Local fans and scouts from around the country came to watch the third annual Illinois High School Girls All-Star Volleyball game on Saturday, Dec. 1, hosted by SportsTownChicago.com and sponsored by the Illinois Center for Broadcasting. The competitive nets were set high at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Ill., as the athletes took to the court.
Peter Ferreri, founder of the game and Regional Program Director of the STC radio station, said he felt enthused by the success of the event. “Three years ago, there were All-Star games for nearly every sport, except girls’ volleyball,” he said. He reflects that the games have already come so far in their success as they have grown increasingly competitive, reeling in higher levels of play each year.
In this year’s game, 30 girls were chosen to compete in two teams (Team Pink and Team White) led by local coaches. The first four sets produced scores of 25-19 Pink; 25-17 White; 25-11 Pink; 25-16 White. This made for a suspenseful fifth set that could have been either team’s to claim. Team Pink took the victory with a score of 15-7.
Several rising volleyball stars shined extra bright during this year’s game. These included Lauren Carlini, a Team Pink player from West Aurora, Gatorade National Player of the Year, and a University of Wisconsin recruit, who was named MVP with an impressive 13 assists and 10 kills; Team White player Alysia Baznik from Naperville Central led her squad with 13 kills; and teammate Meghan McDowell from Hinsdale Central collected eight kills and 12 assists.
Not only a fight for volleyball victory, the match was also a fight against breast cancer. This year, all proceeds were donated to the American Cancer Society to benefit several of their programs, some of which include free wigs for cancer patients and transportation for anyone in need of a ride to their hospital or treatment center.
This was a perfect way to celebrate the holiday season with some solid sets, spikes, and serves in support of a powerful cause.
Missed the game or want to experience it again? Visit SportsTownChicago.com for live radio play-by-play and streaming video.
Originally published in February 2013