Girls volleyball: Carmel libero Moisio rewriting school record book
Carmel senior libero Milana Moisio is a record-setter -- times two.
Moisio set the school record for career digs (she was at 1,212 and counting earlier this week) and for serve-receive average (2.40 on a 3.0 scale, "and climbing," coach David Pazely noted).
Pazely noted Moisio also is on pace to beat her single-season record for serve-receive. She's at 2.54 right now and hit 2.53 last year.
Moisio leads the team in digs with 292 and has 59 kills out of the libero spot. Julia Shrofe has 430 setting assists and 40 aces, while Jess Greeby is the team kill leader with 111. Katie Wesolowicz is the team leader in blocks with 23.
"Milana has been tearing it up for four years," Pazely said. "She is not only one of the best liberos in the area, she is one of the best in the state. I can't count how many coaches who have commented on how she plays the game at a different level. She is more than just a great defender/passer. Her vision, speed, balance and court coverage are amazing, but she also has excellent hands and can set the ball anywhere to keep the team in system offensively. And then there's her ability to send a ball over the net quickly to catch a team out of positions for an easy point. How many liberos have 59 kills? I'll bet Milana is the only one."
Moisio and Shrofe are senior captains.
"Julia is one of the most competitive athletes I have ever worked with, and versatile," Pazely said. "She plays softball too and is incredibly agile, flexible, strong and quick. Because of that she's able to get to passes other setters can't and make plays out of nothing. She is also good at being deceptive with her sets, so defenses are guessing where she is going, including if she sends it over on second contact herself. Running a 5-1 offense is a big responsibility and requires relentless effort and focus. I know Julia is perfect for that role because of her competitiveness and athleticism."
Other recent highlights for the Mundelein school include a conference win over Joliet Catholic and a runner-up finish at Wisconsin Lutheran and at the Grayslake Central tournament. Carmel was 14-12 to start the week.
Blue Devils girls volleyball coach Yun Chen has plenty to be excited about these days.
Chen's squad was 18-9 overall and 4-0 in North Suburban Conference play to start the week. Warren recently defeated Stevenson in conference play and took fourth at the Glenbard West invitational.
"We have eight more matches left in the season before hosting regionals," Chen said. "Regionals and sectionals will be tough. There are a lot of good teams. We are going to enjoy this ride as long as we can with our seniors."
Individually, Gabrielle Brewer recently went over the 1,000 assist mark for her career. Chen also had plenty of good things to say about Delaney Combes, Lauren Shaw and Ruth Ziegler.
"Delaney is one of many young contributors on our team," Chen said. "Delaney is a constant source of energy and leadership with her communication and understanding of the game. She is a true leader on the court and always is right in the middle of the action. Lauren has yet to show her true potential. As a junior, she has the accolades most seniors dream of. Lauren is never afraid to take the difficult swing during a game. We know she will always be challenging the defense. A next-play type of kid, she is looking for ways to always improve her game.
"Ruth is our team's go-to when we need something good to happen. Ruth is only a sophomore, but handles herself as if she was a four-year starting varsity player. She has a knack for finding open spots on the floor and is always making the right play."
Grayslake North update:
To start the week, the Knights were the only unbeaten team left in Northern Lake County Conference play at 4-0. North scored recent wins over conference rivals Grayslake Central and Lakes.
Four-year varsity starter Emily Porter leads the team in kills with 134 and recently moved into third place all-time on the career kills list at the school. Junior setter Anneke Holm has 203 assists, while middle blocker Arianna Knowles has 50 blocks for North (12-12).
In recent action, Morgan Nielsen, a junior middle, had 11 blocks in a 3-match stretch. "Morgan has really started to block," North coach Jim Sarver said. Porter had 30 kills during a recent 4-match run and Tess Buckley had 11 service aces in a 4-match span.
"Our team has started to come together, especially in conference play," Sarver said. "We graduated five starters so it took a while to gel together. We have started to pass the ball better, which has helped to run our fast offense. We continue to improve. We have a tough October where we host three Top-10 teams. We are hoping to be peaking to compete for a regional championship."
The Sequoits were at 12 wins to start the week and recently took second in their own 12-team Lonergan tournament. Also of recent note, Hannah Benes recorded her 1,000th career dig at the Hersey invitational. She has 340 digs this year.
"Hannah is leading a strong defensive team," Antioch coach Greg Bruns said.
Senior middle Annika Lindstrom has been a standout at the net with 42 blocks, while sophomore outside Nora Larson is leading the team with more than 100 kills.
"Annika has been a huge force in the middle," Bruns said, "and Nora has made herself a power hitter."
A pair of Eagles players have made college commitments. Maegan Brylski has committed to continue her career at the University of Dubuque, while Mikalah Mueller will play at Marian University.
Julia Tebben leads the team with 149 kills, 218 digs and 44 aces, while Brylski has 247 assists, 188 digs, 75 kills and 31 aces.
"Julia and Maegan both lead us in all stat categories," coach Sarah Yeager said. "These seniors have been leaders on and off the court, and have a never-give-up mentality."
Lakes was 18-10 overall and 2-1 in Northern Lake County action to start the week. Lakes finished third at the Lake Forest tournament, plus has recent wins over Marian Central Catholic, Antioch and Wauconda.
Freshman middle Riley Bell-Nance has been another bright spot for Yeager's club. "Riley has stepped up with both her blocking and offensive attack," she said. "It has been fun to watch her gain confidence this year and hold her own at the varsity level."
Yeager also likes how the Eagles are never in quit mode. "They are focused on their goals and what they want to accomplish," she said. "We have emphasized putting the team before the individual, and they are all buying into that mentality. I look forward to seeing them continue to grow and finish their season strong."
Vernon Hills update:
Coach Chris Curry's group was 13-13 overall and 2-4 in Central Suburban North action to start the week. The Cougars have turned things up many notches of late, having won 7 of their last 8, including taking first at the Harvard invitational.
Junior libero Elli Amjadi recently moved into third place all-time on the school digs and aces career charts. She has 632 digs and counting and 112 aces so far. Amjadi leads Hills in digs at 212 and aces at 46, while junior outside Alexa Cieslinski is tops in kills at 141. Senior middle Erica Bunning leads in blocks with 46.
So why the recent winning run? "We're simply cutting down on errors," Curry answered. "Our win percentage has gone up as our error percentage has gone done. We find a way to take a bad rally and keep the ball in play. When we extend the really, we have a better chance. The team is really strong defensively, so we need to make that our focus and be sure we make smart decisions with the ball until we work into a position to swing for a kill.
"When we have everyone in the gym and working, I think we'll make some nice progress," Curry added, noting the team has been hampered by injuries and illness. "We have a good mix of volleyball experience, some solid athletes who don't play volleyball year-round and energy. We are hoping to put it all together soon and reach some team goals this program hasn't gotten to in a while."