While they were in high school, Hersey's Maggie Hogen and Wheeling's Kellie Kuzmanic were rivals for four straight years on their respective girls varsity basketball teams.
This season, their first in college, they are not only teammates but roommates as well.
They are helping lead Cornell College (Iowa) to be receive votes in the D-III national women's basketball poll with an 9-0 record and 4-0 in the Midwest Conference.
No other Cornell team has received votes nationally or held a better record this far into the season.
"I think it's great," said Hogen's high school basketball coach Mary Fendley. "I think they were always friendly rivals, two kids with great sportsmanship who were hard workers. There was never any animosity but they certainly played on rival teams. I love what they are doing now and on a nationally-ranked team nonetheless. That's really cool."
In a 63-42 win against St. Norbert College (nationally ranked and favored to win the MWC) Kuzmanic scored a career-high 15 points (3-of-4 from 3-point range). She added 4 defensive rebounds and 4 assists.
Kuzmanic also dished out a school-record 12 assists in a 64-61 win over Carroll College. The school mark was formerly 10 set in 2007.
Hogen scored a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) in her first college game.
She also scored a career-high 11 points in an 80-60 win against Knox College along with 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocked shots.
Former Barrington standout Abby Kirchoff, now a sophomore guard for Colorado Springs, was recently named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference "Defensive Player of the Week."
Kirchoff led the Mountain Lions to two home wins against Fort Lewis and
Adams State. In a 5-point win against the defending RMAC tournament champions
Fort Lewis, Kirchoff had game-highs of 7 rebounds (6 defensive) and 6 steals.
She also added a game-high of 25 points in that game.
In the two wins, Kirchoff averaged 4.5 defensive rebounds and 3.5 steals.
Rolling Meadows senior pitcher Sara Brunlieb has made a verbal commitment to Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Brunlieb compiled a 14-9 record in her third varsity season, striking out a single-season school record 159 batters while posting a 1.90 ERA. "Sara has improved every season and gave us a chance to compete and win in all of her starts," said coach Tony Wolanski after last season. "Sara is a great student of the game and has a competitiveness that will give us a chance to compete for a conference title next season."
Brunlieb said she enjoys the outdoors so Oshkosh is a perfect fit.
"It's right by the Fox River," she said. "It's so pretty and I really like the coach. I fell in love with the school and its softball program.
"Yes, I want to play softball there. But I fell in love with the school because it's such a pretty place."
Brunlieb plans to study education and would one day like to coach.
When the Hoffman Estates sophomore boys basketball team visits Palatine on Friday, the game will feature a pair of brothers on opposite sides.
The Hawks are coached by Johnnie Ulrich while his younger brother Matt is the point guard for the Palatine sophomore team.
Johnnie also played for the Pirates' program which is directed by Eric Millstone.
Eric's father Doug was the former Buffalo Grove boys basketball coach and he also was the co-coach with Ken Grams for the 1982 Elk Grove softball team which was the Class AA state runner-up.
Continuing on the family theme for Palatine basketball, the Pirates girls varsity team is directed by Leslie Schock, who is assisted by her father Ed along with Bill LePage.
Valparaiso junior linebacker Patrick Derbak (Schaumburg) was voted to both the Pioneer Football League All-Conference Team and the College Sports Madness Team (USAToday subsidiary).
He recorded 73 tackles, eclipsing 70 tackles for two consecutive seasons with 6 tackles for a loss, 1 sack and 1 forced fumble.
• Dayton freshman Robert Delaney, a native of Palatine who played for Loyola Academy, was named 2012 football rookie of the year for the Flyers. He played every game as long snapper and as a special teams contributor.
Millikin freshman Alyssa Saklak collected 9 points and 5 rebounds in a 72-61 victory over Westminster
College 72-61 in the final day of Millikin's 13th Annual Harriett Crannell Holiday Classic.
She also came off the bench to score 14 points in a 59-46 loss to Wisconsin Lutheran College.
Sophomore outside hitter Emily Leazer (St. Viator) was named Augustana's Most Valuable Player at the team's annual volleyball awards dinner.
Leazer helped the Vikings compile a 20-11 overall record in the 2012 season.
She set a school record with an average of 0.91 service aces per set, well ahead of the previous record of 0.63 (Mandy Murray in 2001).
Leazer ended the season ranked sixth in NCAA Division III in service aces per game. With two full seasons left to play she already ranks seventh on Augustana's career list for service aces with 136. She led the Vikings in kills with 397 and solo blocks with 16 and was second on the
team in digs with 317.
Her average of 3.61 kills-per-set this year is the fifth-best in school history. She had 31 kills against Wheaton on Oct. 23. That tied for second-best all-time for Augustana in a single match.
Leazer was named to the all-conference team in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin and was also selected to the Capital One Academic All-District team.
Sports Notes wishes everyone happy holidays and will return on Tuesday Jan. 8 with more news on local area athletes and their collegiate endeavors.
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