdez
Megan Wernette
Caroline Wolf
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