The DuPage County All-Area Girls Volleyball Team

By Stan Goff
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/9/2018 11:13 AM
  • Maggie Bair

    Maggie Bair

  • Gigi Barr

    Gigi Barr

  • Joslyn Boyer

    Joslyn Boyer

  • Sarah Burau

    Sarah Burau

  • Cassie Chinn

    Cassie Chinn

  • Ani Clark

    Ani Clark

  • Kayla Closset

    Kayla Closset

  • Jessica D'Ambrose

    Jessica D'Ambrose

  • Sarah Elliott

    Sarah Elliott

  • Allison Hamaker

    Allison Hamaker

  • Faith Johnson

    Faith Johnson

  • Vicky Krzyzyszkowicz

    Vicky Krzyzyszkowicz

  • Sarah Kushner

    Sarah Kushner

  • Margaret Mahlke

    Margaret Mahlke

  • Caitlyn Meeks

    Caitlyn Meeks

  • Hattie Monson

    Hattie Monson

  • Katie Ryan

    Katie Ryan

  • Grace Selman

    Grace Selman

  • Allison VanEekeren

    Allison VanEekeren

  • Sam Ward

    Sam Ward

Maggie Bair, Glenbard South

The senior middle blocker returns to the All-Area first team after picking up 249 kills, 144 digs, 69 blocks and 30 aces for the Raiders while earning all-tourney honors at Glenbard West and all-Upstate Eight honors. "Maggie is a great offensive player that can attack from anywhere on the court. Her serving and defense were greatly improved this year. With her on the court, I felt like we had a chance against any team," coach Chad Grant said.

Gigi Barr, York

"Gigi is a determined young lady who drives herself harder than I ever could, which is pretty amazing for a sophomore," Dukes coach Patty Iverson said. "While she is doing a great job hitting outside for us with over 350 kills this season, she plays middle in club, making that accomplishment more admirable." The co-captain also had 295 digs for a York team that reached the Class 4A sectional finals.

Joslyn Boyer, Montini

The four-year varsity starter is committed to the University of Iowa and excelled on defense for a Broncos program that went 70-47 and helped grow the program to a top 10 in the state ranking. The team captain won back-to-back all-conference honors and was named to the all-tournament teams at the Wheaton North and Latin tourneys. She holds the season high in digs with 332 and aces with 34, while recording 873 digs and 536 assists on varsity.

Sarah Burau, WW South

The junior setter/opposite has started for three years and picked up all-conference honors in both the DuPage Valley and now the DuKane. The Tigers captain recorded 461 assists, 139 kills and 128 digs while operating in a 6-2 attack. "Sarah continues to improve her skill set each every year and she's being recruited quite heavily right now," said coach Bill Schreier, whose team went 22-10.

Cassie Chin, Waubonsie Valley

The senior outside hitter/right side was named to the all-tournament team at Plainfield North at the beginning of the season, then went on to lead the 24-14 team in kills while turning in consistent, all-around play all year long. The four-year varsity player was named captain by her teammates and will play beach volleyball at Loyola Marymount University next year. "She is a strong leader on our team and an excellent teammate," coach Kari Galen said.

Ani Clark, Wheaton North

The Falcons captain and three-year starter was a top middle hitter last year but played more on the outside this year to take better advantage of her hitting, which resulted in a .294 overall hitting percentage with 228 Kills. She also had 28 blocks, 15 aces and 38 digs. "She was my go-to person this year in a very trying year of new girls," coach Carole Kristensen said of her Clemson-bound leader.

Kayla Closset, Naperville Central

The Redhawks junior came up big this fall, doing her best to fill the void left by graduated outside hitter Sarah Schank by producing 362 kills, 28 aces, 242 digs and 26 blocks. "Kayla is a two-year varsity starter. She carried a big load for us playing six rotations in all 37 matches we played this season. We are excited to have her back for another year," coach Brie Isaacson said.

Jessica D'Ambrose, Addison Trail

One of the best 5-foot-6 outsides around, the Blazers junior recorded 214 kills, 38 aces and added 242 digs. The three-year varsity starter has two older sisters who earned Daily Herald All-Area honors before playing Division I volleyball. She was a 2018 Nationals All-American and National Champion in the 16s Aspire Division as a Libero for her Sports Performance Team, then helped Addison Trail pick up impressive wins over Glenbard East, Wheaton Warrenville South, Fenwick, and Whitney Young.

Sarah Elliott, Glenbard East

The outside hitter committed to Gustavus Adolphus College and capped her third varsity season with 331 kills, 47 aces, 289 digs, a kill efficiency of .323 and 45 blocks. "The transformation from her sophomore year to senior year has been incredible," coach Marci Maier said. "She left her sophomore year with a skill set and came back with every area that needed work having been improved. She is one of the hardest workers I have seen here at East. As a captain, she has helped to lead not only our team but our program in a positive directions."

Allison Hamaker, Glenbard East

Headed to play at Ball State next year, her prep stats over the years have improved every season, and the four-year starter surpassed 1,000 kills and 600 digs. Prior to a sectional setback to Downers Grove North, she had 354 kills, 262 digs, 42 aces and 37 blocks for the Rams. "Al is one of our captains and a leader in our program and in the school," coach Marci Maier said. "She is an officer in our Rams Committed Club, which is the athletic leadership club, and she is one of the most adaptable and competitive athletes I have coached."

Faith Johnson, Neuqua Valley

"Faith is one of the best athletes I have coached in 25 years. She showed tremendous growth from last season to this season, especially making the transition from middle hitter to outside hitter, from a three-rotation player to a six-rotation player," Wildcats coach Kelly Simon said of her junior, who just committed to the University of Akron on a full scholarship. Johnson had 375 kills, 26 aces, 54 blocks (30 solos, 24 assists) and 211 digs.

Vicky Krzyszkowski, Fenton

The senior middle picked up all-Metro Suburban Conference honors a second straight year after helping the Bison go 24-12, their best season in more than 25 years. "Vicky really matured into a natural leader and there were many times this season where she was unstoppable. We are going to miss her," coach Kelly Kleidorfer said of her team captain and Dominican University recruit, who had 224 kills, 50 aces, 14 assists, 56 blocks, and 81 digs.

Sarah Kushner, Naperville North

Capped off four stellar varsity seasons with 375 kills, 291 digs and 38 aces, helping the Huskies win 31 matches, a regional crown and the DuPage Valley Conference title in 2018. "She has single-handedly raised the level of work ethic, communication and expectation in our gym. She leaves Naperville North as one of the most decorated volleyball players in Naperville North history," coach Jen Urban said of her Illinois State-bound outside hitter.

Margaret Mahlke, Downers Grove North

All-Area in 2017, the senior outside hitter, captain and four-year varsity starter powered the 29-11 Trojans downstate for the first time in three decades. "She leads by both example and with her voice and she has the fullest admiration of her teammates and coaches," coach Mark Wasik said of the St. Louis University recruit. Heading into this weekend's state semifinals, she had 440 kills, 237 digs and 46 blocks.

Caitlyn Meeks, Montini

The three-year varsity starter has been a force on the outside the last couple years for Montini, clicking well with setter Tess Noonan, who consistently looked for her when the team needed a big attack. The varsity captain recorded 245 kills and 169 digs for the 29-6 Broncos and has committed to play at Georgia Southern University next year. Meeks and Boyer helped the program grow by leaps and bounds before a three-set loss to St. Francis closed the season in the Class 3A sectional finals.

Hattie Monson, Benet

"Hattie is one of the most talented liberos to ever play in our state. She makes plays look easy that most liberos don't make," Redwings coach Brad Baker said of his junior, who has committed to play at Notre Dame. Heading into this week's Class 4A semifinals, Monson had 351 digs, 46 assists and 28 aces for the 35-win squad. She was the lone sophomore named to the Daily Herald's All-Area first team last season.

Katie Ryan, Glenbard West

A three-year starter, she had had 528 digs, 26 aces and a serve receive efficiency of 2.4 as the Hilltoppers reached the 25-win mark for a ninth straight year. "This season she held the team together through a variety of team injuries," coach Pete Mastrandrea said. "Katie held our defense together. That allowed us to be competitive all year despite multiple lineups due to injuries. She had a breakout season and emerged as a leader of our team. We have had some outstanding liberos at West, and her career ranks right up there with our best."

Grace Selman, Naperville North

The Huskies senior setter led the squad running a 5-1 offense and recorded 925 assists, 209 digs and 16 aces as the DuPage Valley Conference champs topped the 30-win plateau for a second straight season. "Grace is a special player who instills confidence in her hitters and brings out the best in her teammates," coach Jennifer Urban said. "She's a selfless leader and she has been a tremendous role model for Huskie volleyball over the last four years."

Sam Ward, St. Francis

The Spartans went 29-11 and claimed a Class 3A sectional crown in large part because of Ward's strong overall game. The junior right side/setter compiled 224 kills, 329 assists, 51 blocks and 144 digs heading into a supersectional setback to Latin. "She has been our spark most of the season, and she is a difference maker in most games for us," St. Francis coach Lisa Ston said.

Allison Van Eekeren, Benet

The Creighton-bound setter recorded 40 assists in last week's supersectional victory over Bloomington that advanced the Redwings to Friday's state semifinal against Marist. "Ally is a great all-around talent," Baker said. "She has provided great leadership by helping create an environment where everyone feels welcome and part of the team. She is consistently being positive on the court, which rubs off on her teammates." She heads downstate with 705 assists, 111 kills, 68 blocks and 37 aces.

Honorable mention

Abygale Ahn, Timothy Christian, libero, sr.; Anna Calcagno, St. Francis, OH, jr.; Kaitlyn DuMerer, Glenbard West, S, sr.; Lucy Dumford, Downers Grove South, OH/RS, sr.; Beth Dunlap, Downers Grove North, S, jr.; Kaitlyn Hurka, Hinsdale South, OH, jr.; Kyla Kenney, Benet, OH, soph.; Jessica Levy, York, OH, sr.; Zayna Meyer, Wheaton Warrenville South, S/OPP, soph.; Maddie Meyers, Glenbard North, OH, jr.; Karly Miller, Neuqua Valley, S, sr.; MacKenzie Miller, Fenton, S, sr.; Tess Noonan, Montini, S, jr.; Molly Russell, Naperville North, libero, sr.; Jaime Samojedny, Metea Valley, libero, sr.; Emily Sarles, Glenbard East, S, sr.; Alex VanWestrienen, Naperville Central, libero, sr.; Melissa Walden, Waubonsie Valley, S, jr.; Heidi Westra, Timothy Christian, OH/RS, sr.; Ashley Zulauf, St. Francis, OH, sr.

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