IN THE CLASSROOM
RB's Ali Frantti~Player of the Week
September 10, 2013Richmond Burton High School
Volleyball Insider: Richmond-Burton's Ali Frantti Player of Week
Athlete of the week: Ali Frantti, Richmond-Burton, senior, OH
In a week of strong performances, no player enjoyed as much fanfare. Frantti notched 146 kills in six matches last week after being named the No. 2 player in the nation by national website prepvolleyball.com. She added 47 digs, seven blocks and six aces during the annual Ram Slam last weekend at Grayslake Central. At this pace, Frantti could reach as many as 1,000 kills this season. (NWHerald 9/10/13)
By JEFF ARNOLD email@example.com and MAUREEN LYNCH firstname.lastname@example.org
When she was in sixth grade, Ali Frantti sat down at the computer and typed an email to Russ Rose.
The Richmond-Burton senior outside hitter knew at a very young age that she wanted to go to Penn State to play for the Nittany Lions’ storied volleyball program. Rose never returned Frantti’s email, but she ended up on his radar anyway.
Frantti credits the training she’s received at Club Fusion since middle school for her rise to the national spotlight and ultimately the Penn State scholarship she earned last year.
“We’ve learned everything we know from these coaches,” Frantti said. “I hope people look up to all the girls at this club because this (the scholarships) is all Club Fusion.”
Rose knows the McHenry County area, and Illinois in general, is one-stop shopping when it comes to recruits. The area is so rich in volleyball talent that Rose and his fellow NCAA coaches can come for a single tournament and see enough players to fill a long list of needs.
“Certainly, now there are really big clubs like Fusion and Sports Performance where you have hundreds of kids playing, and you’ve got young kids playing,” Rose said. “They have to be able to pay for facilities like those and that’s how this has become a business. It’s a big business. It’s a costly business, for parents and for kids. Of course, that pays off if kids get scholarships. (NWHerald 8/27/13)
Senior Frantti ranked among top in nation
in the BNC East Division~Senior outside Ali Frantti, ranked among the top in the nation & committed to Penn State, gives opponents fits. Should teams figure out how to stop Frantti, fellow outside Kelsey Burlini or Middle blocker Libby Anderson will hurt htem. On paper, the Rockets look like they are rebu8lding. coach Kaycee Kaywood is confident RB can shed that tag quickly. "They have bonded very well," Kaywood said. (NWHerald 8/24/13)
Ali Frantti: One of five players to watch~
RB, sr., OH~Frantti is one of the top outside hitters in the country and one of Penn Sates' prized recruits. Frantti helped the Rockets to a second-place finish in the Class 3A state tournament last season & led her Club Fusion 17 black team to an AAU Junior national championship this summer. (NWHerald 8/24/13)
Club Fusion 17 Black wins national title
By MAUREEN LYNCH - email@example.com
Last year, Marengo-based Club Fusion’s elite 16 Black volleyball team grinded out a three-set match to win a national title in the 16 Open Division at the annual AAU Girls Junior National Championships in Orlando, Fla.
This year, the same group of players didn’t need gritty play. Fusion’s 17 Black team, led by Richmond-Burton outside hitter Ali Frantti, beat Academy Volleyball Cleveland on Wednesday night in Orlando to win a second straight AAU national title.
Frantti received All-America honors, along with teammates Bryanna Weiskircher (Boylan setter) and Simone Lee (Menomonee Falls, Wis., outside hitter). All three are committed to Penn State.
“They were nothing short of dominant,” said Eric Schulze, general manager at Fusion. “Last year [the championship match] was a lot more exciting. This year, they just dominated.”
17 Black received the top seed in Orlando and played a single three-set match during pool play. Fusion was pushed to three sets in the quarterfinal against Alamo 17 Kaepa Premier (Texas), then beat Atlanta-based A5 Mizuno in the semifinal to earn a spot in the national championship match.
17 Black will try to win a second national title in a week at the USA Volleyball Junior National Championships in Dallas, which began Friday. Fusion is seeded fifth in the 17 Open division.
Fusion-South 14 Red and Fusion-South 18 Silver also won AAU national titles in the 14 Club and 18 Classic divisions, respectively. Both teams are based in Batavia at one of Fusion’s satellite locations.
Fellow McHenry County volleyball club Sky High also sent a handful of teams to Orlando. Sky High 15 Black finished 16th in the 15 Open Division, and Sky High 17 Black finished 43rd in the 17 Open division. Sky High 18 Red was ninth and 18 White was 45th in the 18 Club division.
Sky High also will compete in Dallas this weekend. (NWHerald 6/18/13)
I’m Just Saying with Richmond-Burton’s Ali Frantti
Richmond-Burton senior outside hitter Ali Frantti is a year away from beginning her career at Penn State, seven years after she emailed Nittany Lions coach Russ Rose as a sixth-grader. Frantti wrote the email long before social media avenues like Twitter – a form of communication that Frantti, who can be found at @Afrantti14 but who has only tweeted once, still isn’t extremely comfortable with. This week, Frantti travels to Colorado for her second tryout with the U.S. Girls Youth National team, representing another lifelong dream for Frantti. The U.S. National team will compete later this summer in Thailand.
I’ve been thinking about (the USA Volleyball tryout) every day now for I don’t know how long. I’m really excited and can’t wait to get out [to Colorado[. I’m looking forward to the competition and I know it’s going to be tough, but I’m looking forward to it. I think they’re looking for someone who is just a well-rounded person, who is vocal and who is confident in their abilities and can represent our country well. I think they’re looking for that all-around kind of a person. That’s been my dream for as long as I can remember – wearing that USA jersey would just be such an honor and it gives me chills. It’s something that I think about every day because I just think it would be really cool to be able represent our country.
I was always such a huge [Penn State fan] and I honestly thought that maybe one day, I would play for [Rose]. I had those crazy dreams and that was kind of my motivation to do this. I just wanted to be like those other girls that won those (national) championships and it’s crazy I’m actually getting to do it now. Russ actually tried to find the email but it’s been so long that I don’t think he saved it. I wrote exactly who I was, where I’m from, how tall I was at the time, what position I played. I told him I’d like to go to school and play volleyball (at Penn State) and I think I even congratulated him on his championship – I’m not exactly sure what I wrote. But I’m still pinching myself that I’m going there and I can’t wait. I’m just looking forward to being able to play at the collegiate level and to play at my dream school.
I really don’t go on Twitter that often. I like looking at other people’s stuff, but I don’t really post stuff. People always told me I should get a (Twitter account) just to keep up to date with what’s going on in people’s lives, but I really like Facebook instead of Twitter. I didn’t know there was a limit on how much I could write and so I thought, ‘Oh boy, this is going to be fun’. I don’t know. The whole set-up is cool, but I just think it’s not really for me.
It’s crazy how much we’ve been able to accomplish (in volleyball) in such a short amount of time. Getting to state last year was really exciting and it only makes me want to do more in my last year (at Richmond-Burton). But looking back, it seems like everything happened so fast and so quick that it’s hard to digest it sometimes. But I wouldn’t want it any other way to be honest.
I’m Just Saying is a regular Sunday feature. If there’s someone you’d like to see featured in this space, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message on Twitter at NWH_JeffArnold. (NWHerald 6/9/13)
Ali Frantti earns 2nd tryout for U.S. girls volleyball team
By MAUREEN LYNCH - email@example.com
Ali Frantti could add another accolade to her already impressive volleyball résumé.
The 6-foot-2 outside hitter from Richmond-Burton has been invited for a second tryout with the U.S. Girls Youth National Volleyball Team. Frantti will head to the Youth National Team’s training facility June 13 in Colorado Springs, Colo., to try out with 27 other players from around the country who survived the first wave of tryouts March 21 in Indianapolis.
Final selections will be made June 16. Players who make the cut will represent the U.S. at the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Girls Youth World Championships July 25 to Aug. 4 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
“When I tried out, I was hopeful, but I tried to keep myself calm and not get ahead of anything,” Frantti said. “When I found out that I made (the second round) I was just very excited, very humbled and very honored that they would choose me.”
Awards have poured in during the past year. Frantti, a junior outside hitter, was the 2012 Northwest Herald Player of the Year after helping lead R-B to a runner-up finish in the Class 3A state championships. She was named to the Champaign News-Gazette’s All-State First Team and the 2012 Prepvolleyball.com High School All-American team in February.
The Rockets’ postseason run came shortly after Frantti accepted a full scholarship with volleyball powerhouse Penn State. Frantti will play at Penn State with two of her current teammates from Club Fusion’s 17 Black team, Bryanna Weiskircher (setter) from Rockford Boylan and Simone Lee (outside hitter) from Menomonee Falls, Wisc., who also accepted scholarships from the Nittany Lions.
Lee previously tried out for the Youth National Team, Frantti said, and gave Frantti pointers heading into tryouts in Indianapolis. Frantti had done her own hands-on research, too. She traveled to Colorado Springs last winter for the Youth National Team’s Holiday Camp, where she was able to familiarize herself with some of the players that helped the U.S. receive its bid to this year’s World Championships.
The U.S. Youth National Team won the 2012 North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) Girls’ Youth Continental Championship held in Mexico last August to punch its ticket to Thailand this summer.
Frantti undoubtedly would make an impact on the Youth National Team. In two years, Frantti has gone from being a promising young talent to one of the best outside hitters in area history. She finished her junior season with the Rockets with 557 kills – 10th most in a single season in IHSA history – 232 digs, 72 aces and 54 blocks.
“I sometimes look back (at the past year) and think, ‘Wow,’ because time goes so quickly,” Frantti said. “It really puts things in perspective, and I’m really excited about this opportunity, too.” (NWHerald 5/14/13)
Richmond-Burton junior volleyball player Ali Frantti was named to the 2012 PrepVolleyball.com High School All-American on Friday.
The 6-foot-1 Frantti was The Northwest Herald Player of the Year after piling up 557 kills - 10th most in a single season while also leading the Rockets to their first appearance at the state tournament.
Frantti, who has verbally committed to play at Penn State, also finished her junior year with 232 digs, 72 aces and 54 blocks. The PrepVolleyball.com All-American team was compiled from coach's nominations from around the country and from All-Area and All-State lists.
Frantti committed to play for the Nittany Lions in the fall, choosing the school over Big Ten competitors Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern and Purdue.
The Rockets finished as the Class 3A state runner-up after posting 22 kills in the state semifinal against Jacksonville and another 16 in the championship match against St. Francis.
-- Jeff Arnold (NWHerald 2/11/13)
Rocket power: RB's Frantti doesn't shy away from big moments
By Meghan Montemurro firstname.lastname@example.org
Richmond-Burton junior outside hitter Ali Frantti’s last four months read more like a Christmas wish list than reality.
Commit to play volleyball at powerhouse Penn State, her dream school? Check.
Lead the Rockets to their first appearance at state? Check.
Put together one of the best offensive seasons in IHSA history? Check.
“It’s been absolutely crazy in a fun way,” Frantti said. “Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m just so fortunate, I can’t believe what happened.”
It was never a secret that Frantti was R-B’s go-to player. Yet even though every defense keyed on Frantti, she still racked up 557 kills – 10th most in a single season in IHSA history. Frantti was more than just strong arm with a knack finding a defense’s weakness. She also posted 232 digs, 72 aces and 54 blocks.
“I just want to be the best that I can be,” Frantti said. “Every day I push myself. I want to be the hardest worker in the gym. At the end of the day, I want to leave being the best I could have been.
“I definitely like being that impact player that my team can rely on in difficult times. I kind of like the pressure in a way.”
After leading R-B to a Class 3A runner-up finish during one of the best individual performances in state history, Frantti is the Northwest Herald Volleyball Player of the Year as chosen by the sports staff with input from area coaches. Jacobs’ Alyssa Ehrhardt and Prairie Ridge’s Mackenzi Humm were also considered for the honor.
“She’s gotten so much smarter over the years,” R-B coach Kaycee Kaywood said. “She obviously realizes she’s a power hitter in the area and that people are going to line up on her. She’s done an amazing job finding ways around the block and cutting all those shots that no one thinks are possible.”
Eric Schulze, the general manager of Club Fusion, has known Frantti since she first start playing at Fusion nearly six years ago. Schulze has watched Frantti turn into a tenacious competitor, especially since last season. But when away from the court, Schulze said Frantti stays humble.
“Off the court, talking to Ali, I don’t know if you’d actually know she’s one of the top volleyball players in the country,” Schulze said. “I don’t think you’d be able to figure it out talking to her. She’s a fun-loving, goofy kid that really enjoys I think being a kid and despite all the time she spends training and doing what she does, she truly enjoys life.”
Frantti doesn’t shy away from the big moments, which was exactly what R-B needed during its postseason run. Kaywood and Schulze sat down with Frantti during the playoffs and told her she needed to step up because of her experience in high-pressure seasons with Club Fusion at national tournaments.
Frantti didn’t disappoint. She tallied 22 kills in the Rockets’ Class 3A state semifinal against Jacksonville, nearly single-handedly carrying them into the state final match after they fell behind 1-0. She carried her dominance into the state final against St. Francis, posting a game-high 16 kills.
“What she is doing offensively right now is, at the moment, beyond compare,” Schulze said. “The length, the height, the power and really just the shots. The unbelievable angles that she’s able to create on the volleyball court right now and create them with power is really setting her apart from just about anybody out there right now. … Her ability to use the whole court is really special.”
Once a scrawny, 5-foot-9 freshman, Frantti, now 6-foot-1, still isn’t satisfied. She pointed to her blocking as an area that needs to improve and given her dedication, it would surprise no one if she’s even better next year.
“She’s dedicated to everything she does,” Kaywood said. “She’s a perfectionist and she wants to do everything to her full ability whether that be with her friends or during school or just simple things like putting up a wreath in the hallway, she takes that extra time to get things done like they should be. I think that’s awesome. She’s dedicated to everything and you don’t see that often from high school kids.” (NWHerald 11/23/12)
Richmond-Burton's Frantti commits to No. 1 Penn State
by Joe Stevenson email@example.com
Ali Frantti initially did not realize just how good she was on the volleyball court.
The Richmond-Burton junior started playing with Club Fusion in sixth grade not knowing she could someday end up at the highest level.
“I never thought I’d be able to play in college,” Frantti said. “I just loved volleyball and had a passion for it, and it happened.”
Frantti, a 6-foot-1 outside hitter who has been instrumental in R-B’s 33-4 season, committed to No. 1-ranked Penn State on Monday. After calling several other Big Ten Conference schools that had been recruiting her, she made it official Friday.
“I thought it would be the perfect fit for me,” said Frantti, a 6-foot-1 outside hitter. “The coaching staff is unbelievable. It was my dream as a little to go there. As a kid I watched them win four national championships.”
Penn State's four NCAA titles came in consecutive seasons. The Nittany Lions' run ended last season when they lost to eventual champion UCLA in an NCAA tournament regional semifinal, but they are back on top this year with a 21-1 record.
Frantti began to see that might be a possibility two years ago when colleges saw her playing with Club Fusion. She also looked at Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern and Purdue, but stuck with the team she loved to watch while growing up.
“I have to give the credit to all my coaches,” Frantti said. “I owe it all to them. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”
R-B won the IHSA Class 2A Harvard Regional and plays in the Marian Central Sectional at 6 p.m. Tuesday against Kaneland.
“It’s unreal,” Frantti said. “We’re so excited about that. Everything’s good. Our chemistry on the team is unbelievable and we’re all coming together. We’re so pumped and we think we can do this.” (NWHerald 10/27/12)
U.S. Girls Training Team Selected
Courtney Nelson Intern, Communications Phone: (719)-228-6800 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 17, 2012) - USA Volleyball is pleased to announce the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Volleyball Training Team roster. These athletes have been invited to participate in the 2012 U.S. Volleyball Girls’ Youth National Volleyball Team (GYNTT) Tryout later this month.
The top 24 athletes have been selected to participate in this event through their participation in High Performance National Tryouts held between February and May of 2012. These athletes will be training together at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs from May 31 to June 3 and competing for a spot on the U.S. Girls’ Youth National Volleyball Team (GYNT) that will be going to the NORCECA Girls’ Youth Continental Championships in the Dominican Republic from June 24 to July 2.
Head Coach Reed Sunahara, the former University of Cincinnati head volleyball coach and current USA Volleyball High Performance Pipeline Coach, will assess the athletes in order to name the 12-person U.S. roster. The team will include an additional eight alternates. Sunahara will be assisted at the tryout by Nick Cheronis of USAV Premier Volleyball League’s Florida Wave and Myanna Webster of USA Volleyball High Performance, all of whom will be coaching the team at the NORCECA Championship. Also assisting at the tryout will be USA Volleyball’s Jim Stone, former head coach at the Ohio State University, and Lindsey Devine of East Tennessee State University. Stone and Devine will lead a U.S. Girls’ Youth Team that will compete in the European Global Challenge in Pula, Croatia, in July.
The 12 players selected to the U.S. Youth National Volleyball Team will travel to the Dominican Republic on June 24 for the NORCECA Girls’ Youth Continental Championships. This tournament serves as the qualification event for the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Girls’ Youth World Championship.
The 24 athletes represent 12 different USA Volleyball regions including six from the Southern California Volleyball Association, three each from the Great Lakes and Rocky Mountain Regions, two from the Lone Star, Gateway, and Arizona Regions, and one each from Badger, Puget Sound, Lakeshore, Heart of America, Chesapeake and Western Empire Region.
2012 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Volleyball Training Team Name (Pos, Hometown, HS Grad Year, Club/Region) Stephanie Aiple (S, Round Rock, Texas, 2014, Austin Junior Volleyball/Lone Star) Rhamat Alhassan (MB, Glenarden, Md., 2014, Metro American Volleyball/Chesapeake) Skylar Caputo (L, Manhattan Beach, Calif., 2015, Club Troy/Southern Cal) Tess Clark (MB, Phoenix, Ariz., 2014, Arizona United/Arizona) Caroline Finnell (MB/OH, Chesterfield, Mo., 2014, Rockwood Thunder/Gateway) Audriana Fitzmorris (MB, Overland Park, Kan., 2016, PVA/Heart of America) Ali Frantti (OH, Spring Grove, Ill., 2014, Club Fusion/Great Lakes) Hayley Hodson (OH, Newport Beach, Calif., 2015, T Street Volleyball Club/Southern Cal) Christian Jones (MB, Lakewood, Calif., 2014, T Street Volleyball Club/Southern Cal) Simone Lee (OH, Menomonee Falls, Wis., 2014, Milwaukee Sting/Badger) Haylee Mathis (S, Strasburg, Ill., 2014, C4 Crush/Gateway) Katarina Morton (L, Pearland, Texas, 2014, Absolute Volleyball Academy/Lone Star) Kelsey O'Neill (MB, Skokie, Ill., 2014, Northwestern Wildcat Juniors/Great Lakes) Jordan Pingel (L, Colorado Springs, Colo., 2015, Colorado Juniors/Rocky Mountain) Savannah Rennie (MB/OH, San Diego, Calif., 2015, Wave/Southern Cal) Tia Scambray (OH, Laguna Niguel, Calif., 2014, T Street Volleyball Club/Southern Cal) Luisa Schirmer (OH, Pittsford, N.Y., 2014, Volley FX/Western Empire) Courtney Schwan (OH, Milton, Wash., 2014, Kent Juniors/Puget Sound) Frankie Shebby (OH, La Mirada, Calif., 2014, Mizuno Long Beach/Southern Cal) Gabrielle Simpson (S, Colorado Springs, Colo., 2014, Colorado Juniors/Rocky Mountain) Alexa Smith (OH, Colorado Springs, Colo., 2015, Colorado Juniors/Rocky Mountain) Carli Snyder (OH, Macomb, Mich., 2014, Michigan Elite/Lakeshore) Sarah Sponcil (S, Phoenix, Ariz., 2014, Spiral Volleyball Club/Arizona) Taylor Tashima (S, Wilmette, Ill., 2014, Wildcat Juniors/Great Lakes)
2012 Youth National Team Tryout Staff Head Coach: Reed Sunahara, USA Volleyball, formerly of University of Cincinnati Assistant Coach: Nick Cheronis, Florida Wave (PVL), formerly of University of Florida Assistant Coach: Jim Stone, USA Volleyball Youth National Team, formerly of The Ohio State University Assistant Coach: Myanna Webster, USA Volleyball, formerly of University of Cincinnati Assistant Coach: Lindsey Devine, East Tennessee State University