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May Newsletter Published

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Splitter Splitter

12.26.12 - 3CE 18-1's are Central Zone Tournament Champions!

-Entered the tournament as the #2 seed, went undefeated in pool play winning every match in 2 games
-In semis, beat Hitmen 18 Black in 2 games 25-16, 25-19, avenging an early season loss
-Beat North Shore Milwaukee 18-1 in finals, 25-21, 25-20, an impressive win beating a team that
played in "A" for Palos Points series and qualified last season
-Strong effort at the net blocking all day, winning every match in 2 games, 11-0


12.12.12 - Winter Setting Clinic

Winter Setting Clinic
Thursday, January 3rd from 2-4:30pm
Grades 6-8
@ the Max

Click here for the flyer

Click here for information and to sign up


12.10.12 - Coaches, players and parents help out at the Feed my Starving Children Organization

Feed My Starving Children is a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding
God’s children hungry in body and spirit. The approach is simple: children and adults
hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children, and we ship the
meals to nearly 70 countries around the world

Thanks to all those who participated!

Click here for more information on the Feed my Starving Children Organization


12.05.12 - 1st Alliance Players Make News Gazette All-State

The 31st News-Gazette All-State team includes many 1st
Alliance players. Here they are with News-Gazette comments:

First Team:
Sophia Dodd (pictured) St. Ignatius Sr. 5-11 S/OH
Wake Forest recruit tallied 385 assists, 258 digs, 213 kills
and 39 aces for 28-10 team; set school career assists record (1,836)

Sheila Doyle Lisle Benet Sr. 5-5 L
North Carolina recruit had team-high 375 digs for 40-2 team
that repeated as Class 4A state titlists

Dakota Hampton Sandburg Sr. 6-1 OH
South Florida recruit had 350 kills, 250 digs and 30 aces as
team won seventh straight regional, fourth straight conference title

Hannah Kaminsky Lisle Benet Sr. 5-11 S
Set school season record with 1,041 assists (No. 11 all time in IHSA)
and led 40-2 state champs with 34 service aces; also 143 digs

Second Team:
Caleigh Ryan Glenbard West Sr. 5-10 S
Northwestern recruit amassed school-record 703 assists this season,
led 37-3 team to first conference, regional title since 1985

Mallory Salis Marist Sr. 5-9 OH
Ohio University recruit led 29-6 team in kills (311) and aces (77);
also had 349 digs and 40 blocks

Krista Brakawskas Providence Sr. 5-9 S
Amber Clay Marian Catholic Jr. 5-10 OH
Jill Conrad Stagg Sr. 5-11 S/OH
Melissa Deatsch Elmhurst York Sr. 5-11 OH
Ciara Hill Bolingbrook Sr. 5-10 MH
Kelly Marcinek Marist Sr. 5-10 OH
Cara Mattaliano Lisle Benet Sr. 6-1 OH
Emily Milligan Nazareth Sr. 5-6 L

Joyce Balash Lombard Montini Jr. 6-1 MH
Hannah Juley Lyons LaGrange So. 5-11 S
Stephanie Korbakes Shepard Sr. 5-10 S/OH
Tony Saracco Lyons LaGrange So. 5-6 L

Click here for the list of all the players


12.05.12 - Alumni receive AVCA Region Awards

Midwest Region: AVCA Division I Regional Awards
Honorable Mention:
MaryKate Imrie University of Illinois-Chicago S JR

South Region: ACVA Division II Regional Awards
Honorable Mention:
Lindsay Homme (West Florida, MB)
Midewest Region:
Colleen Mitros (pictured) (Lewis, OH)

Click here for the list of all the AVCA Honors


11.28.12 - Serve/Pass Holiday Clinic presented by 1st Alliance and Nicasio Paquiz Jr

Serve/Pass Holiday Clinic presented by 1st Alliance and Nicasio Paquiz Jr
Thursday & Friday, December 27 & 28
Grades 8-12 2pm-3:30pm
@ the Max

Click here for the flyer

Click here for information and to sign up


11.26.12 - Illinois' Jocelynn Birks earns her fourth Freshman of the Week honor

Big-Ten Co-Freshman of the Week
Jocelynn Birks, Illinois
OH – Willow Springs, Ill. – Lyons Township

Averaged 5.9 kills on .241 hitting, 2.8 digs and 0.6 blocks per set in wins over Iowa (3-0) and Northwestern (3-2)
Notched a double-double in the five-set win over the Wildcats, posting a career-high 28 kills, 13 digs and four blocks
Tallied 19 kills, nine digs and one block against the Hawkeyes
Earns her fourth Freshman of the Week honor and fifth award overall
Last Illinois Freshman of the Week: Jocelynn Birks (Nov. 19, 2012)

Click here for the full article


01.21.13 - Lions/1st Alliance Gear...order online now until Monday 1/28!

Support Lions Jrs., 1st Alliance and Fearless Volleyball Clubs by wearing your club apparel.

Lions Spirit Wear
password: lions

1st Alliance Spirit Wear
password: alliance
Lions/1st Aliance Gear...order online now until Monday 1/28!

Click here for the Lions Jrs Apparel Flyer
Click here for the 1st Alliance Apparel Flyet


11.23.12 - Marian Catholic's Amber Clay is the Times Illinois Girls Volleyball Player of the Year

Marian Catholic's Amber Clay is The Times Illinois Volleyball Player of the year for
the second consecutive year. The junior had 450 kills, 67 aces, 381 digs and 81
blocks this season.
Click here for the full article


11.23.12 - Brittany Cardott and Catherine Guido made the AVCA Division III All-Region team

Brittany Cardott (pictured) a setter from Milikan was also was named 1st Team All-Conference (CCIW)
Morgan Howard a middle hitter from Illinois Wesleyan was named Honable Mention All-CCIW for 2012

Click here for the full article on Morgan.

More Division III news:
Midwest Conference that were named All-Conference
Catherine Guido DS Sr. St. Norbert College
Kelly Sloyan OH Fr. Carroll University
Colleen Mitros OH Sr. Lewis University
Click here for the full article on Colleen.

Alliance players lead Elmhurst College to Division III semi-finals
Dana Loncar and Peggy Clemens were contributors to the success of
the team throughout the entire season

2012 All-Big 12 Volleyball Postseason Awards Announced
Brianne Riley, Kansas 5-6 Jr. DS/L Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy
Click here for the full article on Bri.


11.19.12 - Parent/Player/Coach Meeting tonight

11/19 at the Corral, 4900 S. Willlow Springs Rd, Western Springs
12's-14's 6:30pm
15-18's 7:45pm


11.05.12 - Brenna Hess leads Lincoln Jr. High to Naperville city championship

Counting a 3 set preseason "exhibition" match against Jefferson,
Lincoln Junior High team was a perfect 15-0 in matches and 31-0 in sets!
Congrats to all of our players!


11.13.12 - Seven Alliance players make First Team Sun Times All-Area

CALEIGH RYAN (pictured left)
School: Glenbard West
Year: Senior
Height: 5-foot-10
Position: Setter/outside hitter
College: Northwestern
Season highlight: Ryan scored game point against Downers Grove North to
give the Hilltoppers their first conference title since 1984.

School: Stagg
Year: Senior
Height: 5-foot-11
Position: Rightside/setter
About the player: Conrad had 208 kills, 414 assists, 35 aces, 155 digs and 196 service points during the regular season.

School: Benet Academy
Year: Senior
Height: 5-foot-5
Position: Libero
College: North Carolina
Season highlight: Doyle was named all-tournament at the Mizuno Scholastic Cup and Wheaton Classic tournaments and was named
the MVP at the Benet invite and Autumnfest hosted by Glenbard East. She was named to the East Subruban Catholic All-Conference
team and was the Daily Herald Player of the Year.

School: Sandburg
Year: Senior
Height: 6-foot-1
Position: Outside hitter
College: University of South Florida
Season highlight: Hampton accumulated more than 50 kills in the Maine West Tournament to lead Sandburg to the championship.
She had 320 kills and 200 digs through the regular season.

School: Benet Academy
Year: Senior
Height: 5-foot-11
Position: Setter
College: Uncommitted
Season highlight: Kaminsky was named the MVP of the Mizuno Scholastic Cup and Wheaton Classic tournaments.

School: Nazareth Academy
Year: Senior
Height: 5-foot-6
Position: Libero
College: North Dakota State
About the player: Milligan is the latest in a long line of strong defensive players for Nazareth Academy.
She led the team in aces and serving percentage, and averaged five digs per game. She was a unanimous All-East
Suburban Catholic Conference selection, and was named to the all-tournament teams at the Body and Sole Charger
Invitational and the Darla Moldenhauer Boilermaker Classic.

School: Marist
Year: Senior
Height: 5-foot-9
Position: Outside hitter
College: Ohio University
Season highlight: Salis was named the MVP of the NIKE Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, Ariz.,
leading the RedHawks to the title of the 64-team tournament featuring some of the top teams from around the country.

Click here for the first team article

Check out all our Alliance players who made the teams.

Second Team
Krista Brakauskas, 5-9, Sr., S. Providence
Amber Clay, 5-10, Jr., OH, Marian Catholic
Sophia Dodd, 5-11, Sr., S, St. Ignatius
Kelly Marcinek, 5-10, Sr., OH, Marist

Third Team
Melissa Deatsch, 5-11, Sr., OH, York
Ciara Hill, 5-10, Sr., MH, Bolingbrook
Danielle Schroeder, 6-1, Sr., OH, Young

Click here for the full list of all-area team


11.13.12 - Marist’s Mallory Salis the Jenny’s Steakhouse/SouthtownStar 2012 Player of the Year

On the court Salis, a 5-foot-9 outside hitter, compiled 311 kills,
349 digs, 166 service points, 77 aces and 40 blocks. She was the
ESCC Player of the Year.

Salis started playing volleyball in seventh grade for the Celtic Force
club team. After two years she moved to First Alliance, and in her first
season was part of a national championship squad.

“Moving over to First Alliance, that’s when it really hit me that,
‘This is what I want to do. This is what I want to go to college to do,’
” Salis said.

Salis made her first major impact as a sophomore, with 258 kills and 257
digs to help lead the RedHawks to the Class 4A Sweet Sixteen. The numbers
swelled to 409 kills and 273 as a junior.

Salis’ reputation as a strong, silent leader already had been established in
the volleyball community. In a seasonlong poll among volleyball players asking
which player from another team they’d like to have as a teammate,
Salis was an overwhelming favorite.

Click here for the article


11.05.12 - Alumni News: Week 11/12/2012

2012 Horizon League Award Winners

All-Horizon League
MaryKate Imrie (pictured left), UIC
Aubrey Sniegowski, UIC

Imrie led the League in assists (1260; 11.05 avg. per set) and
Sniegowski ranked in the top-10 in the League in hitting percentage
and kills per set as UIC’s 10-4 conference record this season is the
best for the Flames in the League since joining in 1994.

All-Newcomer Team
Brittany Brown, Loyola

Brown recorded Loyola's first triple-double in nearly seven years with 10 kills,29 assists and 10 digs
in Loyola's 3-1 win over Milwaukee.It was the first time Loyola has swept the season series against Milwaukee since the 1996 season.

Click here for the article

Milojevic Named Volleyball Players of the Week for the Sunshine State Conference

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK -- Eckerd sophomore MB Katarina Milojevic (Hinsdale, Ill.)
averaged 1.7 blocks and 0.7 digs per set to help lead the Tritons to a pair of SSC victories
and extend their win streak to 10 matches. Milojevic opened the week with six blocks and three
digs in a sweep over Lynn. She then tallied four blocks and a dig to help limit Nova Southeastern
to a .000 hitting percentage in a three-set victory. For the week, Milojevic’s efforts helped hold
Eckerd’s opponents to a combined .076 attacking clip.

Click here for the article


11.13.12 - Cara Mattaliano leads Benet to the 2012 State Title

Cara Mattaliano (pictured here) had 21 kills to help Benet (40-2) become
the first repeat big-class champion since Mother McAuley in
1994 and 1995. “I can’t even explain it,” said Kaminsky,
who finished her career unbeaten in 54 state and regular-season
tournament games. “I’m so happy. Everything we worked for.
Nobody believed in us at the beginning of the season, and
now we win state. We proved everybody wrong.

Benet Academy is loaded with 1st Alliance talent:
Cara Mattaliano
Hannah Kaminsky
Sheila Doyle
Nicki Barnes
Abby Willett
Kelly O'Malley
Meghan Weber
Marja Cyvas

Click here for the article


11.05.12 - Vicki Wrobel and Brittany Brown helps Loyola past UWM

Brown's Triple-Double Leads Loyola Past Milwaukee

"Today was a terrific team effort," continued Muscat.
"I thought Brittany and Vicki (Wrobel) were both fantastic
and hopefully we can use this to build some momentum for the
Horizon League Tournament."

Brittany Brown recorded her first career triple-double to lead Loyola
to a 3-1 (26-24, 25-20, 22-25, 25-17) win over Milwaukee this afternoon
at the Klotsche Center. The Ramblers, who earned their first season sweep
of Milwaukee since 1996, snap their three-match losing streak and improve
to 16-10 (8-5 Horizon).

Click here for the article


11.05.12 - SAVE THE DATE: Feed My Starving Children and Picture Night

Feed My Starving Children Saturday December 8, 2012. Time is TBD

Picture Night Friday January 18, 2013. Time is TBD


11.05.12 - Jocelynn Birks Named Big Ten Freshman of the Week

It is her second Big Ten Freshman nod and third overall weekly honor

Redshirt freshman outside hitter Jocelynn Birks was named Big Ten Freshman of the
Week this afternoon, after a solid week of play for the Illini. Birks was named both
Player and Freshman of the Week earlier this season on Sept. 17 after an outstanding
weekend at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational. Fellow Lyons Township graduate
and 1st Alliance teammate Alexis Viliunas is the only other Illini to earn a weekly
honor this season, tabbing Freshman of the Week honors on Oct. 15 after her Orange and Blue debut.

Birks averaged 4.2 kills, 1.7 digs and 0.8 blocks in a pair of matches against No. 22 Purdue
and Indiana. The Willow Springs, Ill., native tabbed a double-double with 15 kills and 10 digs
to go along with three service aces against the Boilermakers. She then had her best performance
of the Big Ten season against Indiana, leading the team with 23 kills and a .392 hitting percentage
to guide the Illini past the Hoosiers, 3-1.

Click here for the article


11.02.12 - Purdue volleyball's Gosewisch wears heart on her sleeve

Each locker in the Purdue volleyball locker room has the essential equipment
for that night’s match. Spandex. Knee pads. Ankle supporters. Shoes. Black
and gold jerseys. Even fancy nameplates customized for each player. None of
those things are the most cherished among the attire in Courtney Gosewisch’s locker.

Before the senior defensive specialist takes the court tonight at Illinois,
Gosewisch make sure to grab her black Nike arm band, branded with the text
“E.P. 8,” and pull it over her left bicep. Erin Potts was well on her way to
being a standout Division I setter at the college level. Potts and former
1st Alliance volleyball club teammate Gosewisch had discussed playing together in college.

When they were 15, Potts was diagnosed Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Gosewisch had just completed her
freshman season at Purdue when Potts passed away on Dec. 18, 2009. “She just inspires me, and it is a daily
reminder not to take it for granted,” Gosewisch said. “You never know when it is going to be your last game.”
The idea occurred after Potts was diagnosed. The club team all donned the additional arm wear.

“The thought of cancer when you’re 15 is super scary,” Gosewisch said. “We did it as a way to show her she is still on the court with us.”
Gosewisch, Pittsburgh senior libero Margy Acton and Elon senior defensive specialist Ali Deatsch all continue to wear their arm bands,
and each knows if Potts had not become cancer stricken, then stayed close to home and enrolled at Elmhurst College as a nursing major,
she would be leading a Division I volleyball program as well.

Click here for the full story


11.02.12 - Sportstown Chicago.com chooses nine 1st Alliance players for all star game

On Saturday December 1st at 7 pm, nine 1st Alliance players will
participate in the 2012 Illinois HS Girls Volleyball All Star Game.
The game will be played at Moraine Valley Community College
in Palos Hills.

Team Pink will include these 1st Alliance players:
Emily Milligan Libero Nazareth Academy
Sophia Dodd Setter St. Ignatius
Mallory Salis Outside Hitter Marist
Dakota Hampton Outside Hitter Sandburg
Hanna Lee Middle Hitter Whitney Young

Team White will include these 1st alliance players:
Sheila Doyle Libero Benet Academy
Krista Brakauskus Setter Providence Catholic
Ciara Hill Outside Hitter Bolingbrook
Melissa Deatsch Outside Hitter York

Click here for more information


10.29.12 - DuPage County all-area team includes many Alliance players

Melissa Deatsch (pictured left)
A green Dukes team leaned heavily on this four-year starter, and she did it all.
One of the area’s elite outside hitters who can also block, defend and serve well,
Deatsch put down 354 kills with 62 blocks, 307 digs and 36 aces. She is committed to
Oakland University. “Everybody that we play plays defense to stop Melissa,”
York coach Patty Iverson said.

Sheila Doyle
The 2012 Daily Herald All-Area Captain, is this senior libero committed to North Carolina. Instinctive and quick, Doyle
quarterbacked an outstanding defensive Benet team and is also strong on serve-receive. Doyle has 307 digs and has served
at a 97 percent rate. She was MVP of the Benet Invite and Autumnfest. Remarkably, the former Freshman B player didn’t become
a full-time varsity starter until midway through her junior year. “She had to earn what she got,”Benet coach Brad Baker said.

Hannah Kaminsky
Put simply, a winner. A two-year varsity starting setter for the defending Class 4A champs has never lost
a tournament match in high school. Pushed to run a 5-1 in one of the more dynamic offenses around, Kaminsky
has 859 assists with 106 digs and 25 aces. Kaminsky, whose older brother Frank plays basketball at Wisconsin,
was MVP of the Mizuno Cup and Wheaton Classic. “She wins like I’ve never seen anyone win,” Benet coach Brad Baker said.
“Her passion and how hard she works rubs off on other kids.”

Jenna Lodewyk
Timothy Christian
An all-around talent and competitive spirit, this junior setter was the engine that made the Trojans offense run smoothly.
The well-loved team captain was all-tournament at Manteno and Plano and 2011 Metro Suburban Conference MVP. Lodewyk has set
712 assists with 108 kills, 184 digs and 66 aces for the conference co-champs. “She can make our hitters and passers look very good,”
Trojans coach Lindsey VanSchepen said.

Katherine Mahlke
Downers Grove North
There is no better right-side hitter in the area than this lanky junior lefty. Mahlke, who recently committed to
University of Michigan, had 277 kills with a variety of shots, as well as 43 blocks and 58 digs. All-tournament at
Waubonsie Valley and Downers North, Malke was a rock and calming force for a young Trojans team. “She hits so high,”
Trojans coach Mark Wasik said, “and creates angles that people are not used to seeing.”

Cara Mattaliano
Given the chance to start for the first time on varsity, this senior outside opened eyes. Mattaliano hits a multitude
of shots, carries her smarts onto the court and runs the back-row attack as well as any outside around. A quick, dynamic
talent who will play next year in the Ivy League also passed out of every rotation and has 337 kills with 164 digs.
“She is the kid that nobody knew about before this year,” Benet coach Brad Baker said, “but when you got done playing
us you knew exactly who she was.”

Caleigh Ryan
Glenbard West
When Ryan moved from outside to setter as a freshman, Hilltoppers coach Pete Mastandrea called it “a magical transition
that has changed our whole program.” Indeed, no player is more responsible for the renaissance on the volleyball court in
Glen Ellyn than this senior who will play at Northwestern. The school’s all-time assist leader with more than 2,000 has 700
assists, 190 digs, 38 aces and 72 kills this year hitting at a .726 percentage. The four-year starter led the Hilltoppers
to the school’s first West Suburban Silver title since 1985. “We will miss her dearly,” Mastandrea said.

Click here for the article


10.26.12 - 1st Alliance Alums Semmelhack and Buczek Lead Kent State to Weekend Split

Freshman Outside Hitter Morgan Semmelhack (pictured left) posted a career-high with 13 kills,
nearly doubling her previous best, while also totaling a career-high with 4 aces in a close
4 set loss to Western Michigan. Semmelhack followed it up with a 12 kill performance in a 3-1
victory over Northern Illinois. Sophomore Setter/DS Jenny Buczek (Orland Park, Ill.) shared
the setting duties for the Golden Flashes and recorded 20 assists vs Western Michigan and a
team high 22 vs Northern Illinois. Semmelhack led Kent State over the weekend with 25 kills
and 5 aces and Buczek tied for team lead with 42 assists against the top two teams from the MAC-West.

Click here for the article


10.26.12 - Loyola Freshman setter Brown contributing to team success

One of the Top Performer for the week: Brown averaged 10.8 assists per set for the ramblers last week.
She racked up seven kills (7-0-9) at a .778 hitting percentage and had 56 assists in Loyola's 3-2
win over Milwaukee. She followed that performance up with 22 kills and 10 digs in win over Green Bay.

This past weekend she had two double doubles on Friday October 19, 2012. She played Valparasio and
had 43 assists, 22 digs, and on Saturday October 20, 2012 she played Wright State and had 45 assists,
14 digs. As of the past weekend that was her fifth double double of the season. Brittany's season high
so far is 57 assists against DePaul and in that match had 11 digs.

Also, check out Vicki Wrobel's Loyola Rambler blog

Volleyball Blog: Vicki Wrobel
Vicki talks about squad as Ramblers prepare for two home matches this weekend
Click here for the blog


10.19.12 - Alexis Viliunas Named Big Ten Freshman of the Week

The setter is Illinois' first freshman to earn a weekly honor in her Orange and Blue debut
Freshman setter Alexis Viliunas was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week this afternoon,
after leading the Illini to a 3-2 victory over No. 25 Michigan State in her first
career appearance for Orange and Blue.

She is the second Illinois player to earn Big Ten
praise this season, after redshirt freshman Jocelynn Birks was named Player and Freshman
of the Week on Sept. 17 for her play in the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational.
Viliunas is the first Illinois freshman ever to earn a weekly honor after her first career appearance.
Both Viliunas and Birks are 1st Alliance Alumni!

Click here for the article


10.19.12 - Nora Young recorded her first-ever double-double for Duquesne

Outside hitter Nora Young helps lead big bomeback for Duquesne over West Virginia
With the win, the Dukes improve to 16-6 overall.
Click here for the article


10.19.12 - Dodd named Player of the Year and all-conference for the fourth straight year

Senior Sophia Dodd has earned her fourth GCAC All-Conference award
and was named GCAC Player of the Year this season.
In 2012, Sophia was awarded the “Senior Ace” award by PrepVolleyball
which recognized her as one of the Top 100 players
in the country and received All-Tournament honors at Waubonsie Valley.
Dodd is rewriting the record book in her senior
year and is in the top four of almost every statistical category.

She has amassed 1,736 assists and 4,560 assist attempts
to become the All-Time Career leader in both categories.
Her 603 kills ranks her 3rd All-Time Career and her 168 block
assists ranks her 2nd All-Time Career. This season her 168 kills, 32 aces, 285 assists, 445 assist attempts, 41 block
assists and 221 digs ranks her in the top three of each category.

Nazareth Academy players have tallied lots of accolades

Emily Milligan received All Tournament honors for both the Champaign Centennial
Invite and the Darla Mallhauser Bradley-Bourbonnais Invite.

Sam Brown received All Tournament honors for the Champaign Centennial Invite

Julia Saunders received All Tournament for Bradley-Bourbonnais.

Kathryn Sluneko received All Tournament for the Glenbrook North Discovery Tournament.


10.14.12 - Sheila Doyle earns second tournament MVP title of the season

Sheila Doyle earns her second tournament MVP title of the season
as she helps Benet to their ninth straight tournament championship.
Nicki Barnes had nine kills, Cara Mattaliano had six and Abby Willett crushed
the final kill to lead Benet past Mother McAuley Saturday
to win the Glenbard East Autumnfest tournament
Congratulations to all our First Alliance players contributing to Benet's success


10.14.12 - Florida Tech Senior Alum Caitlyn Ballweber named Athlete of the Week

Ballweber, a civil engineering major from Homer Glen, Ill., helped the volleyball team post a 3-0
record last week by averaging 3.10 kills per set, hitting .362 and registering one solo block and two block assists.
Her block assist in the fifth set against Saint Leo won the set, 23-21, and the match, 3-2.
With the score tied at 12 in the fifth set against Florida Southern, she scored the team’s final three
points on a solo block and two kills. Her last kill gave her 18 for the match and it set a new season-high.

The win against Saint Leo was FIT’s first against the Lions in nearly seven years, while the victory against
Florida Southern was its first in nearly four years.
Click here for the article


10.09.12 - Senior libero Ali Deatsch continues her amazing physics research on malignant tumors

Click here to watch the video on Ali and her cutting edge research.
Her research project is called: Optimizing Heating Efficiency of Magnetic Microspheres for Magnetic Hyperthermia Treatment of Malignant Tumors.

Ali Deatsch was one of 15 rising juniors last year that were named recipients of the 2011 Lumen Prize,
the university's premier award that comes with a $15,000 scholarship to support and celebrate academic
achievements. She was the first Elon athlete to win this prestigious award.


10.09.12 - Over 1100 players are participating in the league

Lions Jrs. Fall League players are having fun in this year's league!
For updated schedule and information:
Click here for more information.


10.04.12 - Columbus Day small group training available on Monday October 8th at the Max!

4-5pm 6/7th grade
5-6pm 8/9th grade
Cost: $35
E-mail Julie: jaheatherly3@aol.com


10.03.12 - Coach Melissa Vandrey entering Queen of Peace Hall of Fame

Vandrey was a member of Queen of Peace’s program during a four-year period
in which the Pride won two sectional titles and compiled a 127-27 record.

Click here for the article.


9.24.12 - Nazareth’s Emily Milligan, Benet’s Sheila Doyle share volleyball roots

Doyle and Milligan are among the Chicago area’s best liberos.

“It’s incredible (playing against each other),” Milligan said. “She’s on my club team.
We’re best friends with each other, but now we get to go against each other. It’s fun.”
Doyle and Milligan are able to see each other more outside of the season.
The two friends play on the same club team in the spring, Western Springs-based 1st Alliance 17 Silver
which finished 10th in the open division in June at the AAU Junior Olympics in Orlando, Fla.

Click here for the article.


9.24.12 - Great play in back to back weekend tournaments for 1st Alliance|Lions players

Congratulations to the following players for leading their high school teams
to tournament wins the last two weeks!

Cara Mattaliano (pictured left) and Sheila Doyle led Benet in capturing gold in the
Wheaton Classic tournament.
Nikki Barnes, Abby Willett and Kelly O'Malley
are also 1st Alliance players contributing to Benet's success!

The Wheaton Classic All-Tournament Team including seven 1st Alliance |Lions players!
Sharon Anderson, Hinsdale South
Sheila Doyle, Benet
Emily Kwak, Naperville North
Kelly Marcinek, Marist
Cara Mattaliano, Benet
Mallory Salis, Marist
Kirsten Zemke, Downers Grove South

Elyse Panick and Mallory Salis led Marist in capturing the crown at the
Rich East tournament.

Shannon McKevitt, Kristen Brennan, Morgan Murphy,
Abbi Anderson ,Taylor Holder,Bridget Krasowski,
Lizzie Zaleski ,Rachel Dalton,Shannon Murphy,
and Kelly Marcinek are also 1st Alliance players contributing to Marist's success!

Katherine Mahlke and Alyssa Kuciunas led Downers Grove North to the Warrior Blast championship!

The Warrior Blast All-Tournament Team included the following 1st Alliance |Lions players!
Katherine Mahlke, Downers Grove North
Sophia Dodd, St. Ignatius


9.17.12 - Jocelynn Birks leads alumni with Player and Freshman of the Week

Freshman outside hitter Jocelynn Birks(pictured left) named Big Ten POW.
She led No. 23 Illinois to the Texas Invitational title last weekend.
The 6-foot-2 redshirt freshman recorded double-doubles in kills and digs in Illini victories against No. 6
Texas, Central Florida and Cincinnati. The LaGrange Lyons High School graduate averaged 5.0 kills and
3.3 digs per set.
She also led all players at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invite with 60 kills and 65 points en route to MVP honors.
Click here for the illini article.

Freshman outside hitter Kelly Sloan made the All-Tournament team over the
weekend at the UW Oshkosh Pizza Hut Classic for Carroll University.
Sloyan recorded 41 kills in the four matches, including 11 in the win over Concordia.
Click here for the pioneers article.

Junior setter MaryKate Imrie was named to the all-tournament team this past
weekend at Memphis University. This is her second out of 4 tournaments.
The junior setter handed out a total of 182 assists on the weekend, including
45 against Memphis, 53 against Alabama AM and 54 versus the Ragin' Cajuns.
Click here for the flames article.

Junior libero Jamie Lundstrom has been tabbed as the adidas Ohio Valley Conference Defensive
Player of the Week for the second time this season.
Lundstrom paced the Belmont defense with 85 digs last week as the Bruins went 2-2.
She also recorded six aces and one kill in four matches.
Click here for the bruins article.

Junior outside Britta Baarstad named to the all-tournament team for Rhode Island.
Baarstad had a pair of double-doubles, getting 12 kills and 11 digs against Columbia, and then 14 kills
with 10 digs against Colgate. In eight sets, she had 28 kills and 22 kills for the Rams.
Click here for the rhody article.

Junior libero Jill Paluch named to the all-tournament team for Akron Zips.
Paluch had a career night in the back row with 20 digs for the Zips.
Click here for the zips article.

Senior libero Margy Acton led the way for Pitt as she was named to the all-tournament
team for averaging 5.11 digs per set. Acton has been named to the all-tournament team in three
of the four tournaments Pitt has played this season and she ranks fifth in the Big East with a
5.13 digs per set average.
Click here for the panthers article.


9.11.12 - 1st Alliance players make Prepvolleyball.com's Senior Aces Nos. 101-250

Congratulations to the following seniors for making the prepvolleyball.com
Senior Ace List!

Mallory Salis, 5-9 OH, Marist (Chicago, Illinois), 1st Alliance – Ohio

Just missing the top 250
Jasmine King, 6-2 MB, Marian Catholic (Chicago Heights, Illinois), 1st Alliance – Seton Hall
Hanna Lee, 6-1 MB, Whitney Young (Chicago, Illinois), 1st Alliance -- Wake Forest
Emily Milligan, 5-5 Libero, Nazareth Academy (LaGrange Park, Illinois), 1st Alliance – North Dakota State


9.11.12 - Alumni post record amounts of all-tournament honors

Junior middle blocker Claire Randich (pictured left) was selected as Atlantic 10 Volleyball
Volleyball Defensive Player of the Week after leading Butler to a 3-1 record last week.
For the week, Randich led Butler with 1.81 blocks per set. She also had 2.19 kills per set and hit .303.
Click here for the bulldog article.

Junior libero Brianne Riley named Big Twelve defensive player of the week for Kansas
She leads the Big 12 in digs per set and is the league's active leader in career digs.
Riley posted double-digit dig totals in KU's four matches last week,
a total of 76 over 13 sets for an average of 5.85 on the week.
Click here for the jayhawk article.

Redshirt freshman outside hitterJocelynn Birks was named all-tournament for Illinois
at the Big Ten/Big East Challenge this past weekend.
Click here for the illini article.

Junior libero Annemarie Hickey led Wisconsin to the InnTowner Invitational title
finishing the evening with 13 digs and six assists on top of her three aces.
Click here for the badgers article.

Freshman libero Megan Miller led Wake Forest with a team-high 19 digs
digs to make the 2012 Ambassador Hotel Golden Eagle Classic All-Tournament Team.
Click here for the demon deacon article.

Freshman setter Katie Gallagher was named to the all-tournament team,
and she finished with 36 assists and 12 digs for her third double-double of the year for Indiana.
Click here for the hoosier article.

Senior libero Margy Acton led The University of Pittsburgh volleyball team
in claiming its second-consecutive tournament title and earned all-tournament honors for her effort.
Click here for the panther article.

Sophomore middle hitter Morgan Howard named to the all-tournament team for Illinois Wesleyan.
Click here for the titan article.

Junior middle hitter Lindsay Homme was named to the Colorado Premier Challenge
All-Tournament Team for West Florida.
Click here for the argo article.

Junior outside hitterAlise Tupuritis Tupuritis earned a spot on the all-tournament team after collecting
14 kills and career-best 20 digs in the win against the Jackrabbits for Bradley.
Click here for the braves article.

Senior libero Ali Deatsch tallied a match-high 19 digs to be named to the
Duke Classic All-Tournament Team at the end of the weekend for Elon.
Click here for the pheonix article.


9.05.12 - Senior libero Bridget Murphy led the team in digs to earn all-tournament honors

Senior libero Bridget Murphy (pictured left) led the team in digs with a total of 61 to earn all-tournament honors
at the Indiana State Invitational for Western Illinois University.
Click here for the leatherhead article.

Juniors Alise Tupuritis and Lauren Zerante were both named to the Panther Invitational
all-tournament team for Bradley University.
Click here for the braves article.

Sophomore Middle Hitter Heather Boyan was named MVP
at the Holiday Inn Jefferson for Western Kentucky!
Click here for the hilltoppers article.

Senior Setter Lexi Mastela served up a total of 77 assists on Saturday
in the final day of the Valdosta State tournament for Florida Tech.
Click here for the panthers article.

Senior Outside Hitter Colleen Mitros earned Hyatt Place Sunshine
Classic All-Tournament honors for Lewis University.
Click here for the flyers article.

Senior libero Catherine Guido totaled 33 digs in St. Norbert’s 4-0 weekend
at Elmhurst College Tournament.
Click here for the flyers article.

Ana Vrhel and Morgan Mientus lead Patriot League in stats!
Freshman Middle Blocker Ana Vrhel leads LeHigh with a hitting % of .370
Junior libero Morgan Mientus leads Bucknell with 122 digs, an average of 4.88 per set.
Click here for the Patriot League statistics.


8.30.12 - Sophia Dodd, 5-10 S, St. Ignatius (Chicago, Illinois), 1st Alliance – Wake Forest

PrepVolleyball.com is presenting its Senior Aces, the top 250
volleyball recruits in the Class of 2013, and Sophia Dodd lands at number 86.

Described as a “five-tool” player because she can set, hit and even serve-receive,
Dodd’s “sixth tool,” leadership, makes her an even more valuable asset
to any team she is on. Very mature, Dodd is a natural
captain with a team-first attitude and a work ethic that players around her try
to emulate. She is a natural communicator and has a fun-loving personality
that draws teammates to her. Dodd also has well-rounded volleyball skills few can match.
As a setter, she is very instinctual and sees the court as well as anyone.
That means a ton of one-on-ones from a setter who can flat out dish the ball.

Dodd also can gouge you from the right side with an arsenal of power and shots.
The AAU Nationals MVP in 2011, Dodd is in the top four of every statistical
category her high school keeps and is on pace to break seven career records.
An elite student with a determined spirit, Dodd has committed to Wake Forest.
Her immediate impact in Demon Deacon land is a foregone conclusion.


8.30.12 - Six 1st Alliance players make the AVCA All-America watch list

Six 1st Alliance players made the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Under
Armour Girls’ High School All-America Watch List. This year's Under Armour Watch List includes 343 players
representing 36 states and marks the beginning of the Under Armour All-America selection process

Caleigh Ryan 5'10 S Glenbard West High School Glen Ellyn IL 1st Alliance Northwestern
Casey Harris 6'0 MB Saint Ignatius High School Chicago IL 1st Alliance Illinois-Chicago
Elyse Panick 6'2 RS Marist High School Chicago IL 1st Alliance Marshall
Emily Milligan 5'5 L Nazareth Academy LaGrange Park IL 1st Alliance ND State
Mallory Salis 5'9 OH Marist High School Chicago IL 1st Alliance Ohio
Sophia Dodd 5'11 S St. Ignatius College Prep Chicago IL 1st Alliance Wake Forest

Five 1st Alliance players made the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Phenom List.
This year's Under Armour Phenom List includes 363 underclassman players who have been recognized
in some form for her outstanding volleyball abilities

Hannah Juley 5'10 OH/S 2015 Lyons Township High School LaGrange IL 1st Alliance
Julia Saunders 6'2 OH 2015 Nazareth Academy LaGrange IL 1st Alliance
Linnea Rohrsen 5'3 DS/L 2014 Nazareth Academy La Grange IL 1st Alliance Purdue
Samantha Brown 6'0 OH 2014 Nazareth Academy LaGrange Park IL 1st Alliance
Toni Saracco 5'4 DS 2015 Lyons Township High School LaGrange IL 1st Alliance


8.27.12 - Katie Gallagher leads the way for a tremendous weekend for 1st Alliance alumnae

Many of our alumnae have great first weekend in college.

Freshman setter Katie Gallagher(pictured left), was Named Big Ten Freshman of the Week
for Indiana University. Indiana Volleyball went 3-0 en route to the Black Knight Invitational title
this weekend and freshman setter Katie Gallagher played a big part in IU's success.
The Big Ten Conference has taken notice, naming her the Big Ten Volleyball Freshman of the Week.

Gallagher had two double-doubles in the tournament and is averaging more
assists per set than any other setter in the Big Ten.
She is the first Hoosier to garner the award since 2009.
Click here for the IU article.

Junior Libero Margy Acton was named to the Mortar Board Premier All-Tournament Team for University of Pitt.
Acton, who reached double-digit digs in all three contests this weekend
was named to the all-tournament team. Acton was also recognized for her community
service from the Purdue Mortar Board
Click here for the Pitt article.

Senior OH Jenna Litoborski earned all-tournament honors for UNC Charlotte at the ECU Classic.
She helped her UNC Charlotte 49ers to an impressive weekend.
The team did not drop a set, winning all nine frames in the
weekend for just the second time in school history (2006) to get the 3-0 start.
Click here for the 49ers article.


8.27.12 - Lundstrom, Riley and Briner also contribute to their team's success

Junior libero Jamie Lundstrom (picture left) named to the 2012 Belmont Invite All-Tourney Team
"Jamie was absolutely outstanding this weekend," said Webb. "She was great last year
and she has raised her level of play significantly. I am thrilled with the level of effort
confidence, communication and leadership she is displaying right now for our team."
Click here for the Bruins article.

Junior libero Brianne Riley earned Arkansas Invite Libero of the Tournament honors for Kansas
Riley ended the match with a season-high 26 digs,
giving her 66 for the weekend. Her 6.60 digs per set mark
earned her Libero of the Tournament honors.
Click here for the Jayhawk article.

Soph Setter Jill Briner led Northeastern to a 3-0 start in the Beanpot Classic
Northeastern won a five set thriller over Alabama Firday evening (3-2).
The Huskies were paced by sophomore Jillian Briner's triple-double (10 kills, 30 assists, 12 digs)
Click here for the article.


8.27.12 - Kristin Hoffman continues to impress on and off the court

In June, Northern Illinois volleyball four-year standout setter Kristin Hoffman (Batavia, Ill./Batavia)
was named one of 430 nominees for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year award.

On Thursday, she entered a whole new territory by being chosen as one of the top 30 honorees
for the honor, and one of 10 in NCAA Division I!

As team captain, Hoffman helped lead the Huskies
to the claim the MAC Regular season title for the first time since 2001 this past season.
She became the first Huskie to be named MAC Setter of the Year after leading the country in assists
with 12.27 per set. She was named to American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America
honorable mention to become a three-time All-American (Honorable Mention AVCA, two-time
CoSIDA Academic All-American).

She ranks second all-time at NIU in assists (4,392) and 19th in digs (796).
In the classroom Hoffman graduated with a degree in history and a 3.97 GPA.
She was five time member of the Northern Illinois Deans list and Honors Program.
She was named to Capital One Academic All-America® First Team.

Having already graduated from NIU, Hoffman used her prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship
that she recently earned and is currently attending law school at Marquette.


8.21.12 - 1st Alliance players named to the Sun-Times top 50 players list

Krista Brakauskas, 5-9, Sr., S. Providence
Amber Clay, 5-11, Jr., OH, Marian Catholic
Melissa Deatsch, 5-11, Sr., OH, York
Sophia Dodd, 5-11, Sr., S, St. Ignatius
Sheila Doyle, 5-6, Sr., L, Benet
Hanna Lee, 6-1, Sr., MH, Whitney Young
Jenna Lodewyk, 5-10, Jr., S, Timothy Christian
Katherine Mahlke, 6-1, Jr., OH, Downers Grove North
Kelly Marcinek(pictured left), 5-10, Sr., OH, Marist
Emily Milligan, 5-5, Sr., L, Nazareth
Caleigh Ryan, 5-9, Sr., OH, Glenbard West
Mallory Salis, 5-10, Sr., OH, Marist
Danielle Schroeder, 6-1, Sr., OH, Whitney Young


8.21.12 - Two of our alumni lead the way as the 2012 season gets started

The 2012 College volleyball season is about to get underway.
Two of our alumni make pre-season all conference teams.

Jillian Briner(pictured left), was named to the Colonial Athletic Association
Pre-season All Conference team. Briner was the CAA Rookie
of the Year last year as a setter and hitter in Northeastern
University’s 6-2 offense.

Kelsey Safranek at University of Illinois Chicago was named
named to the Preseason Horizon League All Conference Team.
Safranek, a two-time All-League selection, led the conference
in kills last season with 466. She enters her senior season
with 1,158 kills for her career.

More alumni news to come as the season openers are this upcoming weekend 8/24 – 8/25.


8.20.12 - Laura Baetzel and Evan Muys - 2011-2012 Coaches of the Year

Our coach of the year award goes to Laura Baetzel and Evan Muys.
Laura and Evan were the coaches for 1st Alliance 17Silver team.

Laura and Evan combined their talents and passion for the
game to lead the 17Silver team to numerous tournament
championships including NJC's and Pre-Nationals.
They were dedicated to improving their team,
spending countless extra hours with their players on and
off the court to help them improve their game and to help
them find colleges that fit their level of play.
Congrats to Laura and Evan for a great season!


8.16.12 - Linnea Rohrsen - 2011-2012 Player of the Year

Our player of the year goes to Linnea Rohrsen.
Linnea was the libero for 1st Alliance 16Silver.

She earned her spot by working countless hours in the gym.
Not only did she not miss a single practice, but she did weekly Friday
night lessons to stay sharp in serve receive and defense.
Linnea is a quiet player that leads by example.
She continued to gain confidence as the season went on
and helped anchor a steady backrow by the end of the season for 16Silver!
Congrats to Linnea!

1st Alliance

8.04.12 - 1st Alliance is one of seven clubs in the country
to have a team ranked in each age group this past season.

Even more impressive is that 1st Alliance is one of only three clubs to do this for two years in a row!

The PrepVolleyball.com final national rankings for the 2011 club season are out and teams from
1st Alliance | Lions Jrs made the top 25 in every age group.

With a very heavy emphasis on year-end performance, the final 2010 PrepVolleyball.com lists these
1st Alliance | Lions Jrs teams:

18 and under ranking
1st Alliance 18 Silver – 11th Interesting season for 1st Alliance, which had a coach leave mid-season due to a college job and other distractions. But when all was said and done, this Chicago group, led by all-world setter Alexis Viliunas and glue players like Laura Williams, Caroline Rose and Bridget Powell, figured out the formula for victory, coming in sixth in Columbus after winning the Great Lakes 18s Power League.

17 and under ranking
1st Alliance 17 Silver - 9th. Injuries finally caught up to 1st Alliance in Columbus. This is a team that has been battling through them virtually all season long and continuing to achieve at a high level. But with S/RS Sophia Dodd, AAU MVP last year at 16 Open when 1st Alliance surprised TAV in the final, hobbling along with Hanna Lee and Jasmine King, this Chicago team didn’t have quite enough in the season-defining matches at Junior Nationals. Kudos to OH Mallory Salis and libero Emily Milligan for their high-level play throughout the competition.

16 and under ranking
1st Alliance 16 Silver – 27th

15 and under ranking
Lions 15-1 – 18th


7.12.12 - Truett and Babich win Carpe Diem MJVBA/AAU
14U Beach competition on 6/11/2012

Halle Truett & Madisen Babich participated in the Carpe Diem MJVBA/AAU on 6/11/2012 at Holland State Park, Holland Michigan Midwest District Championship. They were first in their in their pool and went on to win the 14U champoinship, they played teams from Indiana & Michigan.

This tournament qualified them for AAU junior olympics in Hermosa Beach California, and they will be participating in this event July 28th & 29th and they are also participating in an AAU Summer Classic in Manhattan Beach California on 7/26/2012.


7.8.12 - Club Season Ends on a Successful Note

18 Silver, pictured here, is just one of our many teams
to end their season with success. Whether or not it
was the AAU National Championships in Orlando, FL
or the USAV National Championships in Columbus, OH,
our 1st Alliance/Lions Jrs. Teams did well.

AAU National Championships:
In the 15 Classic Division, Gabriella Sodini and
Cassie Lueken
were named All Stars as Lions 15 Teal earned a third place finish.

In the 15 Club Division Emily Kwak and Lizzie Zaleski were named All Stars while the
Lions 15 Red team placed third.

Lions 16 Blue took fifth place and Claudia Zerdin was named an All Sta in the 16 Classic

Amy Nosek and Amy Schembari were named as All Stars as 1st Alliance 16 Black
took third place in the 16 Club Division.

In the 17 Club Division, 1st Alliance 17 Black brought home a fifth place and Elyse Panick
was named an All Star.

USAV National Champships:
1st Alliance 18 Silver finished 6th in the 18 Open Division and Alexis Viliunas was named
All American.

In the 17 Open Division, 1st Alliance 17 Silver finished in tenth place.

Lions 15-1 took eleventh place in the 15 Open Division.

Congratulations to all the teams on a great season


6.11.12 - Weekend of Play Shows Teams are Ready for Nationals

It was the final weekend of play and many of our girls teams
partici pated in the Great Lakes Center Pre-Nationals. If the
results are any indication, they proved themselves ready for

Now the. teams head either for Orlando or Columbus for the
season ending National Champsion ships. The AAU Nationals
are in Orlando with play divided between Disney’s Wide World
of Sports Complex and the Orange County Convention Center from June 19 to June 27.

The Columbus (Ohio) Convention Center will be the center of play for our teams that qualified for the
USA Volleyball Girls' Junior National Championships June 28 to July 7.

Congratulations to the following teams on their play last weekend:
  1st Alliance 18 Silver - 3rd place 18 Open
  1st Alliance 18 White - 2nd place 18 Club
  1st Alliance 17 Silver - 1st place 17 Open
  1st Alliance 17 White - 4th place 17 Club
  Lions 16-1 - 3rd Place 16 Club
  Lions 16 Red - 4th Place 16 Club
  Lions 15-1 - 1st Place 15 Open
  Lions 15 Red - 3rd Place 15 Open


6.8.12 - More 1st Alliance Players Cited by PrepVolleyball.com

Part II of PrepVolleyball.com Defensive Dandies recognize what
they call "Dandy Lions" - all-around high school or club talents who
project as back row animals at the next level.

1st Alliance players recognized as Dandy Lions are Melissa
Deatsch, Caroline Rose, Mallory Salis and Laura Williams (pictured).

Here is PrepVolleyball.com's commentary on 1st Alliance players
named as "Dandy Lions":

Second Team:
  Caroline Rose, Sr., York Community (Elmhurst, Illinois) – Western Michigan signee led York in digs
  (267) and kills (270) in the fall. A dogged worker with great vision in the back row the explosive
  5-foot-8 athlete also challenges much larger blockers and attackers at the net. She is primarily a
  defender for 1st Alliance 18 Silver where she teams with fellow Dandy Lion Laura Williams and Gym
  Dandy Megan Miller.

  Laura Williams, Sr., Lyons Township (LaGrange, Illinois) – A four-time Dandy Lion, Williams
  projects to be a defensive leader at Duke after stellar prep and club careers. She was a four-year
  starter at Lyons, utilizing her smarts as a defender and attacker in compiling 648 digs, 566 kills, 141
  blocks and 116 aces in her final two seasons. Also an efficient passer (2.27 rating), she has been
  a standout for 1st Alliance and will compete in the Open division on its 18 Silver squad in Columbus.

Fourth Team:
  Mallory Salis, Jr., Marist (Chicago, Illinois) – Named First Team All-Area and HM All-State by the
  Champaign News-Gazette, Salas slammed 414 kills, contributed 62 aces and dug up 414 balls for
  one of the nation’s best teams last fall. A very efficient hitter with big power, Salis is a constant
  on the left for her club team, 1st Alliance 17 Silver. She may challenge for a spot on the outside at
  Ohio University, where she has committed, but, at 5-9, could be a force in the back row. “Her
  defense is just fun to watch,” said club coach Laura Baetzel. “She will throw her body at every ball
  and pursue any ball without fear.”

Fifth Team:
  Melissa Deatsch, Jr., York Community (Elmhurst, Illinois) – Special Mention All-State by the
  Champaign News-Gazette, Deatsch amassed 225 kills and 261 digs for the Dukes in 2011. A
  member of 1st Alliance 17 Silver, coach Laura Baetzel had this to say about the recent Oakland
  commit: “Melissa prides herself in athleticism, strength and leadership. Her all-around awareness
  of the court, ability to read the ball, and steady ball control has not only helped with our success
  but is the reason why I love to coach her and the girls love to have her as a teammate. As a hitter
  she as great hand control and can place the ball anywhere you tell her. She has a fiery attitude and
  keeps the team alive during a match. She has one of the toughest serves to pass and leads 17
  Silver in aces. Melissa challenges herself in the back row to get to every ball and better it. She also
  scores many points attacking out of the back row which is why this girl is such a weapon.”


6.4.12 - 1st Alliance Defensive Specialists Recognized

PrepVolleyball.com's Defensive Dandies - Part I recognizes more
1st Alliance players. This group, players known as "Gym
Dandies", focuses on full time back row players, both high
school and club, who work their butts off during practice and
play to help the team at all costs.

Here is PrepVolleyball.com's commentary on 1st Alliance
players named as "Gym Dandies":
Third team:
  Bridget Powell, 5-6 Libero, Mother McAuley (Chicago, Illinois) – Defensive dynamo earned HM
  All-State honors despite missing half the season with a torn ACL. Powell hurt her knee in the
  semifinals of the Asics Challenge, a tournament in which she’d been demonstrating how good she
  was up until the time of the injury.

Fourth Team:
  Megan Miller, Sr., Lyons Township (LaGrange, Illinois) – A three-time Gym Dandy honoree, Miller
  is headed to Wake Forest to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference against high school and club
  teammate Laura Williams (Duke). Miller started at libero on Lyons’ 2010 state championship team and
  anchors the back row for 1st Alliance 18 Silver. A true student of the game, coaches say her
  willingness to study attackers and offenses is her greatest asset and feeds her success in the back

Eighth Team:
  Sheila Doyle, Jr., Benet Academy (Lisle, Illinois) – With Doyle in the libero jersey, Benet did not lose
  a match last fall, going 20-0, including wins at two major tourneys and in the Illinois 4A state title
  match. A great communicator whose competitive nature brings out the best in her teammates, Doyle
  led the Redwings in serve receive rating and was second in digs. "Sheila is a great athlete who has
  learned to the play the libero position very quickly and does so at a very high level,” said coach Brad
  Baker. “She is an extremely quick defender who tracks the ball well and serve receives with the
  best liberos in our state."

Honorable Mention:
  Emily Milligan, Jr., Nazareth Academy (LaGrange, Illinois) – Milligan averaged 4.7 digs per game in
  2011 for the Roadrunners while also leading the 22-11 team in serves received. A standout on 1st
  Alliance 17 Silver as well, Milligan vocally controls the back row and owns her position, said club
  coach Laura Baetzel. “Her solid serve receive has helped her team become an extremely fun team
  to watch offensively. Emily’s ability to read the ball and maintain a steady composure with her ball
  control throughout an entire match are traits that make her a Gym Dandy.” Milligan has committed to
  North Dakota State University.

  Shannon O'Brien, Sr., Benet Academy (Lisle, Illinois) – An intense player with a relentless work
  ethic, O’Brien is an elite defender with the drive to be great. Not afraid to give 100 percent on every
  play, O’Brien reads hitters well and is respected by her teammates because of her drive and passion
  for the game. “Shannon plays with a certain swag that rubbed off on the rest of her teammates this
  year and helped give our team the championship attitude," said coach Brad Baker.

  Toni Saracco, Fr., Lyons Township (LaGrange, Illinois) – Saracco started every game for the 2010
  state champion Lions alongside highly-touted libero Megan Miller and helped Lyons reach the final
  eight in Class 4A in 2011. Saracco collected 248 digs for the Lions. “Her aggressive serve coupled
  with her consistent passing and tenacious defense set her apart from many defensive players with
  more experience,” said coach Joann Pyritz.


6.4.12 - Teams are having a little fun during last practice!

1st Alliance 16Silver, Lions 12-1 and 15-1 work together during
12-1’s final practice of the year.

Lions 12-1 and Fearless 12Red finished 3rd and 4th respectively
in their final tournament of the season. Great job to both teams.

We’ll see you over the summer at camps and clinics.


5.29.12 - 17 Silver Brings Home Gold and Other Teams Do Well

1st Alliance and Lions Jrs. teams did very well at the SPVB
National Junior Classic this past weekend.

17 Silver went undefeated including a defeat of DFFO 17's to
bring home another gold. (Note: 17 Silver also won the GLC
President’s Day tournament. Click here to see that story.)
Krista Brakauskas
was MVP while Kelly Marcinek and
Jasmine King
were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Lions 15-1 finished 3rd after defeating OVA from Orlando. Hanna July made the All-Tournament

16 Silver went 7-1 to score a 5th place finish while 17 Black rounded out the top group with a 6th
place finish.

Congrats to all teams.


5.29.12 - 18 White and 12 Blue Combine for Fun Practice!

The 1st Alliance 18 White and Lions 12 Blue teams combined for
a fun way to practice! They had a great combo practice last
Wednesday as the 12s taught the 18s cheers and had a cheer
off. The 18s then had private position practice with a 12s
partner, played triples and engaged in some cross court pepper.

The teams also played "Around the World" and had a "Draw your
Coach" contest!

Both teams had a great time and was nice to see them playing together :)


5.21.12 - Lions 15 Navy Volunteer for Great Strides Walk for CF

This is a GREAT example of community service.

The Lions 15 Navy team volunteered to work the Orland Park
Great Strides walk for CF this past Saturday. They were
awesome in the 93 degree heat and did it with a smile! They
set-up the whole walk site and passed out lunches and took
registration paperwork along with keeping Natalie (Coach Jen’s
daughter) amused on her special day.


4.30.12 - More USA National Bids Awarded to Lions Teams

Lions 16 Red will accompany other Lions and 1st Alliance
teams to USA Nationals later this summer. They finished the
Windy City Power League 13-2 and an overall 2nd place finish!

A special recognition also goes out to Lions 14 Blue (pictured
at left) who went 15-0 in the Windy City Power League! The
team took 1st in the White Division.

Congratulations to all the teams.


4.30.12 - Clay, Mahlke and Brown Named Top Sophs in the Country

PrepVolleyball.com has named its 2011 Soph 79, the Best VARSITY
PLAYING High School Sophomores in the Country and 1st Alliance
Players are among them. Here is what PrepVolleyball.com has to say
about Amber Clay (pictured), Kathering Mahlke and Samantha Brown:

Making tThe 2011 SOPH 79!!
Amber Clay, 5-11, OH, Marian Catholic (Chicago Heights, Illinois) –
Marian Catholic reached the state semifinals for the first time in school
history and advanced to the state tournament for just the second time
thanks in large part to Clay. The explosive outside hitter – who cut her
teeth playing in a league against the likes of Class 4A champion Benet,
Marist and perennial 3A power Joliet Catholic – had 38 blocks, 33 aces, 112 digs and a team-best
286 kills including 18 kills while hitting .341 in a tough 20-25, 25-18, 24-25 loss to (Woodstock) Marian
Central in a Class 3A semifinal. She also had a team-high seven kills in a loss to perennial powerhouse
St. Francis in the state third-place match.

High Honorable Mention
Katherine Mahlke, 6-1 RS, Downers Grove North (Downers Grove, Illinois) -- Mahlke helped
Downers Grove North to a 22-16 overall mark and a second-place tie in the tough West Suburban
Conference Silver Division. A two-year varsity starter, she finished 2011 with 203 kills (second on
the team) and led the team with 33 blocks for point. She also had 106 digs and 15 aces. “As a
freshman and early in the season as a sophomore, she only played in the front row,” coach Mark
Wasik explained. “Impressively, both her serve-receive and defensive skills improved to where she
became a six-rotation player by the middle of her sophomore year. She is an extremely composed
player who learns quickly. She has an outstanding vertical and reach (last measurement she
touched 9-9). She has tremendous upside. I am certain with continued development that she will
play for an elite Division I school.

Special Mention
Samantha Brown, 6-0 OH, Nazareth Academy (LaGrange Park, Illinois) – A future star for the
Roadrunners, Brown averaged 2.7 kills and 1.7 digs for Nazareth Academy in 2011.


4.30.12 - Weekend 2 Recap of the Spring Classic

Congratulations to all division winners (Lions 14-1 poses here
for their gold medal effort) and thanks to all teams that
participated in this fourth year event. A special thank you
to the many helpers that made this event possible

Click here for a recap with pictures of all the division winners.

The winner of the closest guess in the Gumball guessing contest
was Ellory Graff from Lions 11-1. How many gumballs were in the jar? 270; and she guessed 268!

Spilt the Pot (234.00) was not claimed…Check your tickets!! The winning ticket was 113161

Lions 14 Red won the Recycling Bag contest with 7 Bags.

Here are the division champions and top finishers:
14 Division:
Lions 14-1
Top 3 finishers: Lions 14-1, Club Kace 14 Black, Wisconsin Juniors 13-1, Lions 14 Blue

13 Division:
Milwaukee Sting 12 Gold
Top 3 finishers: Milwaukee Sting 12 Gold, Lions 13-1, SPVB 13 Navy, Wisconsin Juniors 13 Blue

12 Division:
Lions 12-1
Top 3 Finishers: Lions 12-1, Wisconsin Juniors 12-1, Fearless 12 Red, Lions 12 Blue

10 Division:
Lions 10 Orange


4.23.12 - Weekend 1 Recap of the Spring Classic

The first weekend of the 2012 Spring Classic featured 15s, 16s,
17s and 18s - and was a huge success, particularly for 1st
Alliance and Lions Jrs. teams. Shown in the picture at left is
the 18 Silver team, posing after their successful gold medal

1st Alliance 18 Black upset favorite Sky High to earn a spot in
the finals against 1st Alliance 18 Silver which had earned its
spot in the finals by going undefeated. In the championship match, 18 Black continued its upset
quest by taking set one from 18 Silver. In set two however, the tide turned and Silver gained the
upper hand to force a third set finale. In a hard fought battle, 18 Silver prevailed to take home the

gold - but both teams celebrated by posing for a joint picture.

Congratulations to all division winners and thanks to all teams that participated in this fourth year
event. Thanks also to the many helpers that made this event possible.

Congratulations to the tournament Champions:
18 Division:
1st Alliance 18Silver
Top 3 finishers: 1st Alliance 18Silver, 1st Alliance 18Black, Sky High 18 Black and Wisconsin Juniors
17 Division:
1st Alliance 17Silver
Top 3 finishers: 1st Alliance 17Silver, Sky High 17 Black, Milwaukee Sting 17 Gold and Wisconsin
Juniors 17-1
16 Division:
Milwaukee Sting 16 Gold
Top 3 Finishers: Milwaukee Sting 16 Gold, SPVB Sophs, Team Z 16 Orange and 1st Alliance 16Silver
15 Division:
Wisconsin Juniors 14-1
Top 3 Finishers: Wisconsin Juniors 14-1, SPVB 15 Elite, Altitude 15 Black ROX and Sky High 15 Black

Congratulations to the winners of the Recycling Bag contest: 1st Alliance 16Silver (10 Bags).

Thanks to all the teams that participated. Congratulations to the winner for the closest guess in the
Gumball guessing contest: Courtney Wagner from Huskie Juniors. How many gumballs were in the
jar? 278; and she guessed the EXACT NUMBER!

A special thanks to the McCook Police Dept for donating bags!

Click here for a Summary of the 1st Week with pictures of the winning teams.


4.23.12 - Prepvolleyball.com Ranks 1st Alliance/Lions Jrs High

1st Alliance and Lions Jrs were well represented in the April
2012 Prepvolleyball.com National Club Rankings. Congratulations
to Lions 15-1, 16, 17 and 18 Silver for being ranked in the top
30 in their respective age groups. (17 Silver is shown in the
picture after winning the Spring Classic 17s.)

PrepVolleyball.com had this to say about our teams:

18 and Under Ranking:
6. 1st Alliance “and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!” (Illinois)
Pre-season ranking: 11
Winning the Great Lakes Power League is awfully impressive. Led by setter Alexis Viliunas, 1st
Alliance was in the Gold Pool of Death on Sunday at NEQ and dropped close matches to Sky High
and Austin Juniors. It came back last weekend at Northern Lights to go 7-1 to qualify, losing only to
MN Select, 15-10 in the third.

17 and Under Ranking
10. “I Held Her” 1st Alliance (Illinois)
Pre-season ranking: 13
Despite playing without OH Kelly Marcinek (broken hand), 1st Alliance managed to drop only one
match at Northern Lights last weekend en route to a fifth-place finish. The team also had a strong
showing at tough Big South, where it qualified; and won the Great Lakes President’s Day event.
Remember, this is the team that won 16 Open at AAU Nationals a year ago.

16 and Under Ranking:

29. “Quench Your” 1st Alliance (Illinois)
Pre-season ranking: 23

15 and Under Ranking:
30. Lions (Illinois)
Pre-season ranking: 11


4.19.12 - Tom Black to Present Attacking Clinic April 24

1st Alliance is excited to have Loyola Marymount University Volleyball
Coach Tom Black present a clinic on "Attacking". The clinic will be at
The MAX on Tuesday, April 24th. Session times are:
     5:45 pm to 7:00 pm - 17s and 18s
     7:00 pm to 8:00 pm - 15x and 16s
     8:00 pm to 9:00 pm - 13s and 14s
The cost is $25, payable to 1st Alliance VBC.

Tom Black is one of the most successful young coaches in the country
with a .747 winning percentage - and he has served as a consultant
coach for the US National Team as it prepares for the Olympics this
summer in London.

For a flyer and an enrollment form to complete and bring with you, click here.


4.16.12 - Lions 12-1 and 14-1s Have Great Power League Finish

Over the duration of the league, Lions 12-1 went 12-3 with a
third place finish, while Lions 14-1 were 17- 1 taking second.

Lions 14-1 will attend the USA National Championships in
Columbus later this summer.


4.16.12 - 18 Silver Captures Bid for USA Nationals

18 Silver joins the list of 1st Alliance teams heading to the USA
Volleyball National Open Championships in Columbus, Ohio.
16 Silver and 17 Silver earned bids at a qualifier two weeks
ago. Lions 14-1 will also go to the championships (see story

With nine teams competing and only two bids available, compe-
tition was intense at the Northern Lights Qualifier in Minneapolis
last weekend. Going into the last day of the round robin format
A5 (Atlanta) and Minnesota Select were tied with 18 Silver with one loss each. 18 Silver had bested
A5, A5 won their match with Minnesota Select and Select had taken Silver - all in close three set
matches. As a result, every point in every match was important because tie breaking included
point differential.

18 Silver won out, holding off a spunky Pinellas Heat (Clearwater, FL) team in their final match. Heat
had come from behind to tie set two at 22 all, then gone ahead before Silver rallied won 26-24. This
gave 18 Silver the best set percentage and the best point percentage of all the teams - guaranteeing
the National Championship Bid in a three team tie situation.

However, A5 lost their match with Pinellas Heat, ending their dream of a bid at this qualifier and leaving
18 Silver tied with Minnesota Select at the top of the group with single losses. Minnesota Select,
having given 18 Silver their ownly loss, ended up finishing first with 18 Silver second - and both teams
took home bids to the National Open Championship.


4.2.12 -16 Silver and 17 Silver Earn USA Open National Bids

This past weekend, both 16 Silver and 17 Silver brought home
bids to the USA Volleyball National Open Championships. The
teams will be travelling to Columbus, Ohio in late June along with
other elite teams from across the country to compete for
championships in their respective age groups.

In the picture, 16 Silver poses at the Coca Cola museum after
a successful sweep of their pool on Day 1.


3.26.12 - Lions 12-1 beats Sunsetters 13 Black for Championship

Lions 12-1 staged a come from behind championship victory
against Sunsetters 13 Black. They took the sunsetters 13U
tournament going undefeated in all 5 matches.

An exciting 15-13 game three win topped off the day!

Congratulations 12-1s


3.23.12 - Volleycubs at the Max are having a good time!

This winter we had over 30 4.5-6 year olds sign-up and
participate in our 4th annual volleycubs season. They
practiced hard for 8 weeks and learned how to pass, set,
spike and serve. The kids had a great time running through
the obstacle courses, playing freeze dance, tag and of
course playing lots of volleyball.

The girls are really enjoying playing and being a "team".


3.18.12 - 18 Silver Captures Great Lakes Power League Crown

Tied going into the last day of power league, 18 Silver and Sky
High 18 Black both had 6 points. Whoever finished higher on the
final day would take gold.

Both teams won their first two matches and squared off for a
championship match. In an exciting final, 18 Silver won 29-27,

Congratulations to 1st Alliance 18Silver


3.18.12 - Brigid Collins - February Coach of the Month

Brigid Collins is this month’s coach of the Month. Brigid has been
a coach for Lions Juniors for four years now and each year
continues to improve as a coach. Her first year Brigid coached
the 14Red team and last season the 16Red team. Last year’s
team qualified for Nationals in Atlanta. Brigid’s 15Blue team has
had a successful first half of the season finishing FIRST in two
big events already! Brigid is always there to help out other
coaches and players and has earned the respect of her teams as well as the rest of the staff.
Congrats to Brigid.


3.13.12 - PrepVolleyball.com Honors Shannon O'Brien as an
Academic All American

PrepVolleyball.com announced its 2011 High School Volleyball
Academic All Americans. Volleyball players, as a whole, are a
talented bunch who excel both on the court and in the
classroom. PreVolleyball.com honors the best of the best at
combining big brains and athletic brawn. And on their 2011
PrepVolleyball.com High School Volleyball Academic All
American Highest Honorable Mention list is 1st Alliance player
Shannon O'Brien.

Shannon is a 5-9 DS who attends Benet Academy in Lisle, Illinois. Here is what PrepVolleyball.com
says about her: " One of the digs leaders for the Illinois 4A champs, O’Brien, who is bound for
Cornell, boasts a perfect 4.0 GPA. A natural leader, she is a an Illinois State Scholar and a member
of the National Honor Society. She plays every ball like it is her last ever and expects her team to do
the same.”

Congratulations to Shannon


3.12.12 - Tryouts for Girls 7/8th Grade Spring Season Team

When: Tuesday, 3.20 6:15pm-7:45pm
Where Lyons Township South Campus, 4900 S. Willow Springs, Western Springs
More info? Skecklions1@aol.com www.1stalliancevbc.net 708 246-2543 $10 tryout fee payable onsite
Cost: $300(includes uniform) does not include usav registration fee
Practice: Practices will average two times per week. Our main practice facility is Lyons Township South Campus, 4900 S. Willow Springs Rd, Western Springs, 60558, the Max McCook and the Chalet Fitness Center in Willow Springs.
Tourneys: Two-three tourneys on Saturdays or Sundays.

Click here for a flyer.


2.28.12 - Norwegian Volleyball School Visits 1st Alliance

Topp Volley Norge Norwegian Volleyball School is a volleyball
boarding school located in Sand, Norway (South West corner
of Norway). The students are from different parts of the
country and go through a try-out in order to be accepted into
the school. Once they are there, they attend classes, train in
the sport of volleyball and compete through-out Europe.

1st Alliance was honored to get a chance to scrimmage the
team as well as mingle and have a little fun!

TVN's vision is to bring Norwegian volleyball and beach volleyball on the junior side to an
international top level. Their goal is to establish and develop a national level training offered in
combination with secondary education.

1st Alliance 18 Black and TVN participated in a t-shirt swap (pictured here).


2.28.12 - March/April Volley Cubs Sessions Announced

Volley Cubs is for boys and girls ages 4.5-6 years old. Join us for a fun hour of activity and
volleyball skill development for beginning tots, taught by experienced volleyball coaches and
educators. Sign up NOW. Click here for a sign-up form and more details.


2.24.12 - Ali Deatsch featured at Elon’s Night of the Phoenix

Ali Deatsch, a Elon University student-athlete talks about life
at Elon and what it means to have a scholarship that was
made possible by donations to the Phoenix Club.


2.21.12 - Lots of President’s Day Gold for 1st Alliance | Lions

At the Great Lakes President’s Day tournament, 1st Alliance
continued to prove that they are one of the top volleyball clubs
in the nation. 1st Alliance dominated the field by having a team
in the final four of each Open age group, 15-18. No other club
had more than two teams in the gold bracket: (KIVA (Kentucky),
A5 (Georgia) and DFFO (Michigan) had two teams in the gold
bracket. All other Illinois clubs had, at most, one team in the gold

Headlining the impressive performance was 1st Alliance 17 Silver which took 1st place. The reigning
AAU Open champions defeated several nationally ranked opponents in route to their gold medal:
KIVA (ranked 5th nationally), Dead Frogs Far Out (ranked 6th nationally), St. Louis CYC (ranked 22nd
nationally) and Milwaukee Sting (ranked 29th nationally).

1st Alliance 16 Silver took silver falling to nationally ranked A5 in the finals. In order to reach the
finals, 1st Alliance 16 Silver knocked off Academy Cleveland ranked 3rd nationally and Ultimate
Volleyball Club (ranked 34th nationally).

1st Alliance 18 Silver took bronze in a field that featured twelve nationally ranked teams. They fell in
the semi finals to the ultimate champions, but rebounded nicely defeating A5 Volleyball (ranked 5th
nationally) in the third place match.

Lions 15-1 took fourth in a powerful 15 Open field finishing only behind three teams ranked in the
top ten in the nation. Not only did our Lions 15-1s make an impressive finish, but Lions 15 Red had a
top ten finish in 15 Open finishing ahead of several nationally acclaimed teams.

1st Alliance 17 White also had a top ten finish in the club division.

In addition to action in the Chicago area, some of our teams travelled to Wisconsin and dominated on the courts. Lions 15 Blue and Lions 14 Red both captured gold. Lions 13-1 took silver while Lions 16 Red and Lions 15 Teal took bronze.

MVP and All-Tournaments Awards:
18 Open
  Brittany Brown- All-tourney
17 Open
  Mallory Salis- MVP
  Sophia Dodd- All-tourney
  Emily Milligan- All-tourney
16 Open
  Katherine Mahlke- All-tourney
  Linnea Rohrsen- All-tourney
15 Open
  Hannah Juley- All-tourney


2.14.12 - 3CE 16s Headed to JO's in Dallas

Going into their third qualifier of the season, these boys knew it was their last chance to qualify for
Junior Nationals. They had fallen a bit short in St. Louis and Wisconsin but were determined to earn
their bid this time around. The boys had a rough start to the weekend but were able to secure their
spot in the gold bracket by working together as a team. From there, it was only a matter of winning
a few more matches to reach their goal. In the end, the boys earned their well-deserved bid to
junior nationals and accepted it with pride. This team came so far from the beginning of the season
until now and really pulled it together in the end. They made a name for themselves and the club,
boasting the first bid to Junior Nationals in the boys program since 2006. We wish them good luck in
Dallas and expect great things to come from these boys and the rest of the 3rd Coast Elite program.
Great job!


2.14.12 - Lions players make 2011 Frosh 59: The Best Varsity-Playing Freshmen in America

The Frosh 59 comprises the top varsity achievements of freshmen in 2011 in the opinion of
PrepVolleyball.com. Also listed are players finding homes in the Highest Honorable Mention,
Special Mention and Honorable Mention categories. Congratulations to all of you! Here are the
comments from the Frosh 59 listing about three Lions players that made the list.

Honorable Mention
  Hanna Juley, 5-10 OH, Lyons Township (LaGrange, Illinois) – You are not going to get many
  opportunities on a team with three returning starters from a state championship squad, but when
  called upon, Juley responded. She helped lead Lyons to the Class 4A final eight in Illinois with 93
  kills (and a kill percentage of 37.8 percent) and 35 solo blocks. “Hanna started every single
  varsity match of her freshman year,” coach Joann Pyritz said. “She showed that she is capable
  of being an effective blocker even against hitters who are experienced veterans.”

  Toni Saracco, 5-4 DS, Lyons Township (LaGrange, Illinois) – Saracco started every game for the
  2010 state champion Lions alongside highly-touted libero Megan Miller and helped Lyons reach
  the final eight in Class 4A in 2011. Saracco collected 248 digs for the Lions.

  Julia Saunders, 6-2 OH, Nazareth Academy (LaGrange Park, Illinois) – Saunders finished fourth
  on the young and talented Roadrunners in kills and blocks in 2011. She is still growing and already
  touches 9-11.


2.7.12 - February Power League Results Continue to be Good

Windy City Power League Results
14 and under:
  14-1 went 6-0, 12-0 and off to a great start in the Red Division
  14 Blue went 6-0 and off to a great start in the White Division
  14Teal went 6-0 and off to a great start in the White Division

Great Lakes Power League Results:
16 and under:
  14 Blue went 6-0 and moved up two pools


2.7.12 - Blocking Clinic February 13th at the Chalet

The next clinic will be a Blocking Clinic featuring Ohio University
coach Kyle Weindel. It will be held Monday, February 13th at
the Chalet.

Click here for a flyer with details.

Pictured here are Mallory Salis and Emily Milligan demonstrating
during our January ball control clinic with Loyola head coach
Chris Muscat.


2.2.12 - Five 1st Alliance Players Chosen for 2011 PrepVolleyball.com High School All-America’s List

PrepVolleyball.com has named five 1st Alliance players to its 2011 High School All-American list.
"To be a High School All-American," says PrepVolleyball.com, "you must have made a massive impact
on your high school team. 'Massive' is subjective, but at a minimum requires that you be the best
player on your team and one of the top 3-5 players in your state regardless of class, except for
volleyball hotbeds like California, Texas, Indiana and Illinois, where you must be among the 10 best
HIGH SCHOOL players regardless of class."

Here are the 1st Alliance players named and PrepVolleyball.com notes on each:
  Alexis Viliunas, 6-1 Sr. S, Lyons Township (LaGrange, Illinois)
High Honorable Mention:
  Caroline Rose, 5-8 Sr. OH, York (Elmhurst, Illinois)
Special Mention:
  Ashley Holder, 5-8 Sr. S, Marist (Chicago, Illinois)
  Mallory Salis, 5-9 Jr. OH, Marist (Chicago, Illinois)
  Laura Williams, 5-10 Sr. OH/S/DS, Lyons Township (La Grange, Illinois)


1.30.12 - Champions are Crowned This Past Weekend

15 Blue defeated Circle City 15 Black to win the Central Zone
Invitational this weekend at Sky High. The team was 6-1 on the
weekend. Carleigh Barringer and Mia Herrod each notched
35 kills. Natalie Arredia led the team with 10 aces. Leah Lane
contributed with a team high 36 digs for the weekend.

Great Lakes 18 and under Power League:
1st Alliance 18 Silver 2nd place overall both Saturday and
Sunday. 1st Alliance 16 Silver 6-0, 12-0 on the weekend to move up 2 pools.

Windy City Power League:
Lions 14-1, Lions 14 Red, Lions 14 Navy and Lions 13-1 are all in the top RED division continuing
play on 2/4.


1.30.12 - More 1st Alliance players Make PrepVolleyball.com Lists

2011 PrepVolleyball.com National Player of the Year Finalists
  Alexis Viliunas, 6-1 S/OH, Lyons Township (LaGrange, Illinois) – One year after being the spark
  in the Lions’ run to the Illinois state title, Viliunas helped a much younger Lyons team get back to
  the elite eight, recording 644 assists, 320 kills, 300 digs, 54 aces and 43 blocks in 2011. The
  Illinois signee and top 100 Senior Ace was named Chicago’s Player of the Year by two major
  newspapers and was Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year.

2011 Andi Collins Award Finalists
  Alexis Viliunas, 6-1 S, Lyons Township (LaGrange, Illinois) – (See above)

  Ashley Holder, 5-8 S, Marist (Chicago, Illinois) – A coach on the floor, Holder, an Akron recruit,
  took Marist to the Illinois 4A Final Four in 2011. Seting the table for a young team, Holder amassed
  1,121 assists, the second-highest total in state history, while adding 454 digs and 33 aces for a
  34-8 team that was nationally-ranked all year long. Holder was a Second Team All-State selection
  by the Champaign News-Gazette.


1.28.12 - 1st Alliance | Lions Jrs. | 3C Club Social and Picture Night Raffle and Trivia Winners

Congratulations to our Trivia winners Hannah Miller (Lions 12-Blue) and Sam Pethokoukis (1st
Alliance 16 Silver) !!!

Contratulations also to raffle prize winners Jenn Graham (Lions 16-1), Tess Riordan (Lions
13Red), Maddie Dunterman (Lions 13-1) and Maria Gazzi (Lions 12-1)!!!

Click here for details and info on how receive your prize.


1.24.12 - Mike Konrad - December Coach of the Month

Mike Konrad is our Coach of the month for December. He is a
new coach to the 3rd Coast Elite Boys Program, but a returning
alum who played for Lions Juniors during his High School
years. Mike is eager to take his team to the top level, pushing
them each practice and having the goal to be the 1st team to
qualify since his team was the last to qualify when he played!
He steps into drills to demo to the players and shows them
exactly what he wants to see from them. He expects 100%
from his team at all times!! The team enjoys Mike and we are really excited to have him back
coaching our boys. In addition to the Boys program, Mike has stepped in as head coach for our
Girls Lions 16Blue team, where I’m sure he’ll have as much success. Congratulations to Mike!


1.19.11 - Volley Cubs and Kids Sessions to Start in February

Volley Cubs for boys and girls ages 4.5-6 years old.
  Wednesdays, 1:15pm-2pm at the Chalet Fitness Center in Willow
  Springs on 2/1, 2/8, 2/15, 2/22, 2/29, 3/7, 3/14, 3/21

  Sessions run $85 for the eight classes or $12 per class.

Click here for a VolleyCubs Brochure with info on how to

VolleyKids for boys and girls ages 5-7 years old.
  Mondays, 4:15 pm – 5:00 pm at the Chalet Fitness Center in
   Willow Springs 2/6, 2/13, 2/20, 2/27, 3/5, 3/12, 3/19 Cost:
  $70 for the seven dates or $12 per date.

Click here for a VolleyKids Brochure with info on how to enroll.


1.16.12 - 1st Alliance Well Represented in Pre-Season Rankings

1st Alliance teams were well represented in the 2012
Prepvolleyball.com National Pre-Season Club Rankings. While
these ranking are for fun and for discussion, it is always nice
to have our program recognized. Here are the 1st Alliance
teams listed in the rankings and what PrepVolleyball.com had
to say about our teams:

18 and under:
Ranked 11th - 1st Alliance 18Silver
1st Alliance “and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!” (Illinois)
The Facts: 1st Alliance 18 Silver will begin the year with three of its standouts, libero Bridget Powell
(knee), MB Lauren Zielinski (shoulder) and MB Gabby Pethokoukis (back) sidelined, from a team that
took 10th in 17 Open at USAV Nationals in 2011. But there is talent aplenty to make up for their
absence, none greater than at setter, where Illinois Gatorade POY Alexis Viliunas, who played 18s
a year ago, is joined by 5-9 Pittsburgh signee Jenna Jacobson. Laura Williams, Caroline Rose,
Brittany Brown, Megan Miller, Jessie Tulacka and Melissa Nava are others to watch on this veteran

The Pun: Powell’s not playing means more time for the books.

17 and under:
Ranked 13th - 1st Alliance 17Silver
“I Held Her” 1st Alliance (Illinois)
The Facts: This was the feel-good team of AAUs last year after stunning TAV in the 16 Open finals.
With their upgrades, this squad could challenge for a medal at Junior Nationals. The team has a
fabulous setter in AAU MVP Sophia Dodd, who will also hit on the right when Sharon Anderson
sets, and several terrific options on the left: Mallory Salis, Melissa Deatsch, Kelly Marcinek and
Danielle Schroeder. In the middle, Hanna Lee and Ana Vrhel, both D-1 commits, are joined by 6-3
Jasmine King, who touches 10-1. The defense, already fabulous with steady Emily Milligan, got
better with the addition of Sheila Doyle.

The Pun: Schroeder’s play isn’t Peanuts.

16 and under:
Ranked 23rd - 1st Alliance 16Silver
“Quench Your” 1st Alliance (Illinois) Beth Keck’s team will be stunning on the pins with Sammie
Brown and Amber Clay on the left and Katherine Mahlke on the right. Joyce Balash and Mariah
Rouse in the middle are two other targets for 5-11 setter Jenna Lodewyk.

15 and under:
Ranked 11th - Lions 15-1


1.16.12 - Second Weekend of Play and the Good Results Keep Rolling In

Great Lakes 16 and under Power League:
  Lions 15Red 6-0 - 8th overall
  Lions 15-1 - 16th overall

Windy City Power League:
  Lions 14-1 7-0 - 2nd overall

  12s did well and 6 teams (Lions 12-1, 12 Blue, 12 Red, 12 Navy, 12 Sky Blue and Fearless 12 Red) 
  from all 9 Lions  teams made it to the  top (Red) Division of the League. They are among best 16
  teams from almost 40 club teams that were playing at the League.

  12 Sky Blue team originally seeded 27th in the league won 5 out of 6 matches and are in the top

Energy College Showcase:
  1st Alliance 18 White - 3rd place


11.14.11 - Club Social and Picture Night set for January 20

The 2012 1st Alliance | Lions Jrs. | 3C Club Social and Picture Night is set for January 20th. Click here
for a flyer.

When: Friday 1/20/12 6 pm-9:30 pm

5:45 PM

Lions 14Blue
Lions 14Red

Lions 14Navy
Lions 15Blue

Lions 14Teal

6:15 PM

1st Alliance 17Black
1st Alliance 18White

1st Alliance 17Silver
1st Alliance 18Black

1st Alliance 18Silver
Lions 14-1

6:45 PM

1st Alliance 16Black
1st Alliance 17White

1st Alliance 16Silver
Lions 15Red

Lions 17-1
City Lions

7:15 PM

Lions 15-1
Lions 16-1

Lions 16Red
Lions 15Navy

Lions 16Blue

7:45 PM

3C 16N
3C 18M

3C 15J
Lions 15Teal

3C 17M
Fearless 12Navy

8:15 PM

Lions 12Teal
Lions 12-1

Lions 12Navy
Lions 12Red

Lions 12Blue
Fearless 12Red

8:45 PM

Lions 12Sky B
Lions 13Blue

Lions 13-1
Lions 13Teal

Lions 13Navy
Lions 13Red

Where: Lyons Township South Campus

What: Team and Individual Pictures, Games, Raffles, Contests, Trivia, Food, Drinks, Socializing

Who: The teams above are required to attend plus parents, siblings and other family members are welcome!


1.11.12 - Good Results for First Weekend of Power Leagues

Great Lakes Power League:
  1st Alliance 18 Silver, 6-0 in matches and 12-0 in games (3rd overall)
  1st Alliance 17 Silver, 6-0 in matches and 12-2 in games (10th overall)
  1st Alliance 18 Black, 6-0 in matches and 12-1 in games (11th overall)

Windy City Power League:
  Lions 16 Red, 6-0 in matches and 12-0 in games (4th overall)

Congratulations to the teams for great starts.