Senior middle Kamryn Lee-Caracci was part of a great 2021 season with the Lyons Township High School girls volleyball team.
Her offseason was even more memorable.
Lee-Caracci contributed to the 1st Alliance 17 Gold club team winning the 17 Open title at the USA Volleyball Championships, the first-ever for the program.
“It was a moment I don’t think I’ll ever forget about. I wasn’t nervous is any situation, just a calming, welcoming experience for our team,” Lee-Caracci said.
“When I think of goals in my life with volleyball, it’s definitely a commitment to get at that level of accomplishment. But every [club] volleyball player’s goal is to win a championship in open [division]. It couldn’t get any better than that — except winning it again.”
The Lions are hopeful for many great moments as well.
Lee-Caracci, a Georgetown recruit, juniors Abby Markworth and Kiley Mahoney and seniors Grace Brennan and Katie Debs are returning starters from the Lions’ best season in years – a 32-4 record and perfect 6-0 in the West Suburban Conference Silver for their first 30-victory season and undefeated conference title since 2014.
The Lions were ranked among the state’s best in IHSA Class 3A but lost to powerful Marist 26-24, 25-16 in the Mother McAuley Sectional semifinals.
“Looking at the amount of varsity returners, it’s exciting to see that list. And we have some amazing newcomers able to fill in with a new flavor,” LTHS coach Jill Bober said.
Lee-Caracci and Markworth enter their third varsity seasons after earning 2021 All-WSC Silver and Illinois Volleyball Coaches Association honorable mention all-state honors.
The 6-foot Lee-Caracci was a close third in kills (237) to graduated standouts Tia Kostic (Bucknell) and Adriana Vassek and third in blocks with 46.
Lee-Caracci verbally committed to Georgetown in March after considering other Big East programs. She plans to major in computer science, which still gives her the option of going into pre-med.
“The moment I stepped on the campus, I knew it was the perfect school for me, academically and athletically,” Lee-Caracci said.
Markworth, a 6-0 setter, had 731 assists and 27 aces and can run the diversified attack that will help the LTHS offense thrive once again.
The Lions will rely more offensively on Brennan (127 kills) and Debs, who was in blocks (56), as well as junior middle Grace Turner and junior outside hitter Annabelle Montgomery.
Mahoney had a breakthrough 2021 at libero with a team-high 285 digs, 28 aces and 238 serve receptions. She’s now the veteran of a strong defensive group with six defensive specialists, including returning seniors Maya Rabah and Cami Schodrof and junior Maggie Kachmarik.
“It’s even crazier at practice because those six are very competitive,” Bober said. “I do think we’re going to have some longer, more balanced rallies with the more competitive competition, especially with the nice, solid defense we’re going to build.”
Other team members are seniors Maddie Farnan, Amanda Hahn and Lauren Kristy and juniors Lydia Busker, Alita Folkening, Catalina Niego, Sienna Olson, Abby Saunders and Laine Violante.