Girls volleyball: Lake County All-Area team

By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/9/2018 11:09 AM
  • Lexie Baker

    Lexie Baker

  • Annie Bart

    Annie Bart

  • Abby Berkowicz

    Abby Berkowicz

  • Cassidy Beshel

    Cassidy Beshel

  • Allison Chase

    Allison Chase

  • Lilly Cozzi

    Lilly Cozzi

  • Cenie Frieson

    Cenie Frieson

  • Alyssa Gerzel

    Alyssa Gerzel

  • Kelli Hopper

    Kelli Hopper

  • Elisa Koshy

    Elisa Koshy

  • Erika Kraml

    Erika Kraml

  • Dana Lundtveit

    Dana Lundtveit

  • Megan Mitchell

    Megan Mitchell

  • Alexis Naddy

    Alexis Naddy

  • Peyton O'Brien

    Peyton O'Brien

  • Kelli Rettig

    Kelli Rettig

  • Ashley Smith

    Ashley Smith

  • Sophie Sorenson

    Sophie Sorenson

  • Eileen Tarcha

    Eileen Tarcha

  • Grace Tully

    Grace Tully

  • Ella White

    Ella White

Lexie Baker Grayslake NorthDefense, defense, defense. Baker could play defense. How about those 410 digs? "That's third in school history," Knights coach Jim Sarver said. "She is the leader of the team. She is the heart and soul of the best record in the history of the school. She is arguably the best defensive player in the history of the school." Baker also served at a 96-percent rate.

Annie Bart Carmel CatholicOnly a sophomore, but a player to watch. "Annie burst on the scene this year," Corsairs coach Dave Pazely said. "She improved dramatically throughout the season. When she grew accustomed to the speed of the game, she started to take over." Bart led the Corsairs in kills (223), was third in blocks (33) and fourth in aces (24). "Annie doesn't want just to play," Pazely said. "She wants to win."

Abby Berkowicz WarrenThe senior setter ran the show for dynamite Warren squad that won 30 matches and a regional championship. She dished out 457 assists. "Abby works really hard at perfecting her setting," Blue Devils coach Julie Filippo said. "She's a quiet leader with a passion to play." Berkowitz also notched 49 kills and 157 digs, and was strong at the serving line with 71 aces.

Cassidy Beshel Grayslake CentralThe senior was never better than in a three-set loss to Libertyville in the regional semifinals. "Cassidy was our big gun on the outside," Rams coach Jason Janczak said. "Plus, she got us several clutch kills in big-time situations when we needed it." A repeat all-area selection, Beshel led the Rams with 253 kills. She also helped out on defense with 115 digs. Her blocking was important with 43. "A great player and a great person," Janczak said, "whose leadership and skill will be missed next year."

Allison Chase Vernon HillsThe senior came up big at the net. She topped the Cougars with 58 blocks and added 91 kills. "Ally was our offensive go-to-player, in spite of battling through some injuries." Cougars coach Arian Colton said. "When we could get Ally the ball, great things happened. We will miss her next season."

Lily Cozzi StevensonIt was clear that if Cozzi got the ball, she would put it away. "She hits a heavy ball," Stevenson coach Tim Crow said. "And she has an effective all-around game. I consider her Ms. Reliable, not only in her game but as a person, too," Cozzi notched 173 kills and 118 digs. "Lily is also my daughter's favorite volleyball player," Crow added.

Cenie Frieson AntiochLast year's setter moved to the outside. "We needed her hitting more," Antioch coach Greg Bruns said. "So she agreed to move positions. Cenie can hit equally well from the front row and the back row." The move paid off, as Frieson delivered 301 kills. The junior also added 135 digs. "She has great court vision," Bruns said.

Alyssa Gerzel Grayslake NorthOnly a sophomore, she's already in the school record books. Her 218 kills this season were a single-season best for the program. She is second for all-time kills. "Alyssa was always going against taller blockers," Grayslake North coach Jim Sarver said. "She has a variety of shots but is best known for hitting a quick back set." Gerzel added 37 aces.

Kelli Hopper LibertyvilleThe sophomore could be very good and was on most nights. On a young Libertyville squad, the outside hitter provides an all-around game. Her 201 digs stood out. She also put down 177 kills as part of a balanced attack. She also racked up 25 blocks and was a dangerous server with 37 aces.

Elisa Koshy Grayslake CentralAn all-area softball player as well, Koshy was a complete setter. A setter with power, that is. "She did an awesome job running our offense as well as being a huge weapon herself at the net," Grayslake Central coach Jason Janczak said. Koshy's astounding 638 assists and 63 aces led the team. She also notched 56 blocks, which was second on the club. She also helped on defense (180 digs). "Having coached for 13 years," Janzak said, "I would argue that Elisa is one of most versatile athletes I have coached."

Erica Kraml WaucondaThe senior moved from the middle to the outside, and was a force. "She was a six-rotation player for our team," Wauconda coach Alison Williams said. Kraml's 136 kills paced the Bulldogs. Equally impressive were her 183 digs. "She really is an all-around player," Williams said. "She really stepped up and tried to help her team in any way possible."

Dana Lundtveit WarrenWhen the 6-foot senior put the ball down, no one could dig her. At Warren, they set her 668 times. And she racked up 258 kills in a balanced attack. "Dana is another one of our hard-hitting outsides," Warren coach Julie Filippo said of her repeat all-area selection. Lundtveit, a starter on the Blue Devils' conference-championship basketball team last season, also managed 37 blocks.

Megan Mitchell GrantOn a young team, this senior stood out. "She played with five sophomores," Grant coach Michele Keenan said. "She taught them how to play varsity volleyball. She never showed her team her frustration with a mistake or a loss." Mitchell closed with 204 kills and 143 digs. She added 21 aces in earning all-area honors for the second year in a row.

Alexis Naddy MundeleinOn the best team in a generation at Mundelein, Naddy helped lead the way. "She's really a hard hitter," Mundelein coach George Dressen Jr. said. Naddy easily led the Mustangs in kills with 207. She proved versatile with 73 digs. Her 30 aces led the team, and she added 35 blocks.

Peyton O'Brien LibertyvilleOnly a sophomore, she looks destined for big things. As the lone setter for the Wildcats, O'Brien registered 516 assists in her second varsity season. She also was effective at the net with 98 blocks. Her 5-foot-11 frame helped with 70 kills.

Kelli Rettig LakesThe 5-foot-11 junior hitter provided plenty for the Northern Lake County Conference champions. "She has great court awareness," Lakes coach Kate Cheek said. "She has also developed strong leadership skills." Rettig notched 156 kills to go along with 166 digs and 51 aces. "Her drive and desire to compete is amazing," Cheek said.

Ashley Smith LakesAnother 5-foot-11 player in the lineup of the Eagles, the junior was steady, reliable and effective. "Ashley is the type of athlete who everyone wants on their team," Lakes coach Kate Cheek said. "That's because she always works hard and never makes excuses." Smith checked in with 146 kills and 50 aces.

Sophie Sorenson StevensonThe captain of the all-area team and three-time all-area selection, the 5-foot-8 senior outside hitter led Stevenson to its first conference championship in a decade. Sorenson finished with 386 kills, 265 digs and 60 aces. She will play Division-I lacrosse for the University of Connecticut.

Eileen Tarcha Carmel CatholicThe three-year starter is coming back next season. "She's one of the most versatile players Carmel has seen in years," Carmel coach Dave Pazely said. Tarcha notched 194 kills and 251 digs. "She knows how to read the game," Pazely said. "She can also punish opponents by moving the ball around at any time."

Grace Tully StevensonThe junior setter dished out an eye-popping 721 assists. "She's really a player who had a huge impact on our success this year," said Stevenson coach Tim Crow, whose Patriots won the North Suburban Conference championship and regional title as well. Tully also tallied 182 digs, 73 kills and 50 aces. "As our setter, she quickly established herself as one of the top setters around," Crow said.

Ella White WarrenThe senior was another one of the Blue Devils' sluggers, pounding 283 kills. She makes her second appearance on the all-area team in as many years. "Ella is a hard-hitting outside," Warren coach Julie Filippo said. "She also has great jumping ability."

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