She's six feet tall and one of the best power hitters in northern Illinois, smashing the ball from the front and the back row with devastating results. Junior middle hitter Sammi Mader, recently named the Player of the Year by the Courier News of Elgin, is positioning herself to be one of the state's best players.
Huntley made it to the Illinois Class A Elite Eight in 2001 while Mader played behind a team of veterans. Now as a junior and Huntley's then seven seniors long gone, Mader has stepped into the spotlight.
On offense, Mader had 386 kills behind a .417 hitting efficiency. On defense -- 94 blocks. And the addition of a lethal jump serve polished over the summer club season has boosted her service aces to 56.
Mader also plays basketball, and last week had a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards for Huntley (6-3).
Mail is pouring in from everywhere, from the power athletic programs to the academic elite. Her perfect GPA and No. 1 class ranking has 70 schools in pursuit. Some programs of early interest include Purdue, Michigan State and Clemson. Mader moved to the Chicago area from Indianapolis as a freshman, and Purdue has an opportunity to build on her familiarity of the university while attempting to sign a top rated player and student.
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