Girls volleyball: 2018 All-Area team, Northwest
Maddie Aichinger FremdFremd coach Curt Pinley calls Aichinger the 'rock' in the Vikings' back row the last two seasons. And she was rock solid this season collecting 258 digs for 492 in her career. She had 35 aces this fall and 57 for her career. "What has always impressed me most about Maddie is how she approaches her court time daily," Pinley said. "She is disciplined about her approach to preparation. From doing the little things like leading dynamic stretching, to calling out positioning on serve/receive, Maddie is always involved mentally when she takes the floor. I have had few athletes like her, who always seem to be locked into what they need to do in order to be successful. Maddie is that person who makes everyone around her better.
Natalie Asa Schaumburg Asa was a returning starter from the Schaumburg's regional championship team in 2017 and coach Tim Murphy couldn't have been happier with her production her senior year. "Natalie made huge improvements from last year," Murphy said. "She spent countless hours in the weight room and gym to increase her agility, power and performance." Asa led the Saxons with 206 kills despite not playing a full season. "She sat out a few matches early this season due to injury," Murphy added. "She battled back and became our go-to hitter as the season progressed. She was a consistent server and one of our best blockers on the team."
Emily Campe PalatineOnly a junior, Palatine coach Dan Gavin has a real gem returning as a senior. Campe enjoyed a breakout season, exploding for 300 kills. But she was more than just a powerful attacker for the Pirates, who were among the top teams in the Mid-Suburban League, defeating Rolling Meadows in the third-place crossover. Campe also showed her all-around skills this fall by collecting 210 digs, 45 aces and 39 blocks. "Emily firmly established herself as one of the most fearsome attackers in the area," Gavin said. "She was second on our team in kills, aces, block and digs, proving that our outside hitter has grown into a versatile, well-rounded player as well."
Eleanor Errico Rolling MeadowsA three-year varsity middle hitter, Errico wrapped up her career in style as she put down 181 kills for first-year coach Katie Stensland. She served as a co-captain with two of her senior teammates (Natalie Klancnik and Caroline Slowik). Errico produced a .308 hitting percentage with a team-high 48 blocks. "Eleanor had the ability to change the momentum of the game with a huge block or a kill," Stensland said. "Her teammates really fed off her energy. She also had a way of bringing the team together with her fun energy and love of the game."
Kaiya Eshoo HerseyEshoo became the engineer of the Hersey offense after being a serving specialist as a sophomore. As a junior this fall, Eshoo emerged as the Huskies' 5-1 setter collecting 620 assists heading into sectional play. "Kaiya did a great job running the offense," said Hersey coach Nancy Lill. "Her quickness and athleticism were apparent in her play and ability to get to just about any pass." Offensively she contributed 63 kills with a .525 hitting efficiency. "Kaiya found holes in our opponents' defense," Lill added. "Her defense was outstanding as well (191 digs). She also has a wicked serve that caused opponents issues. Eshoo served 42 aces while serving 89 percent. "Kaiya has really improved her game this season and was a key to our success this year," Lill said. "The good news is Kaiya will be back to lead this offense next season."
Claire Ferriss Buffalo Grove The Mid-Suburban East Player of the Year helped lead the Bison to their first appearance in the MSL title game since 1976. "Over the course of the last two years, Claire developed into one of our of team's best offensive and defensive weapons," said Bison coach Matt Priban. "Her strong skill set allows her to contribute in every phase of the game." Ferriss compiled 328 kills, a 0.296 hitting efficiency, 301 digs and 29 aces during the regular season. "Claire leads by example and positively motivates her teammates every day," Priban said of the two-time all-conference player. "She is a true competitor and gives everything she has whenever she steps onto the court."
Haley Holz PalatineHolz will go down as one of the finest and one of the few players in Palatine girls volleyball history who started every match in a four-year varsity career. Her contributions as an outside hitter were invaluable as the Pirates compiled a record of 103-45. This season, the New York University recruit put down a team-best 317 kills while also serving 109 aces, making 33 blocks and picking up 198 digs. Holz' jump served produced 109 aces, breaking her own school record of 94 set in 2017. Since the implementation of the rally score era, Holz holds school records for kills in a career (1,008), aces (250) and wins (103).
Peyton Hooker FremdA two-year starter, Hooker was voted a captain for the second year in a row, and helped lead the Vikings to a second straight regional crown under coach Curt Pinley. "Even though she was moved into a different position than the one she played all club season, she realized that this would be the best for our team," Pinley said. "It is that kind of realization and sacrifice that made her such an important part of our success this season." Hooker put down 210 kills (. 281 hitting efficiency) heading into sectional play and had 320 for her career (. 298 efficiency). "Peyton understood that our success depended on her and the role she needed to play," Pinley said. "Peyton led the program in finding ways to make our team have opportunities to succeed," Pinley said.
Kati Kaburov HerseyThe Northwest all-area captain did it all for the Huskies in her third year starting. "She has been our go-to hitter with her big swings from the front row and back," said Hersey coach Nancy Lill. " Kati is an absolutely dominant hitter." Going into sectional play, Kaburov had 391 total kills while hitting with an incredible .353 efficiency. She added 35 block kills as well. She continued her dominance in the back row with her tough serve, leading the team with 50 aces while serving 91 percent. The junior added solid defense and passing to the team with 226 digs and 258 receptions as a primary passer. "Kati has had a great year," Lill said. "And she has proved to be one of the top outside hitters in the state this season. We're lucky to have her returning next season."
Bailey Madryzk BarringtonMadrzyk was a four-year starter for coach Michelle Jakubowski, whose Fillies brought the program its 12th Mid-Suburban League championship this fall. Madrzyk paid a key role in that success as she was the Fillies' second-leading performer on attack, putting down 166 kills. She also produced 154 digs in the back row and whipped up 37 aces at the service line. "Bailey stepped into a leadership role this year," Jakubowski said. "She was one of only two six-player rotation girls or us on the court. She will be a great addition to the Wheaton College women's volleyball program (in Norton, MA.)."
Nina Masciopinto Buffalo GroveWhen the Mid-Suburban East co- champs needed a key dig, it was more often than not Masciopinto handling the assignment with her skills in the back row. The Bison senior libero led the team with 358 digs during the regular season. It was her first season serving as the Bison libero. "She initially contributed as a setter, but slowly converted over to one of the best defensive players within the program," said BG coach Matt Priban of his two-year varsity player. "Nina has grown so much throughout her career. Her hard work and dedication to the sport have helped her to take such huge steps as a senior this year. Her athleticism allows her to cover the court so efficiently and she has the ability to effectively read the offense of any team we face. She was able to spark our offense with big defensive plays and consistently kept us in rallies."
Kate Nottoli St. ViatorWhen it came to competing at the net, Nottoli was among the best of them. The three-year starting middle hitter was a co-captain for coach Charlie Curtin. She led by example on a daily basis her senior year. She also put down a team -high 261 kills with 13 aces, 59 serve receptions, a team-leading 55 blocks and 125 digs. "Kate is a fantastic competitor," said Curtin of the future college volleyball player (choosing between Oshkosh or Elmhurst) "She is willing to do anything for her team to get a victory. There were many times when Kate was asked to do skills most middles are not asked to do. Kate has the ability to take over games with her thundering kills and huge blocks."
Alessia Olhava HerseyOlhava will high jump at Grand Valley State next year. She certainly helped jump start the Huskies' offense this fall. The senior setter/OH was the lone senior starter in the Hersey lineup and did it all for the Huskies, who won their 26th regional crown. A two-year varsity starter, she switched to an outside hitter in a midseason lineup change and made a big contribution. A very capable setter (240 assists) Olhava used her great vertical jump to hammer 125 kills. She had 23 aces and served 94 percent. "Alessia also excelled in the back court with her outstanding quickness (268 digs, 175 receptions)," said Hersey coach Nancy Lill of her co-captain. "Alessia is an outstanding athlete that has done so much for our team. It is rare that an athlete can change positions midseason and excel as Alessia has. She has left her mark on the Hersey volleyball program."
Paige Ramel BarringtonWhen the action was in the middle, you can bet Ramel was going to be a part of it for the Mid-Suburban League champions who won the crown in three sets over Buffalo Grove. " Paige was a presence in the middle," said Fillies coach Michelle Jakubowski about her 6-foot middle hitter. Ramel led Barrington in blocks with 58, and she was third on attack with her 132 kills. "Paige was someone we could count on with her consistent play in the middle," Jakubowski said. "She helped us win the conference championship (for the 12th time in program history)."
Mia Ruffolo BarringtonAfter playing for three years at downstate Charleston High School, Ruffolo transferred to Barrington for her senior year. The Fillies' libero made a big difference in the back row, where she competed as one of the top liberos in the state. Ruffolo led the MSL champs with 250 digs. "She was a great addition to our team." said Barrington coach Michelle Jakubowski. "Mia brought energy and consistency to our back row play." She hopes to do the same for the nest four years at the collegiate level when she becomes the first player from the MSL to play for the University of Connecticut women's volleyball team.
Heidi Sayre FremdWhen Fremd was on the attack, chances were good that Sayre was right in the middle of things. The senior led the Vikings with her 249 kills heading into the sectional and 459 for her career. Sayre led the MSL West co-champs in attack and attempts the last two seasons. "Heidi has been the person our team went to most often when we needed that defining attack to help seal a victory," said Fremd coach Curt Pinley. "More importantly is how consistent she is as a hitter, with a hitting efficiency at .300 (second on the team)." Sayre was also third on the team with her 37 blocks and 238-of-258 serve receiving. "Our team always felt confident when she would rise up to attack that we were going to get that point," Pinley said. " Her positive attitude and work ethic was always on display and other teammates fed off it. She isn't the loudest on the floor, so she tended to let her play do the talking."
Sarah Skaags Prospect Only a junior, Skaggs has already helped run the offense at Prospect for two years. This year, she set a 5-1 offense and ended up with 547 assists. "She has done an amazing job with the offense and choosing the best set depending on the situation," said Prospect coach Laura Gerber. "Sarah is a vocal leader on the court and that helps the hitters know where to attack. Her consistency has given the hitters the balls they need to get kills." Skaggs also produced 227 digs and 19 aces. "Sarah has a positive approach which elevates the play of the rest of the team," Gerber said. "She has been a pleasure to coach the last two years and I'm looking forward to seeing what her senior year will bring."
Maggie Streckert Buffalo GroveStreckert played a key role to one of Buffalo Grove's most successful seasons in program history. The three-year varsity performer racked up 642 assists (0.347 assist efficiency) and 81 kills during the regular season. "Maggie is so composed and focused throughout every point," said Bison coach Matt Priban. "She has the ability to turn on any ball and put it exactly where it needs to be for her hitters to attack effectively." Streckert also contributes with solid defense, collecting 187 digs. She led the MSL East co-champs in blocks (51) and was an aggressive server with 26 aces. "Maggie's leadership and competitive nature on the court was a huge factor in our success," Priban said.
Peyton Tilly BarringtonIf the Mid-Suburban League champions had a go-to player, then Tilly was the person ready to go at all times for one of her sparkling kills. The senior outside hitter led the Fillies with 340 this fall, and finished with 805 for her career. She was voted the Fillies' captain and lived up to her role by helping them to their first MSL crown since 2013 and 12th in school history. Tilly was rewarded for her efforts by being named the MSL West Player of the Year. "Peyton was a four-year varsity player for us," said Barrington coach Michelle Jakubowski. "She was dominate at the net and someone we counted on to get us a kill."
Beatriz Verin LeydenLeyden volleyball would not have been the same without Verin serving as the libero. The two-time all-aera selection was an integral part to the Eagles' success this season. "Bea was a leader both on and off the court and truly, a wonderful human," said Leyden coach Daniele Kowalkowski. "Bea's aggressive attitude on defense and serve receive was a huge asset for our team this year." Verin passed almost 75 percent of the balls, collecting 408 digs this fall. Her effective jump float scored many points for the Eagles, including 49 aces. "Bea plays competitive beach, on top of club ball in the off season, which has helped tremendously with court sense and smart play," Kowalski said. "She will be missed dearly by her coaches and is leaving big shoes to fill in the libero spot."
Honorable mentionAlly Block (Maine West), Grace Cacini (Prospect), Michelle Candotti (Schaumburg), Emma Cogan (Prospect), Destiny Corral (Leyden), Yuri Hara (Conant), Kaylin Johnson (Maine West), Carrie Leazer (St. Viator), Nicole Nguyen (Wheeling), Reilly Olson (Maine West), Ashley Poland (Hoffman Estates), Ashlyn Ryan (Rolling Meadows)