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Miguel Gonzalez is D215’s second Ivy League-bound volleyball player in three years – other local scores

LANSING, Ill. (March 30, 2024) – Three years after TF United boys volleyball had one Ivy League-bound player, it has another.

Senior libero/defensive specialist Miguel Gonzalez, who is on track to be TF North’s valedictorian, will attend Cornell on a full scholarship provided by the Posse Foundation.

He’ll follow the example of Fernando Lopez, a 2021 TF South graduate who went to Yale thanks to a grant from the QuestBridge National College Match program.

“It just so happens our program absorbs the top academic (students) of our district,” United coach Mark Misch said. “And they’re all great kids too. They work hard, they’re athletic, everything you’d want them to be. These boys, they’ll practice seven days a week if they could.”

For Gonzalez, the road to the Ivy League started last summer when he was nominated for the Posse Foundation scholarship. According to the foundation’s website, “the organization is centered on a cohort-based model that admits students to attend college as part of a ‘Posse’ of 10 peers.”

Gonzalez went through three interviews between August and December, “and it was really rigorous,” he said.

The competition was fierce as well, with just 10 students from a pool of 1,400 earning the scholarship to Cornell. (The organization also awards scholarships to several other top academic institutions.)

Even before the Posse opportunity arose, Gonzalez — who will be the first member of his family to graduate from high school as well as the first to attend college — had an Ivy League dream.

“But I know it’s really, really hard,” he said.

Volleyball is an outlet for all the academic prep work Gonzalez is doing to get ready to major in biology for pre-med. He’s a three-year varsity starter for United after previously competing in several other sports — soccer, swimming, and basketball.

What kept him involved in volleyball?

“I like that I can basically be myself, I can take a breather from school,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a time to get away from school and clear my head.”

United fell 25-19, 25-20 to Crete-Monee on March 26 and beat Bloom 25-15, 25-16 on March 25.

Yahir Silva had eight kills, two blocks and three aces against Bloom.

At last weekend’s Homewood-Flossmoor Invitational, United lost 25-19, 26-24 to Argo; 25-16, 25-18 to the hosts; and 25-9, 25-22 to Romeoville in pool play before falling 25-10, 25-9 to Reavis and beating Tinley Park 25-20 in bracket play.

Justin Ambrose had 24 kills and 31 assists in the H-F tourney, while Silva contributed 22 kills and 28 assists and Gonzalez added 48 digs and seven aces.

Boys tennis

United fell 4-1 to Bradley-Bourbonnais on Thursday, getting a 7-5, 4-6, 10-6 win at No. 1 doubles from Angel Urquizo and Gabe Morales.

The No. 3 doubles team of Alex Moreno and Sijaude Bello also had a tiebreaker, falling 1-6, 6-4, 10-7.

United lost 5-0 to Reavis on Tuesday.

TF South

Boys indoor track

Karrel Harvest, the first Red Wolves athlete since 2019 to qualify for the Illinois Top Times State Indoor Classic, finished seventh in the Class 3A shot put at last weekend’s meet with a throw of 53-9.


The Red Wolves dropped to 2-3 with a 9-4 loss to Reavis on Thursday.

Ryan Marnell was 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBI for South, while Tyler Earmsmuth finished 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.


The Red Wolves shut out Oak Forest 15-0 on Thursday and blanked Lemont by the same score on March 26.

Singles winners in both matches were Glory Ike (No. 1), Annika Biegel (No. 2), Emily Dominiak (No. 3), Samantha Vazquez (No. 4), Azuri Akbar (No. 5), Deisy Salto (No. 6), Nathalia Castellanos (No. 7), Rereloluwa Sonoinki (No. 8), Hannah Fowler (No. 9), and Giana Murabito (No. 10).

Earning doubles victories vs. Oak Forest were Biegel and Dominiak at No. 1, Vazquez and Ike at No. 2, Salto and Akbar at No. 3, Murabito and Jessica Campuzano at No. 4, and Fowler and Castellanos at No. 5.

Against Lemont, the doubles winners were Biegel and Dominiak at No. 1, Vazquez and Ike at No. 2, Salto and Akbar at No. 3, Murabito and Campuzano at No. 4, and Sonoiki and Kaylyn Imala at No. 5.

South won the four-team East Aurora Tournament last weekend, scoring 19 points.
Winning singles titles were Ike (No. 1), Biegel (No. 2) and Castellanos (No. 3). Salto and Akbar were first at No. 2 doubles, while Sonoiki and Campuzano finished first at No. 3 doubles. Fowler took second at No. 4 singles.


The Red Wolves fell to 1-3 with a 19-1 loss to De La Salle on March 25. Yulissa Macudzinski was 1-for-2 with a double and Morgan Kleidon finished 1-for-1 with a walk and an RBI.

Marian Catholic

Girls indoor track

The Spartans had five placers at last weekend’s Illinois Top Times State Indoor Classic in Bloomington.

Taking fifths in Class 2A were Brooklyn Holmes (60 meters, 7.82), Arredia Primar (triple jump, 35-2.5), and the 800 relay team of Autumn Price, McKenzie Mixson, Syvonna Perry and Holmes (1:47.83).

In the long jump, Price (16-9.75) added a sixth and Tyisha Jackson (15-11) finished ninth.

Boys indoor track

Marian long jumper Paul Frazier took 10th in Class 2A at the Illinois Top Times State Indoor Classic at 19-9.75.

Boys volleyball

The Spartans went 3-2 last weekend at the Marist Invitational, picking up wins against Shepard (25-23, 25-9), Providence (24-26, 25-16, 29-27), and Mount Carmel ( 12-25, 25-12, 15-13). Marian also lost to Lincoln-Way East (21-25, 25-18, 25-13) and Lincoln-Way Central (25-20, 25-18).

Phoenix McGruder and James Bullock Jr. each had five kills and two blocks vs. Lincoln-Way Central, while Justin McGary added 17 assists and six digs. Also contributing were Ricky Gallegos (12 digs) and Josh Noubadan (4 kills, 5 blocks).

McGary led the way vs. Providence with five kills, 25 assists and eight digs, McGruder had seven kills and six digs, Bolu Osibogun contributed six kills and four aces, Noubadan had six kills and four blocks, and Gallegos added eight digs.

Against Shepard, Bullock had 10 kills, McGruder added six kills and five digs, Gallegos had six digs, and McGary had 16 assists.

Osibogun had 10 kills vs. Lincoln-Way East, McGruder added nine kills and three digs, Bullock contributed seven kills, McGary chipped in with 23 assists and five digs, Gallegos finished with nine digs, and Patrick Sullivan had six digs.

Illiana Christian

Girls indoor track

The Vikings finished sixth in the small-school 800-meter relay at last weekend’s Hoosier State Relays with a time of 1:50.57.

South Suburban College

Men’s basketball

Runner-up South Suburban had three players named all-tournament at the NJCAA Division II National Championships in Danville: sophomores Jemel Jones and Julius Byrd along with freshman Quentin Heady.

Jones led all scorers in the tournament with 147 points, Heady scored 48 and Byrd had 40. Jones also grabbed 36 rebounds and had 18 assists, Heady contributed 33 rebounds, and Byrd added 11 rebounds.

The Bulldogs finished 34-3 after falling 84-79 to National Park (Ariz.) in the title game.

Jones had 25 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and three steals in the final. Heady contributed a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds, Byrd scored 18, and LeQuan Washington had 14 points.

In the semifinals, SSC beat Ellsworth (Iowa) 89-75 as Jones scored 46 points on 15-for-30 shooting from the field and 12-for-17 from the line. He also had 10 rebounds and four assists, while Heady added 14 points and nine rebounds.


Mike Clark
Mike Clark
Mike Clark is a veteran journalist who has been covering sports in the Chicago area and beyond, from preps to pros, for more than four decades.


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