College report: Vanessa DiBernardo earns postseason honors
By Dan Chamness For Sun-Times Media December 12, 2012 6:50PM
Waubonsie Valley graduate Vanessa DiBernardo totaled eight goals and five assists in her junior season at the University of Illinois. | Photo courtesy of University of Illinois
Updated: January 14, 2013 7:28AM
When looking to put players on its All-American team, the National Soccer Coaches Association of America knew Vanessa DiBernardo, a Waubonsie Valley graduate, would be worthy.
“I honestly had forgotten about the postseason honors, until I started to earn them,” said DiBernardo, who earned third team All-American status. “I just want to be the best soccer player that I can be. I want to keep getting better and better. I want to help the Illini advance in the tournament even further next year.”
DiBernardo, who also competed with the U-20 World Cup team this year, played in 16 Illini games. She made 16 starts. She had eight goals and five assists. The Illini midfielder led the team in goals and points (21). She was second on the team in assists.
“We had great chemistry this year,” DiBernardo said. “I feel this award belongs to my teammates as much as it does to me. The Chicago suburban area was a great area to not only grow up, but to be a soccer player. The competition made me a better player.”
In addition to earning the NSCAA third team honor this year, she was a second team pick one year ago as a sophomore. DiBernardo was also a Big Ten All-Conference first team pick. Illinois finished 10-9-4 overall and 6-4-1 in the league.
“We struggled at times, but we got hot at the right time this year,” said DiBernardo.
University of Connecticut sophomore guard Ryan Boatright (East Aurora) hit double figures two more times this week as UConn split a pair of games. Boatright scored 18 points in UConn’s 69-65 loss to North Carolina State at the Jimmy V Classic. The game was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Boatright hit 8 of 20 field goals and added six rebounds, four assists and two steals. In UConn’s 57-49 win over Harvard, Boatright scored 16 points and doled out three assists. He hit 7 of 11 from field, which included 2 of 5 from beyond the arc. The Huskies are 7-2 through the first nine games.
South Dakota State bowed out of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs with a 28-3 loss to North Dakota State. At the time of the contest, SDSU was ranked 19th, while North Dakota State was ranked first. T.J. Lally (Marmion), a SDSU redshirt freshman, had 11 tackles (four solos) in the loss. He was one of three people with double figure tackles. South Dakota State finished 9-4 overall and 6-2 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Loras College’s Sean Elvert (Waubonsie Valley) and JoJo Schmidt (Metea Valley) recently finished their soccer season. Loras, which advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament semifinals, was ousted by Messiah College 1-0. Schmidt subbed into the contest, but did not have any stats. Schmidt finished the year with two goals and two assists for a total of six points. Elvert, a sophomore goalkeeper, played 217 minutes, 54 seconds between the pipes. He allowed no goals and made three saves. He was 1-0. Loras finished 23-2-1 overall and 7-0 in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
The Bowling Green volleyball team played two matches in the NCAA Division I Tournament, before being ousted by the top team in the country, Penn State. Bowling Green, which won the Mid-American Conference Tournament, finished 22-11 overall and 13-3 in the MAC. Kari Galen (Waubonsie Valley), a Bowling Green senior, finished the year with 27 kills, 25 blocks (four solos) and eight digs. Galen played in 19 matches and made four starts.
Elmhurst College’s Devin Vaughn (West Aurora) scored 10 points for the Bluejays, but it was not enough to power EC past Loras College. Vaughn, who started and played 27 minutes, hit 2 of 5 from the field and 6 of 9 from the free throw line. She also grabbed two boards. Elmhurst is 2-3.
Cumberland University is 9-0 after beating Bluefield College 81-40. Cumberland senior guard Briannica Tye (West Aurora) had a team-leading eight assists. She also had eight points and four steals in the contest. Tye started and played 31 minutes. Cumberland is 4-0 in the Mid-South Conference.
Kyra Watson (West Aurora), a Murray State senior, has 72 points and 50 rebounds in the first nine Murray State women’s basketball games. Watson, who has played in nine games and made eight starts, also has 11 steals, four assists and two blocked shots. She is averaging 8.0 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. She has scored her points by nailing 26 of 62 field goals and 17 of 28 free throws. She has three treys this year. Murray State is 6-3.
New Mexico State is 5-3 in its first eight games. NMSU freshman guard Alexis Nelson (West Aurora) has played in five games and averaged 8.0 minutes per game. She has five points, three rebounds and three assists.