Monthly Archives: October 2017

ANDREW & AUSTEN SCHWEINERT – CENTRAL’S TWIN TERRORS

ANDREW & AUSTEN SCHWEINERT
CENTRAL'S SOCCER TWIN TERRORS

It's not surprising that having a father who played soccer at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and then had a brief stint with the Milwaukee Wave on the professional level, that his twin sons would also take up the game and excel during their careers.

But that is exactly what Andrew and Austen Schweinert did, as they followed in the footsteps of their father, Peter, who played at UWM (1984-88), was named co-captain and earned all-conference honors and then played 36 games with the Wave in 1989-90 season.

Both players always had a ball around because of their father and they played their first organized soccer when they were 4 years old in a rec league. And they each had some interesting ideas on why they liked the game.

"I like being part of the team. I like the idea that you really have to earn your points," Andrew said. "Basketball and football are high-scoring games. In soccer you really have to earn your goals. It feels good to do something as a team and win. And my dad really pushed me in soccer. I'm glad that he pushed me to try soccer and I just loved it."

Austen had an interesting reason.

"I like the fact that you use your feet," he said. All the other sports are just hand and eye coordination. Playing with my feet is something I love to do. I was a pretty hyper kid when I was younger. I was just running around. Being with Andrew we're super competitive and we'd play against each other all the time."

Photo by Alan Herzberg, SportsPhotos LLC --- Senior Andrew Schweinert wins a battle for a loose ball against Marquette. Andrew, a midfielder, runs the show for the Lancers, setting up the attackers and directing the defenders.

Now the Schweinerts and their Brookfield Central soccer teammates need two sectional wins to make their second straight trip to the WIAA State Tournament.

After going 3-2-2 and tying for third in the Greater Metro Conference as freshman, the Lancers lost seven seniors and finished seventh (1-5-1). But last year they bounced back (14-2-5 overall) and finished undefeated (4-0-3) and tied for second in the GMC and eventually made their way to state, where they lost to eventual state champ Marquette, 3-0, in the first round.

Austen, who earned GMC honorable mention honors his first two years, and Andrew were named to the All-GMC first team last year.

Central coach Dan Makal knew he had something special with the Schweinerts and teammate Alex Mirsberger who was featured in Preps2Pros.net earlier this fall (http://preps2pros.net/2017/09/14/chip-on-his-shoulder-has-keyed-lancers-alex-mirsberger/).

"As they started getting older, we started graduating some of our guys," Makal said. "We were a really young team and they were asked to play a lot of minutes. With Alex Mirsberger too,  those three really had the varsity experience. They played almost every minute for four years."

As a midfielder, Andrew has a lot of responsibility - setting up the attackers and being the first line of defenders.

"My goal is to get the ball to him (Austen) and he scores all the goals," Andrew said, while laughing. "I feel I have to be a vocal leader, I have to direct players in front of me to help defensively, win balls for our team defensively and then start our attack going forward."

Makal talked about his strong points.

As they started getting older, we started graduating some of our guys. We were a really young team and they were asked to play a lot of minutes.With Alex Mirsberger too,  those three really had the varsity experience. They played almost every minute for four years.

--- Coach Dan Makal

"His rhythm (on the game flow) and balance. He does the nebulous stuff," Makal said of Andrew, who has already accepted a scholarship to Loyola University. "He kind of makes us click. He gets the ball and he can choose where it goes - how we go about and attack.

"It takes a lot of patience, a lot of thought. If there is a situation where we are attacking a bunch, every good band has a bass and a drummer and they're going to have to listen to each other. They're the core of the rhythm section. Andrew feeds off the back line, feels what happens back there, releasing some pressure. He'll also look to put defensive situations out before they get to our back line. He's the first preliminary line before the defenders. Even though we defend with everybody, that's really his role."

Photo

Photo by Al Herzberg, SportsPhotos --- Senior forward Austen Schweinert led the Brookfield Central offense with 18 goals in only 14 games during the regular season.

Austen, who has 18 goals, gets more of the headlines.

"He's an attacker. His ability is to get on the ball. He's a playmaker," Makal said. "We ask him to be athletic; it's good that he has that quality. Being athletic is a plus and it helps Austen's ability to take someone on.

"There are a lot of players who are just soccer players, they are not multi-faceted. He has that ability to take someone on. Being athletic is a plus. He can pass the ball, get the ball back and score a goal."

Austen knows what is expected of him.

"I love scoring and I love to score as many goals as I can," he said. "I'm also the creator and I want to help my teammates score goals if I can. (When I do score) the feeling is indescribable. Obviously, nothing beats scoring other than winning."

Both players also know their strong points and the best way to help their team be successful.

"I'm a really technical player," Andrew said. "I can see the field really well. I can make good passes, help my teammates out.

"I feel that I'm a pretty good defender, like a two-way player. It helps that I'm a pretty big guy (6-feet).  I like applying a lot of pressure on my first touch, connecting on passes. That's my strength."

Austen knows his job is to put the ball in the net.

"One of them (his strengths) is definitely scoring," he said. "I'm pretty good at finishing. I'm pretty good at dribbling. I love dribbling, actually. Sometimes they get mad at me for doing too much (dribbling). Personally I'm not good at defending. (Andrew) is a much better defender. But attacking-wise, I feel I'm very, very good."

Both players know they have things they can get better at. Andrew needs to work on his footwork and acceleration. Austen feels he is too much of a one-way player and wants to work on his timing, explosiveness off the ball and his defensive work.

Both players, plus Mirsberger are team captains, something that is important to them.

"I think it's huge. I think being a leader is a big honor," Andrew said. "They look up to me. I have to be a good role model to them. It's something I want to do, both vocally and leading by example.

"Given my position on the field, I have to be a vocal leader - bringing guys up when they fail to do something, encouraging them to do better and then praising them when they do well. In a game - making a tackle and making a pass - I feel I can lift guys up that way."

Austen pointed out there are two freshmen and a handful of sophomores on the team.

"Especially for Andrew and I with it being our last year, we have to lead these guys. They're the future of our program and we want to give them a heads start on other teams who might not have freshmen. I think it's important that we have to show them the ropes, what it's like to play here. I definitely think Andrew is more of a vocal leader than I am, I definitely like to lead by example.

Both talked about growing up being twins and the natural rivalry.

"You can't really avoid it. The guy looks just like you," Andrew laughed. "It's like looking in a mirror. We push each other to get better. Both want to be the best we can be. We push each other to be better than the day before. There is always a natural rivalry. For example, his favorite team is Arsenal and mine is Chelsea."

"He's pushed me harder," Austen added. "The competition is great. I probably wouldn't be where I am today without the competition between us."

Both players looked back as their varsity career was coming to a close.

"This is a super important fourth year. It's crazy how time flies," Andrew said. "I remember every senior saying just wait until you are in our shoes, it just goes so fast. It's finally playoff time our senior year. I loved my time playing with BC and I just want it to go as far as possible."

Added Austen.

"I'd love to have my season end with a state championship trophy," he said. "I want to go as far as we can. It's scary how fast time has gone. Looking back it's been really great, but it would be a lot nicer if we got the trophy."

Then one final friendly shot when I laughed and asked who was better looking.

"Me," said Andrew. I'm obviously going to say myself," Austen said. "And the girls are going to say me as well. But he can say what he wants."

It just never gets old.

HANGING WITH ANDREW SCHWEINERT

  • FAVORITE FOOD:  Cheeseburger
  • FAVORITE MUSIC:   Hip-Hop, Rap
  • FAVORITE MOVIE:   'Dodge Ball.' Action & Comedies
  • FAVORITE TV SHOW:   'The League' & "How I Met Your Mother
  • FAVORITE CLASS:   Math
  • FAVORITE PLACE YOU VISITED:   Cancun, Mexico
  • WHAT YOU DO TO RELAX:    Play FIFA
  • FAVORITE SPORTS RIVALRY:   Brookfield East
  • MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT:   Beating Arrowhead to go to state last year
  • WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO IN THE FUTURE:   Attend Loyola University on a soccer scholarship and study business.

HANGING WITH AUSTEN SCHWEINERT

  • FAVORITE FOOD:  ChIcken
  • FAVORITE MUSIC:   Hip-Hop, Rap
  • FAVORITE MOVIE:   'Kicking & Screaming, Comedies
  • FAVORITE TV SHOW:   'The League' 
  • FAVORITE CLASS:   Science
  • FAVORITE PLACE YOU VISITED:   Cancun, Mexico
  • WHAT YOU DO TO RELAX:    Hang out with friends
  • FAVORITE SPORTS RIVALRY:   Brookfield East
  • MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT:   Beating Arrowhead to go to state last year
  • WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO IN THE FUTURE:   Attend college on a soccer scholarship and study business.

MARIA KORKOS-JULIA VITALE: THE MAKING OF A DOUBLES TEAM

MARIA KORKOS-JULIA VITALE:
THE MAKING OF A DOUBLES TEAM

Did you ever wonder how a coach puts together a doubles team? I did. So I asked Brookfield East girls tennis coach Linda Lied.

Lied’s team has been to Team State six times, including the last four in a row. Four girls also made it to Individual State this season - Emily Horneffer (who was featured in Preps2Pros.net last fall) and Allison Brankle made it in singles, Brankle as a special qualifier.

But this feature is about the doubles team who also qualified with Horneffer - Maria Korkos and Julia Vitale - two girls as different as you can get, but who worked well together on the tennis court.

Neither Korkos nor Vitale played on the varsity as freshman, in fact. Vitale wasn't even on the tennis team, as she was in the Spartans volleyball program.

Korkos, a senior, played three seasons on the varsity, getting promoted her sophomore year. She went to state three times in her career as part of the East doubles team, with three different partners.

She initially qualified for state as a sophomore with Sabrina Zhong, going 1-1 after finishing the year with a 17-7 record.

"As the year rolled around, they kept getting better," Lied said about Maria's sophomore year. "A lot of it was due to her. Sabrina was real quiet and Maria is the opposite of that. Maria would say 'We are not going to lose this.' and Sabrina would play up to the level with her. They were a great little doubles team and they did very well. When we put them on the court, we knew they were going to win."

Then as a junior she teamed with Carly Wolff, went 1-1 at state and finished the year with a 10-3 record. This season she teamed with Vitale, lost in the first round at state - 6-2,7-6(4) - and finished with a 14-8 record.

They each took a different road to get where they are today.

Korkos, one of three varsity captains along with Brankle and Horneffer, started out as a youngster, playing at the Western Racquet Club right up until high school.

"I knew Maria since she was little since we were members of the Western Racquet Club," Lied said. "She came to my camp as a 7th or 8th grader and I got to see her play. Her freshman year I had her on JV, but I did call her up for one match to play singles at the time. I knew she was real tenacious, feisty, liking to win. I wanted to get a chance to see her.

"We laughed about that first match. She had a great first set then she became complacent. The girl kept some balls back and Maria was mad at her. And she said I just want to be done. I said no, you are done when you win this match. She won that match and she's been winning ever since."

That desire to win is what got Maria turned on to tennis.

"I definitely have a  competitive edge to me," she said. "Especially when I got into high school. I want to win and that got me going. I'm definitely the most hyped person on the team. I get really excited for matches, being able to accomplish my goals.

"My accomplishments, my winnings motivated me to keep playing. When I got to varsity, coach put me right into doubles and the strategy of it intrigued me. Singles has a lot of power and I don't necessarily have power, while doubles is played at the net. So I liked the switch."

Vitale, on the other hand, also started young, playing on the Elm Grove courts.

"I started when I was a little toddler, I used to play with my dad (Steve)," Julia said. "Then I played in some of the Elm Grove tennis programs. My dad always won, but now it might be more neck and neck."

Photo by Alan Herzberg, SportsPhotos LLC --- Senior Maria Korkos has been to the individual state tournament three years years in a row with three different partners.

Julia, who also plays the outfield for the Spartans softball team, played volleyball as a freshman, but got cut her sophomore season.

"When I got cut from volleyball my sophomore year I went to tennis and just kept going with it," she said. "It seemed to fit better than anything else."

So Vitale was pretty much a mystery to Lied when she showed up.

"Julia came out her sophomore year after being cut from volleyball," Lied recalled. "What we do, when they come in off of volleyball, we just presume they are not a tennis player and put them on our JV Blue (No. 2 JV team behind JV Red). The coach called me and said Julia can't be on JV Blue, she's too good. I said 'Great, we'll send her up to Red.' The 'Red' coach was very high on her.

"When she came out this year for tennis I was immediately impressed with her. So really she came to my attention this year. It was a great jump up for her from Red up to varsity. Every day at practice she kept doing things I was hoping for No. 1 doubles to do."

The player Lied was hoping to team up with Maria at No. 1 just wasn't clicking, she was intimidated by it, so her next best player was Julia."

Lied then talked about what made Maria and Julia a good doubles team.

"For doubles, the first and most important thing is chemistry," she said. "Julia is probably one of the nicest people you will meet in the world. And then you have the little feisty Maria, who has that little 'Greek' in her and wants to win.

"The chemistry I was a little concerned about because Maria can be intimidating and I didn't want Julia not to play her best tennis because she was afraid Maria would get mad at her. But that's when Maria's seniority came into play - really she is a nice little girl too. That's when I said you girls have to fit and talk to each other and understand each others' personalities. They need to work well together and I watched them do that.

(Maria) really has all her teammates’ backs. She’s energetic, She’s feisty, she’s all of those. If you want to describe her in one word. She’s ‘driven.’ Julia is just a sweetheart; just genuinely nice. There is not a mean bone in her body. She comes out, willing to work hard. But when her match is over, I’m sure her opponents will tell you she is really nice.”

--- Coach Linda Lied

"Maria can get really excited and Julia is not as competitive - her mother (Cathy) says 'I don't have a competitive bone in me and neither does Julia' - but the two of them (Maria/Julia) found a way to become competitive together. They've done some really great things this year. They're getting better, every time they hit the court."

Lied then talked about the strategy of playing doubles.

"The net is instinct. But you have to know where the ball is going to be," she said. "I find that if I can find some good athletes - Julia is a very good athlete and so is Maria - and put two good athletes in there and teach them what to expect - then they become instinctive and really go after it. When they get confidence, then they really do take charge and they are at the net cutting balls off.

"You have to have a plan on the serve and the return. But as far as doubles for anything in tennis it's a really different game. You immediately have to constantly react to your opponent. In tennis all you have is the player on the return and that's just reaction."

Both players enjoy playing doubles.

"I like team sports and doubles tennis is the closest thing you can get to it," Julia said. "Doubles has different strategy. Doubles is more of a race (to the net), while singles is about I want to try to get this shot."

Photo by Alan Herzberg, SportsPhotos LLC --- Junior Julia Vitale, a former volleyball player, and current outfielder on the softball team, teamed with Maria Korkos to qualify for state in her first season on the varsity.

Korkos also pointed out the doubles strategy.

"You have to know where the other person (opponent) is at all times and where your partner is. We have pretty good hands, so we're both pretty good at the net. We usually end up by the net because we think that is the best way when to end up with points."

Korkos is one of three captains, along with Brankle, the other senior, and Horneffer, a junior.

"Maria is definitely a 'take-charge' captain. That's her personality," Lied said. "She's the one to scold a fellow player ('Why don't you have your shoes on. Why didn't call us and tell us you were going to be late.'). Maria has always been a take charge person since her sophomore year."

Brankle keeps everyone organized and Horneffer observes and waits for her time next year. Lied also talked about Vitale's role next season.

"Julia one of only two seniors back. She's a sweet and kind girl. When she takes the court she will be ready to go. But she will be her own type of leader."

Lied then talked about both girls off the court.

"Maria is a really sweet girl, but she is one of the first ones to go at me if I'm being a little harsh ('Coach, come on. She's fine'). She really has all her teammates' backs. She's energetic, She's feisty, she's all of those. "She wants to do very well in school. If you want to describe her in one word. She's 'driven.'

"Julia is just a sweetheart; just genuinely nice. There is not a mean bone in her body. She comes out, willing to work hard. But when her match is over, I'm sure her opponents will tell you she is really nice. Anyone would notice - she is just a sweetheart."

And Korkos and Vitale have indeed given the Spartans a sweetheart doubles team this year.

HANGING WITH MARIA KORKOS

  • FAVORITE FOOD:   Pasta
  • FAVORITE MUSIC:   Alternative
  • FAVORITE MOVIE:   'Ferris Bueller's Day Off. '  Superhero & Comedies
  • FAVORITE TV SHOW:   'Stranger Things'
  • FAVORITE CLASS:   Science
  • FAVORITE PLACE YOU VISITED:   Greece
  • WHAT YOU DO TO RELAX:   Read, Hang with family & friends
  • FAVORITE SPORTS RIVALRY:   Brookfield Central
  • MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT:   First match at Nielsen Tennis Stadium sophomore year at state
  • WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO IN THE FUTURE:   Attend college, study Engineering and play club tennis

HANGING WITH JULIA VITALE

  • FAVORITE FOOD:   Spaghetti
  • FAVORITE MUSIC:   Justin Timberlake, Alternative
  • FAVORITE MOVIE:  'Spy', Comedies
  • FAVORITE TV SHOW:   'Big Bang Theory'
  • FAVORITE CLASS:   English
  • FAVORITE PLACE YOU VISITED:  Door County
  • WHAT YOU DO TO RELAX:   Play violin, hang with friends.
  • FAVORITE SPORTS RIVALRY:  Brookfield Central
  • MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT:  Lost first set to Brookfield Central, but rallied to win the match, including 7-5 in third set this year.
  • WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO IN THE FUTURE:   Attend college and study Graphic Design

SOPHIA SUN SHINES ON LANCERS GOLF TEAM

SOPHIA SUN SHINES
ON LANCERS GOLF TEAM

Brookfield Central senior golfer Sophia Sun spent the past two summers practicing her craft at - the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

While the rest of the prep golfers from all over the state spent their summers on the golf course, sharpening their game, Sophia has spent the last three summers, including the last two at MIT, studying Neurosciences.

"I haven't spent a summer at home the last three summers," Sun said. "I was at a math class in Texas and then two summers at MIT. I did research in Neurosciences at a Harvard lab. It did take away from my game and I wasn't able to practice as much when I was there, but it was a really great opportunity."

Photo by Alan Herzberg, SportsPhotos LLC --- Brookfield Central senior Sophia Sun spent her last three summers away, including the last two at MIT studying Neurosciences.

Sophia talked about her slow starts for the Lancers the past few years.

"My first or second mini-meet I had my highest score - which was a 47. The rest of my scores were 40 and below. It was hard to get in that round because I wasn't used to being in a competitive setting. Even when I did get to hit balls over the summer - it was at the range not on a course."

Coach Brian Scrobel talked about Sophia's adjustment when she returned home at the end of the summer.

"It was a difficult thing for Sophia the last two years - she's brilliant in the classroom - and spent time in Massachusetts at MIT at these match camps," he said. "That has taken a lot out of her golf preparation. When she is in the classroom in the summer, most of the people are working on their golf game.

"She always has to play catch-up. Last year when she came back her practice was accelerated for her to get back into 'golf shape.' It happened this year. She struggled a little, but we got her back to that comfort level and she's certainly done a nice job of getting comfortable again.

Despite her slow starts, it didn't effect Sun's overall performance the last four years.

She earned second-team All-Greater Metro Conference her first three years (2014-16) and she earned first-team all-conference honors this fall.

During her career the Lancers won the GMC Championship all four years and also qualified for state (3rd, 6th tie, 7th, 7th) with Sun a member of those teams.

This year she tied for 18th with 81 first round and tied for 23rd with an 87 for an overall score of 168.

Playing all 18 holes she was with 51st with a 184 last season. She only played the first 9 holes her first two years at state. She tied for 73rd with a 100, splitting her appearance with Alyssa Borowski (110) her freshman season (2014). In her sophomore year (2015) she was 71st with a 99 on the first 9 holes, teaming up with Alex Lee (106).

Like a lot of athletes, Sophia first got exposed to her sport through her father (Jian).

"My dad was so involved in golf and I would just go the range with him," she recalled. "I would grab the 7-iron - and that's all I would hit - his big steel 7-iron."

Scrobel first met Sophia at Wisconsin Hills Middle School.

"We had a golf unit in phy ed and she had a pretty natural golf swing," he said. "We kind of talked about whether she had played golf before - and she hadn't - she was a swimmer in middle school.

She is one of those charismatic people that no matter what she is going to do in life, she is going to be successful. She is going to make everyone else around her successful just because of the way she makes them feel.”

--- Coach Brian Scrobel

A lot of power comes out of that 5-foot, 4 inch frame.

"Technically, my long game (is my strength)," Sophia said. "I can hit it pretty far off the tee. A lot of time I can drive it really far and then just wedge it on the green. Every time I hit my driver down the fairway, it looks like my ball goes far. When I'm pushing my cart down the fairway I realize how much farther my ball goes, especially this year. Last year I hit like 200 max. This year I hit it 245, which is a lot for me.

Sophia also works on the mental part of the game.

"Staying in the right mindset," she said. "I think 18 holes is pretty long. So concentrating on every shot is important."

Looking back, Scrobel remembered when he first thought Sophia was going to be something special.

"The thing about Sophia is she is so intrinsically motivated," he said. "Everything she does, she does with laser-like focus and a tremendous amount of passion which equates to becoming a strong golfer.


Photo by Alan Herzberg, SportsPhotos LLC --- Sophia Sun earned All-Greater Metro Conference honors four years, including first-team her senior season.

"As a coach she is a joy to have at practice," he said. "She is able to be focused. She is able to laugh and giggle and make everyone else around her feel better, even when they've struggled a little bit.

"She is one of those charismatic people that no matter what she is going to do in life, she is going to be successful. She is going to make everyone else around her successful just because of the way she makes them feel. She is a very good personality to have out there."

Having closed out her career this week at her fourth and final state tournament, Sun found time for some reflection.

"There are a lot of times I get sentimental," she said. "Oh it's our last conference match or it's our last tournament at state that I will ever play competitively. I'm looking forward to making the most of it all.

"Golf will always be a part of my life. I'm always going to look forward to playing with my dad. He always says it will be nice when I can play golf with business people."

Just don't beat them too bad, Sophia, if you want to make a sale.


HANGING WITH SOPHIA SUN

  • FAVORITE FOOD:   Blueberry Bagels
  • FAVORITE MUSIC:   Pop
  • FAVORITE MOVIE:   'Good Will Hunting.'  Comedies
  • FAVORITE TV SHOW:   'Grey's Anatomy'
  • FAVORITE CLASS:   Math
  • FAVORITE PLACE YOU VISITED:   New York
  • WHAT YOU DO TO RELAX:    Going outside, listening to music
  • FAVORITE SPORTS RIVALRY:   Franklin
  • MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT:   Beat Franklin at 2016 sectional in a playoff to qualify for state.
  • WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO IN THE FUTURE:   Attend college and study Neuroscience

IT’S NOT ‘A DAY AT THE BEACH’ FOR WAUWATOSA EAST’S CHLOE TOME

IT'S NOT ALWAYS  'A' DAY AT THE BEACH FOR TOSA EAST'S CHLOE TOME

Wauwatosa East junior Chloe Tome plans on spending her time in college on the beach - when she's not in the classroom, of course.

Tome (pronounced toe-me) won't be listening to music and sunbathing, but she will be playing beach volleyball.

Tome is an outstanding volleyball player for the Red Raiders. She started as a freshman and earned honorable mention All-Greater Metro Conference honors.

Then last season she was captain, Most Valuable Player, first-team All-GMC and honorable mention All-State and All-Area as an outside hitter.

"When they told me (I was first-team all-conference) I was so excited," Tome recalled. "I was ecstatic. I had no idea. I never played to be first-team all-conference but it showed my hard work is paying off. They the All-State and All-Area honors came in and that was just really cool."

But Tome spent a good portion of the summer playing beach volleyball and was successful at it. Chloe and her partner, Elizabeth Gregorski of Appleton Xavier, compiled a 17-1 record and finished second in USA Beach Volleyball Tournament. She also finished 11th out of 20 teams with Grace Manns of Fort Atkinson High School in August.

And that is her goal after high school - attend college, receive a scholarship to play beach volleyball and study engineering or journalism. She has already made visits to schools in California and Florida.

Playing beach volleyball has helped her indoor game.

"Beach helps me so much; being in the sand is so deep, it's harder to move and jump," Chloe said. "So when I do come indoor my vertical increases. I'm so much faster and my hits are stronger because I can jump so much higher.

"It really helps me with reading because there are two of you (in beach) and there is a lot more court to cover. So you have to be able to read (the court) or else you're never going to get there and it helps in indoor."

The fact that Chloe has had a successful path in volleyball is not surprising, since her father - and her coach - Gary Tome - was an All-American Club Volleyball play at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse and he mom, Erica, was an outstanding basketball player.

"I like that my dad played and me and my dad are really close," she said. "And my mom is really close. My mom played, but she was a really big basketball player, though.

"I like the randomness of the game. You are never sitting, you are constantly moving. Anything can happen and upsets are so likely. It's so competitive and I love team sports. I don't like individual sports."


Photo by Tom "Sky" Skibosh --- Junior outside hitter Chloe Tome was first-team all-conference and honorable mention all-state and all-area last year.

Chloe got an early start in her career.

"I've been involved ever since I can remember," she said. "I grew up in volleyball and I started playing when I was 5. My dad got me into it. After school (Longfellow) I started playing beach and then I started playing club when I was 11 until high school.

Gary knew he had something special in Chloe at an early age.

"Even when she was little she had a little different mindset on the court. She kind of had an edge," Gary said. "She played with a chip on her shoulder. She always wanted to take the big swing, always wanted to make the hard pass.

“One of her biggest pluses is her competitiveness. I never have to say anything to her. She’s just a competitor. Whether it’s a mundane drill in practice or under the big lights. She has a good IQ and I can challenge her in different ways”

--- Coach Gary Tome

"She had that energy, she was a real competitor. With all the teams she's played on she's had that fiery attitude. ever since she was little she's kind of had it."

Chloe likes being the outside hitter. It's suits her game just fine.

"I like being able to play defense and offense because I'm the one who can be able to terminate and put the ball away," she said. "I can also be the one to help set up the play and I can fix plays.

"So I think that's a big strength - being able to read where the hit is going to go, get there before it goes down. So it's a really good all-around position. I enjoy that."

She does want to improve her game, though.

"I would like to get better at blocking because I get used too much,"  she said. "They (the opponents) hit it and it goes off my hands. If I was stronger blocking, I could get more. But I think I can grow that way. and in my overall game, just grow. Get physically stronger, smarter and watch video (of my game)."

Photo by Tom "Sky" Skibosh --- An outstanding beach volleyball player, Chloe Tome finished second in a national tournament last summer.

Gary also talked about Chloe's strengths and the areas she needs to get better at.

"One of her biggest pluses is her competitiveness," Gary said. "I never have to say anything to her. She's just a competitor. Whether it's a mundane drill in practice or under the big lights. She has a good IQ and I can challenge her in different ways.

"However, she needs to be a really cerebral hitter. It's up to her to become more of a dynamic athlete. She needs to keep getter stronger, getting more explosive."

Chloe was then asked the million dollar question. What's it like to play for your dad.

"I love it because I know I'm getting a good coach," she said. "I've had so many great coaches and I've learned something new from all of them. But my dad being there can always connect with me on more personal levels.

"He knows me when I'm struggling or he knows my little hitches that I have to get out. He's coached me since I could walk. I have had other coaches for club, but he has been my official beach volleyball coach.

"He's the one who brought me into the game so I train with him unofficially and he was my official indoor coach. He came here before my freshman year so he could coach me and my siblings (12-year old twins Max and Lilly).

Chloe knows that her father won't play favorites.

"I really like it because in our conference - which is a very tough conference and I know he is the one who will really push me and drive me to get me into college to play this sport. I know he is going to lead me there and challenge me.

"It can be hard sometime with me playing and I'm his daughter. It makes me work harder to prove I'm not just playing because my dad's the coach. He's instilled this in me - 'If you slack, you won't play.' I really enjoy it."

Gary, of course, has been asked the same question.

"When she asked me if it was OK we do this, I told her she is just another kid," he said. "But I've showed her some 'tough love.' I expect more.

"My feedback is the same. As a freshman she beat out seniors but I  thought it was because she clearly established herself. It's been great. I get to see her everyday as opposed to coaching somewhere else where I never see her. It's exciting! I get the best seat in the house to coach everybody."


HANGING WITH CHLOE TOME

  • FAVORITE FOOD:​ Any kind of chicken
  • FAVORITE MUSIC:  Popular Music and Rock
  • FAVORITE MOVIE:  'Unbroken' - Humorous and Inspirational movies.
  • FAVORITE TV SHOW:  'Friends'
  • FAVORITE CLASS:  Science
  • FAVORITE PLACE YOU VISITED: Hermosa Beach, California
  • WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX? Hang in friends or siblings
  • FAVORITE SPORTS RIVALRY:  Wauwatosa West
  • MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT:  Beating Tosa West before a packed house last year.
  • WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO IN THE FUTURE: Attend college, playing beach volleyball and studying Engineering or Journalism.