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Hello and Happy Holidays to All –
We will be holding a recruiting meeting for all Juniors at Velocity Sports
Performance on Sunday, January 11th at 7pm. If you cannot make it but would
like to receive the information packet that will be handed out…please contact
Nadine Tomasovich.


Penn State middle blocker Arielle Wilson (1st Alliance) and Illinois outside hitter
Laura DeBruler (1st Alliance) have been named Second Team All-American by
the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced Wednesday.
To read more, click here.


Congratulations to 2007 1st Alliance alumnae Sara Byrne for being named
Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference 1st team all-conference and
being named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association NAIA all-mideast
region team.


Cheer on our club alumnae as they battle in the NCAA sweet 16 this
coming weekend: Penn State (Arielle Wilson), Illinois (Laura DeBruler,
Abby Nelson, Catherine Culligan), Purdue (Jaclyn Hart, Jessica Ullrich,
Lisa Pierce
), Michigan (Beth Karpiak), and Western Michigan (Caitlin Stimmel,
Jillian Mitchell, Kate Corbett, Katie Eberling and Jamie Gotham).


Congratulations to Margy Acton who was named the Suburban Life Player of
the Year. Also to Jamie Lundstrom, Katie Bazzoni, Mo Stroka, Jill Paluch,
Jen Mulligan, and Regan Riley who made the first team. And to Alexis Viliunas,
Laura Williams and Colleen McCollom who were honorable mention.


Congratulations alumnae Arielle Wilson (sophomore Penn State) and Laura
(sophomore Illinois) who were named to the All Big Ten Conference
team. Also, to Beth Karpiak (Senior, Michigan) who was honorable mention
All Big Ten. 1stAlliance with three alumnus recognized was the only club that
had more than one player on the team or honorable mention.


Congratulations to 1st Alliance alumna, Laura DeBruler, who was named the Big
Ten Offensive Player of the Week after leading University of Illinois to a pair of
victories this weekend. The sophomore posted two double-doubles in two matches
and averaged 4.2 kills and 3.2 digs per set. Her effort on Saturday marked her 27th
career 20-kill match, which is just two off the Illinois school record. The weekly
award is DeBruler’s third this season and the fifth of her career.


Congratulations to 1st Alliance Alumnae Caitlin Strimel, who was named the
Defensive Player of the Year for the Division I Mid American Conference (MAC)
and to Jillian Mitchell who was named the MAC Setter of the Year. Both play
for Western Michigan University.


Congratulations to Desiree Aramburu and Annemarie Hickey who were

named to the Chicago Tribune All-State First team. Kelly Griffith and Courtney
were named to the second team. Courtney Gosewisch,
Jenna Litoborsk
i, Alise Tupurtis, Marielle Oestermeyer, Ali Deatsch,
Sue Hayes
and Catherine Guido were Special Mention.


Congratulations to Lions Jrs. Alumna Aubrey Dondlinger who First Team
All-Ohio Valley Conference accolades. Dondlinger, a senior at Division I
Southwest Missouri, posted five double-doubles this season and was second
on the team in kills with 2.86 per game. She reached double-digit kills 10 times
this season, including in nine of her last 10 matches. She has also compiled 196
digs this season, hitting the 20-plus dig mark twice.


Congratulations to 1st Alliance Alumna Jillian Mitchell who was been named
the Division I Mid-American Conference Player of the Week. Mitchell, a junior at
Western Michigan University, led her school to a pair of road victories over Ball
State and Toledo to clinch the undisputed 2008 Mid-American Conference
championship and the top seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament. Mitchell
passed out 12.71 assists per set, in addition to 2.29 digs and 1.00 kill hitting .375.
With Mitchell leading the way, WMU hit .287 as a team on the weekend.

Congratulations to 1st Alliance Alumna Michelle McDonough who tallied her
first career triple-double in leading Binghamton University (15-14, 9-3) over
New Hampshire (7-21, 4-8) 3-1 (25-12, 21-25, 25-15, 25-22) in an America
East volleyball match. McDonough, a sophomore hitter, recorded a triple double
of 12 kills, 11 digs and a new career-high of 10 blocks.


Congratulations to Desiree Aramburu, who was named the Sun Times player
of the year. Four other 1st Alliance players made the Sun Times All Area 1st
team of 12 – Jenna Litoborski, Courtney Cunningham, Kelly Griffin and Annemarie
Hickey. Other 1st Alliance players making the second and third teams include
Marielle Oestermeyer, Alise Tupuritis, Ali Deatsch, and Aubrey Sniegowski.
We are proud of these nine players that comprised one third of all players
honored by the Sun Times.

Beth Karpiak (La Grange, IL), a 2005 graduate of Lyons Township was named
to the ESPN Magazine’s University Academic All-District volleyball second team.
Karpiak is a senior at the University of Michigan. This season, she is averaging
3.13 kills per game while hitting .360. She currently holds the University of
Michigan record for hitting percentage. Karpiak began her volleyball career playing
for 1st Alliance VBC where she led the team to a National Junior Olympic
championship in 2005.


Senior Beth Karpiak (LaGrange, Ill./Lyons Township) of the University
of Michigan volleyball team was named to the ESPN The Magazine University
Division Academic All-District IV volleyball second team, announced Thursday
(Nov. 6) by CoSIDA. Karpiak is the fourth student-athlete in U-M volleyball
history to receive Academic All-District honors and the third second-team
selection, joining Erin Moore (2003) and Shareen Luze (1996). Stesha Selsky
was a third team honoree in 2007.


1st Alliance alumnae dominated the Big Ten Conference this week as
Illinois sophomore outside hitter Laura DeBruler was named this week's
offensive Player of the Week and Penn State University sophomore,
Arielle Wilson was named this week’s defensive Player of the Week.
DeBruler became just the second player in Illinois history to eclipse the
1,000 career digs mark in her first two seasons, now with 1,023. The
sophomore recorded two double-doubles on the road over the weekend.
Wilson helped the Nittany Lions remain perfect in matches and sets last
week, averaging 2.0 blocks and 2.8 kills as Penn State swept Indiana
and Michigan State.


Congratulations to 1st Alliance Alumna Michelle McDonough who was

been named the Division I America East Player of the Week. McDonough,

a sophomore at Binghamton University, averaged 5.00 kills, 2.89 digs

and 0.69 blocks per set on the week. She posted 17 kills, eight digs and

four blocks against Cornell, 18 kills and nine digs versus Hartford and

finally 10 kills and nine digs against Stony Brook. McDonough has now

reached double-digits in kills 15 times on the season and is ranked second

in the conference in kills per set (3.45).


1st Alliance alumnae dominated the South Atlantic Conference this week
as Wingate University sophomore outside hitter Lauren Billo was named
this week's volleyball Player of the Week and Wingate University freshman
libero Maggie Malone was named is the volleyball Specialist of the Week.
Lauren Billo had 14 kills in Wingate's 3-1 win at Newberry College Wednesday
night. She hit .519 in Wingate's only match of the week, posting 14 kills
and no errors in 27 attacks. Billo also had a pair of blocks in the match.
On the season, the sophomore is second on the Bulldog charts in kills
per set (2.40). Maggie Malone recorded 19 digs in Wingate's 3-1 victory
at Newberry Wednesday night. She also notched five service aces in
the road triumph. Malone leads Wingate in digs (3.65 per set) and service
aces (0.40 per set). The Wednesday win clinches the regular season
SAC title for the Bulldogs, who improve to 24-1 overall and 13-0 in the
league. Malone earns SAC Specialist of the Week honors for the second
time in her young career. Billo receives SAC Player of the Week laurels
for the first time.


Western Michigan junior, Katie Eberling reached rare territory by notching

19 kills over the weekend to become just the 17th Bronco with 1,000 career

kills (1,016). She also moved into fifth in career digs with 968 as she tries

to become only the second Bronco with 1,000 career kills and digs. She

already holds the school record with 38 career double-doubles.


Congratulations to 1st Alliance alumna, Arielle Wilson, who was named the
Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after leading Penn State to a pair of
road sweeps, helping the Nittany Lions remain undefeated in matches as
well as sets. On Friday, the sophomore posted seven kills on a .429 hitting
percentage at Iowa, also adding nine total blocks and a dig. The middle hitter
followed that performance by slamming 10 kills at a .692 clip with three stuffs
to lead the her squad to a victory over No. 12 Minnesota on Saturday in front
of a crowd of over 10,000 at Williams Arena. For the weekend, she averaged
2.8 kills and 2.0 blocks per set while swinging for a .556 hitting average. The
weekly honor is the third of Wilson's career as she was recognized twice
last season.


Annemarie Hickey was named MVP of the St. Charles East Tournament this
past weekend.


Congratulations to Lions Jrs. alumna, Claire Reeder, who was named the
Midwest Conference Volleyball Performer of the Week. Reeder was
named to the North Park University All-Tournament team after having 56
kills and hitting .381. That included an incredible 16-kill performance with
no errors in a three-set sweep of Robert Morris in which she hit .727.


Congratulations to Lions Jrs. alumna, Lauren Billo, who led Wingate
Univeristy to their 12th consecutive win with 10 kills. Wingate is in first
place in the South Atlantic Conference (Division I) with a 4-0 conference


Congratulations to 1st Alliance alumna, Caitlin Strimel, who was named the
Mid-America Conference Player of the Week. Caitlin Strimel's defense led
Western Michigan to a 2-0 start in the MAC with wins over Northern Illinois
and MAC East preseason favorite Miami. Strimel averaged a robust 6.29
digs per set with match highs of 29 digs against Miami and 15 against
Northern Illinois. Strimel is on track to beat the all-time dig record for Western
Michigan University and the Mid-America Conference as a whole.


Freshman Terese Byrne was named to the all-tournament team last
weekend for the Olivet Nazarene Women's team.
Click here to read more.


Congratulations to 1st Alliance alumna, Jaclyn Hart, who was named to the
All-Tournament team at the Utah Classic. Hart, a sophomore, set the #20
Purdue Boilermakers to the tournament title.


Congratulations to 1st Alliance alumna, Simone Asque, who as a freshman
broke into the starting line up with University of Virginia this weekend. She
delivered for UVA, averaging 8.7 kills per game and helping UVA win the
Marriott Jefferson Cup Title.


Congratulations to 1st Alliance alumna, Arielle Wilson of Penn State. She was
named the Most Outstanding Player at the Nittany Lion Invitational. During the
tournament she averaged 1.9 blocks and 2.3 kills per set on a .341 average.
Penn State maintains their number one ranking in the nation and remains
undefeated this season.


The 1st Alliance alumnae continue to post impressive performances. Our
congratulations to Amy Pauly, who was named the SEC Conference Defensive
Player of the Week. Amy is a senior at the University of Alabama and holds the
Crimson Tide record for most digs in a season.


The Sun Times recently announced the top 50 volleyball players in the
Chicagoland area. A quarter of the players are from 1st Alliance and Lions Jrs.
Congratulations to the 12 1st Alliance/Lions Jrs. players that were mentioned.
Click here to read more.

Gillian Asque (OH, Lions 16-1), Christine Bowe (OH, 1st Alliance 17 Silver),
Jenny Buczek (OH, Lions 15-1), Courtney Cunningham (MH, 1st Alliance 17 Silver),
Jessica Falk (OH, 1st Alliance 16 Silver), Annemarie Hickey (OH, 1st Alliance 16 Silver),
MaryKate Imrie (S, 1st Alliance 16 Silver), Jenna Litoborski (OH, 1st Alliance 17 Black),
Marielle Oestermeyer (OH, 1st Alliance 17 Black), Jill Paluch (S, 1st Alliance 16 Silver),
Kelsey Safranek (OH, 1st Alliance 17 Silver), Aubrey Sniegowski (MH, 1st Alliance 17 Silver)


Congratulations to 1st Alliance alumna, Beth Karpiak, who was named to the
Georgia Tech Invitational all-tournament team. Karpiak led the Michigan Wolverines
to the championship by hitting .542 with an average of 10 kills per match. Karpiak
is a graduate of Lyons Township High School.


Congratulations to Courtney Cunningham, Marielle Oestermeyer and Courtney
Gosewisch. All were named Senior Aces (one of the top 250 players in the nation)
by Prep Volleyball. Click here for more information.


Laura DeBruler, a sophomore outside hitter for #19 Illinois has been named the
Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week. Also, the CVU/com
National Player of the Week for her MVP performance at the State Farm Illini Classic
this past weekend.


Congratulations to 1st Alliance alumna Laura Debruler, who was named the Big Ten
Offensive Player of the week. DeBruler was named the MVP of the State Farm
Illini Classic after averaging 5.4 kills per set to lead Illinois to the tournament’s title
with wins over North Carolina, #23 New Mexico State and #11 Oregon.


Congratulations to two of our alumnae, Laura DeBruler and Arielle Wilson, who were
two of the twelve players named to the 2008 Preseason All-Big Ten volleyball team.
Laura is an outside hitter at University of Illinois and Arielle Wilson is a middle hitter
at last year’s national champions, Penn State. For more information, click here.


Our club is proud to feature four teams ranked by Prep Volleyball in the top 50
in their age group. Lions 15-1 (top 50), Alliance 16 Silver (#21), Alliance 17 Silver
(#22) and Alliance 17 Black (#27) were all ranked in the top 50 in the nation.
While PrepVolleyball does not rank the 14 year-old age group, Lions 14-1 had a
winning record against ranked 16 year-old teams this past season and finished
the season with an overall record of 71 wins and 17 losses. For more information,
please visit Congratulations to all these teams and players.


Twenty-five 1st Alliance seniors will go on to play volleyball in college this fall,
the fourth highest number of any club in the nation. Congratulations and we
look forward to watching you continue your volleyball success at the next level.
Click here to see where our seniors will play this fall.


Sign up today for the Lions Jrs. co-ed fall youth volleyball league for 3rd, 4th,
5th and 6th graders. Deadline for sign up is July 31. Click here to sign up.


Annemarie Hickey (1st Alliance 16 Silver) received All-Tournament honors
this past week at the JVDA Championships in Louisville, Kentucky.


Congratulations to all teams that participated in the JVDA Championships in
Louisville, Kentucky this past week. A special congratulations to Lions 14-1s
for their second place finish in the 14 Open Division, 1st Alliance 16 Silver for
finishing fifth in the 16 Open Division and 1st Alliance 17 Black for their
seventh place finish in the 17 Open Division.


Congratulations to 1st Alliance 16 Silver for a 2nd place finish this past week
at the Classic in the Wisconsin Dells. A special recognition
goes to Annemarie Hickey for being awarded Most Outstanding Attacker.


Congratulations to 1st Alliance 17 Silver for a 3rd place finish this past week
at the Classic in the Wisconsin Dells. A special recognition
goes to Kristin Hoffman for being awarded Most Outstanding Setter and Sara
Shannon on being named Most Outstanding Blocker.


Congratulations to Lions 14-1 for winning the 15 and under division at the
Asics Junior National volleyball Championships this weekend. Congratulations
to Lions 12 Red for earning a third place medal at the Asics Championships
this weekend.


Congratulations to Melissa Joyce and Jill Graczyk who placed in the top 10
(out of 450 participants) in the Nike Sparq Training competition. Nike has
invited both players to their headquarters for an exclusive visit in mid-July
to compete again. The overall winner will have an interview and article
to be published in Eastbay magazine.


Attention all 1st Alliance, Lions Jrs. and Fearless players, please join us for the
2008 Club Party on Sunday, June 22 from 7-10pm at the North Beach Club,
1211 Butterfield Rd. in Downers Grove.


Events will include bowling, beach volleyball and ping pong, and there will be
pizza and soft drinks for everyone. The cost is $20 per player, so please pay
your coach by Sunday, June 15. At 9pm, the parents are welcome to join us
for the senior recognition and a club slide show.


Congratulations to Lions 15 Red for winning the 15 Club division at the GLC
Pre-Nationals tournament. Also, congratulations to Lions 17-1 and 14-1 who
finished runner up in 17 Club and 16 Club respectively.


Congratulations to Kelly Stack (1st Alliance 16 Silver) who was named ‘Best Libero’
in the 16’s division at the National Junior Classic tournament this past weekend.


Congratulations to Courtney Gosewisch (1st Alliance 17 Silver) who was named
5th Team ‘Dandy Lions’ (All-around high school or club talents who project as back
row animals at the next level) on Please login to for the entire story.


Congratulations to Carli Weiler (1st Alliance 18 Silver) and Catherine Culligan
(1st Alliance 18 Silver) who were named 1st Team ‘Gym Dandies’ (Full time defenders
who work their butts off during practice and play to help the team at all costs) on Please login to for the entire story.


Lions 13-1 won their pool in 14 and under Power League Sunday and finished as the
highest 13's team in the league.


Lions 14-1 continue to maintain their spot as the top 14 year old team in the 16's division of
Great Lakes Power League. Good job girls.

The Inaugural 1st Alliance/Lions Jrs. Potluck Scrimmage took place this past Sunday with
team and individual competitions being held. Congratulations to the following players who
won their respective contests:

  • Best Serve - Stephanie Babiarz (Lions 17-1)
  • Best Attack - Simone Asque (1st Alliance 18 Silver)
  • Best Set - Desiree Aramburo (Lions 17 Red)
  • Best Dig - Bridget Murphy (Lions 17-1)
  • Highest Approach Jump - Courtney Cunningham 10 feet 1.5 inches (1st Alliance 17 Silver)
  • Highest Vertical Leap - Jill Paluch 32.5 inches (1st Alliance 16 Silver)


1st Alliance 16 Silver won the 16 JVDA Zonal Tournament by beating Illini Elite 16 Cardinal on
Sunday. 16 Silver capped off a dominant weekend with a gold medal and an 8-0 record.
Congratulations girls!

Congratulations to Lions 12 Red for finishing first in Power league on Sunday.


1st Alliance 18 Silver took home gold and 16 Silver finished runner-up in the open division
at the Indy JVDA Classic Tournament this past weekend. Also, congratulations to Lions 17 Red
for taking home silver in the 17 Club division. Keep up the good work!


Congratulations to Lions 15 White for winning the Circus Tournament on April 13.


Lions 13 Red wins the Circus Tournament by beating Lockport 14-1 in the championship.
Lions 13 Red is in Pool-A of 13 power league.


Congratulations to the gold and silver medallists in our 1st Annual Lions Jrs. Tens and Teens
Tournament. Gold medallists: Marina Gonzalez, Barbara Heidkamp, Nora Stack, Katelyn Papierski,
Megan Miller, Alexis Viliunas, and Laura Williams. Silver medallists: Sarah Dobrich, Clare Ryan,
Emily Morris, Kerry Mulligan, Morgan Semmelhack, Becca Dobrich and Nora Mitros.
Pictures are posted under the 10s team. Great playing girls.


Congratulations to Annemarie Hickey (1st Alliance 16 Silver) for being named to
the JVDA Showcase All-Tournament team.


Congratulations to the Lions 14-1s, who finished second in the JVDA tournament March 28-30.
They have entered three tournaments this season and have brought home two gold and one silver
medal. Again, congratulations and keep up the good work.


Lions Juniors announces day and evening summer camp dates beginning on Monday 7.7 through
Thursday 7.24. More information is provided on the Camp Information page.


Congratulations to Lions 15-1 and Lions 14-1, both of which won their respective age group at
the Dunes March Madness Tournament. Lions 15-1 beat the sixth ranked team in the nation,
Team Indiana, in the finals in straight sets. For Lions 14-1, this makes their second straight
14 year-old championship and have yet to drop a set in either tournament. Great playing girls.


Congratulations to Lions 16 Red for winning their pool on both days in 16 and under Power
League this past weekend.


Congratulations to 1st Alliance 18 Silver on their second place gold finish in the open division at
Central Zone.


Lions 17-1, Lions 14-1 and Alliance 18 Red all won the gold medal, and Lions 15 Red
took home the bronze medal at the President's Day Weekend Spectacular (Wisconsin Dells).
1st Alliance 16 Silver finished in third place and 1st Alliance 17 Black took fifth place
at the President's Day Elite Series (Great Lakes Center). Congratulations to all teams.


Lions 11 Neon led all Lions 11 and under teams in Sunday's power league with fifteen pass, set, attacks.
Lions 11 Teal was second with seven pass, set, attacks.


Congratulations to Lions 13-1, Lions 12-Red, Lions 11-Teal and Lions 10-Green
for winning their pools at Power League.


Lions 11 Navy leads all Lions Jrs. teams with thirteen pass/set/attacks during
Sunday's power league action. Lions 11 Neon was second with six pass/set/attacks.


Congratulations to Jessica Falk (1st Alliance 16 Silver) for being named as High Honorable
Mention for the PrepVolleyball SOPH 79. Also, congratulations to Annemarie Hickey
(1st Alliance 16 Silver) and MaryKate Imrie (1st Alliance 16 Silver) for being named
Honorable Mention for the PrepVolleyball SOPH 79.


Congratulations to Jenny Buczek (Lions 15-1) for being named as Highest Honorable Mention for
the PrepVolleyball FROSH 59. Also, congratulations to Courtney Keefe (Lions 15-1) for being
named Special Mention for the PrepVolleyball FROSH 59.


Congratulations to Lions 17-1 for winning their pool in 18 and under Power League.


Congratulations to Carli Weiler (18 Alliance Silver) for being named a PrepVolleyball All-American.
Carli was one of only 150 players selected nationwide for this honor. Also, congratulations to
Alex Blatt (18 Alliance Silver), Melissa Joyce (18 Alliance Silver) and Megan McMahon
(18 Alliance White) for being named as Honorable Mention All-Americans.


Congratulations to 1st Alliance 17 Black and 1st Alliance 16 Silver who both won
their pools at 18 and under Power League today.


Lions 16 Red are the tournament champions after winning the Windy City Invite.


A reminder that all club fees are due this week.


Congratulations to Lions 16-1 and 15-1 for winning their pools at the 16 and under Power League.


Congratulations to Lions 14-1, 15-Red, 15-White, 16-1 and Fearless 15, who all won their pools at the 16 Power League.


Congratulations to two of our senior setters Melissa Joyce and Megan McMahon who have been nominated
for the Andi Collins Award given to the Nation’s Top Senior Setter. For the complete story go to


Congratulations to Lions 16-1's for beating Sunsetters 16-Elite on Sunday, and being named Champions of the Palos tournament.


Lions 15-1's claimed the championship of the Palos Invite today by beating Sky High 16 Red. Congratulations.


All Lions and Alliance teams do well in the first seeding date of Great Lakes Power League.

All teams are now in full swing with Lions 10's and 11's starting today with their first practices.


Lions 13-1s are the first team to be crowned tournament champions this season with a nice win over
Fusion 14 White at the Fusion fest.