Hersey grad Strozewski earns college accolades
You might say Hersey graduate Zoe Strozewski had a pretty keen conference season this fall.
The Kean University (NJ) junior middle hitter was named the New Jersey Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
Strozewski was selected to the first team and became the second Cougar in the last three seasons to earn the conference's top honor, joining Sara Ridgway who earned the accolade in 2017.
Strozewski earned her first selection to the first team and her second overall after being named honorable mention in 2018.
The two-time NJAC Player of the Week selection totaled 118 points, 101 kills and 31 blocks over eight conference matches.
She averaged 4.21 points per set, 3.61 kills per set and 1.11 blocks per set with a .401 hitting percentage. Those numbers ranked her second in hitting percentage, first in kills, first in blocks and first in points among conference only stats.
Former Hersey standout Claire Gritt charged into her junior season at Denver University.
In the Pioneers' last preseason game, Gritt showed her Gritt by taking five charging calls against Mesa, CO.
"No success of Claire's surprises me because I know what her work ethic is like," said Hersey hall of fame girls basketball coach Mary Fendley. "She took some charges for us but I would not say that taking charges was a specialty of hers in high school."
But that doesn't mean Fendley was surprised.
"She just did not have the timing down," Fendley said. "Clearly, she does now."
Speaking of defensive prowess, Gritt holds Hersey's school record for career steals.
"So her defense has always been excellent," Fendley said. "Claire studies the game, and puts in extra effort in learning the timing it takes to be successful. She has great intuitiveness on defense. I think all of us who had the pleasure of watching her play in high school knew she would continue to do great things at DU."
Current all-area Hersey guard Mary Kate Fahey knew firsthand Gritt's passion for the game.
"She was my eighth-grade feeder coach," Fahey said. "She definitely prepared me for varsity basketball. We would play one-on-one every day after feeder practice. She has worked so hard for this and it's cool to see it paying off at the Division I level."
As for the charging calls, Fahey was hardly surprised either.
"It's her athletic ability," she said. "She knows how and she works hard to get to the right places."
University of Findlay (OH) junior Sarah Miles won the grueling 1,000-yard freestyle event in a dual meet at Ohio Wesleyan. The Hoffman Estates graduate turned in a time of 11:35.22 and finished 30 seconds ahead of the second-place swimmer. The Findlay women won the meet 184-98.
It was the second successful weekend in a row for Miles. She finished second in the 200-yard backstroke in a four-team meet at Davenport University in Grand Rapids (MI).
Vermont sophomore Ryan Davis (Conant) registered his first career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds as the Catamounts (2-0) held off Bucknell (1-1) for a 66-63 road victory.
New York, New York
Hersey all-area guard Mary Kate Fahey made college visits to New York University and Columbia University.
She got to spend time in the Big Apple, seeing a Broadway show, the Empire State Building, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and Central Park.
"It was really exciting," Fahey said. "There is so much opportunity in the city and so much to do there, it was really fun to go out there with my parents (John and Jen) and I had a really good time on both of the campuses."
North Park senior middle blocker Niki Ahlstrand (Maine East) was selected as a College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Women's Volleyball Player of the Week.
Ahlstrand helped lead the Vikings to a pair of conference wins to close out the season. She had 9 kills, hit .471 and added 3 digs and 5 blocks in a three-set win over North Central. Ahlstrand added 16 kills, hit .444 and had 4 digs in a five-set win over Carroll.
Illinois Wesleyan senior midfielder Patrick Hickey (St. Viator) was selected as the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Men's Soccer Player of the Week.
Hickey helped the Titans secure the No. 3 seed in the CCIW Men's Soccer Tournament. He scored two goals and added an assist in a 4-2 win over Millikin.
He scored the first goal in the ninth minute and the match's last goal in the 75th minute. Hickey now has 21 points on the season, tying for the fifth-most in the program's single-season history.
Former Hall of Fame coach Carol Plodzien, who led Fremd to third place in the first IHSA girls basketball tournament in 1973, is coaching the junior varsity girls team at Maine East High School in Park Ridge.
It's the fifth school she has assisted at since retiring from Fremd High School.
And she is back with another familiar face, her former standout player Nicole Rinaldi, who is directing the Blue Demons program.
"This is the first time I've worked with a former player," Plodzien said. "I was very exited when Nicole called and asked me to help. I'm having fun working with the kids."
Augustana freshman Jack Blumenfeld (Hersey) won the 100 freestyle in: 52.11 and was second in the 200 freestyle (1:49.90) as the Vikings (4-1) won every event while defeating Loras 161-39 and Knox 173-15.
Blumenfeld was also part of the Vikings' winning 200 freestyle relay team.
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