The contact started last summer when Western Illinois University women’s soccer coach Ted Flogaites and his staff worked a camp for Crystal Lake Force players at Lippold Park.
Crystal Lake South senior Alexandra Siavelis attended the camp and enjoyed working with Western’s staff, which includes Cary-Grove graduate Kelsey Passaglia. She visited the school three times and the WIU coaches saw her play in tournaments with the Force over the summer.
Siavelis committed to Western at the end of July and will sign her NCAA National Letter of Intent with the Division I school on Feb. 5.
“They have a really good coaching staff,” Siavelis said. “It will be a great experience and something I definitely won’t regret.”
Siavelis is a 5-foot-9 center midfielder for South and the Force. She also played golf on Crystal Lake Central’s co-op team that finished fifth in the Class AA Girls State Tournament. Siavelis shot 82 and 88 in the state tournament for the Tigers.
Siavelis considered playing golf in college and also looked into attending Big Ten Conference schools, where she would not have played sports. She also looked at D-III Wisconsin-Whitewater for soccer.
Siavelis will join McHenry senior Alexis Morales, a former Force teammate, with the Leathernecks.
Two for Grand View: Prairie Ridge defender Ali Fanning and Crystal Lake Central goalkeeper Caitlyn Dayton will attend NAIA Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa on soccer scholarships.
Fanning committed to the Vikings and coach Ventsi Stoimirov first. She found the school while searching for potential schools on the Internet. Force coach Diego Cevallos recommended Stoimirov as a quality person and coach.
“Diego and their coach go way back,” Fanning said. “I visited there at the beginning of the school year.”
Dayton thought she was headed to Maryville University, an NAIA school in St. Louis, but the coach could not offer her scholarship money. As club teammates, Fanning learned Grand View was looking for a keeper, so Dayton checked into that school.
“I was kind of crushed when [Maryville] couldn’t offer,” Dayton said. “But Ali told me [Grand View] needed a goalie, so I looked there. Once I went there I fell in love with the school.”
Dayton will be a fourth-year varsity starter this spring; Fanning will start for a third year.
Martin to St. Francis: Huntley senior right-hander Mason Martin will pitch for St. Francis University’s baseball team next year.
Martin pitched mainly in junior varsity games last season for the Red Raiders, although coach Andy Jakubowski gave Martin the ball in the season opener against DeKalb. Martin had lost his father Roger, who drowned in a boating accident in the summer of 2012.
Martin pitched for Huntley’s high school team and for the Illinois Dirtbags last summer. He credits Jakubowski and Dirtbags coach Brian Liebman with helping him in recruiting.
“[St. Francis] coach [Brian] Michalak was the best I talked to during the recruiting process,” Martin said. “I wanted to stay kind of close so my mom [Drecinda] and sister [Miranda] could come to games. I really liked it and I liked NAIA where the rosters aren’t as big as D-III schools.”
McNeil close to second home: Prairie Ridge outside hitter Kennedy McNeil will play volleyball at D-III Wisconsin-Whitewater next year, the school she figured she would attend all along. McNeil’s parents John and Corey have a house on Rice Lake, near Whitewater.
“My mom’s parents built that house, it’s like our second home,” McNeil said. “I had a few D-I opportunities in Texas and Boston, but I didn’t want to go too far away.”
McNeil, who is 5-11, plays with Club Fusion’s 18 Blue team after the high school season. She likes that Whitewater has its own volleyball-specific gymnasium as well.
“They told me I need to be ready to work hard and earn my stripes,” McNeil said. “I’m ready for that.”
Regan to Oshkosh: Huntley senior Elish Regan will play volleyball at D-III Wisconson-Oshkosh next year. Regan, a 5-5 defensive specialist-libero, decided on Oshkosh over the holiday break.
Regan played for Club Fusion’s 17 Orange last year and now plays for 18 Blue.
“I met a lot of the girls and loved the team,” Regan said. “I met with the coach [Brian Schaefer] and loved his personality. We bonded really well.”
Schaefer’s teams are 251-80 in his 10 seasons.
Gorney to Benedictine: Huntley senior Zach Gorney, a 6-4 forward, will play basketball next year at D-III Benedictine University in Lisle.
Gorney is averaging 11.0 points and 4.4 rebounds a game for the Red Raiders, who are 11-4 overall and lead the FVC Valley Division at 4-0. Gorney is shooting 55.2 percent on field goals and 69.6 percent at the free-throw line.
Dell'Aquila to Dominican: Huntley outfielder Dillon Dell'Aquila will play baseball at D-III Dominican University in River Forest next year. Dell'Aquila played mainly junior varsity games last season, but will have a much larger role, probably as a starting outfielder this spring.
Wright to Grand View: Huntley defensive lineman Marcus Wright (5-7, 225) has committed to play football at NAIA Grand View University. Wright was a Northwest Herald All-Area honorable-mention pick from the Raiders last season.
Vuglar, Madej pick schools: Upper Fox Valley girls hockey players Christa Vuglar and Samantha Madej have made their college decisions. Both are defenseman.
Vuglar, from Crystal Lake Central, will play at Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology, a D-I hockey program.
Madej, from Huntley, will play at D-III Stevenson (Md.) University.