Curie's Aaliyah Grandberry, shown on the podium after a meet in 2022, is gunning for a state championship this season. Curie High School photo

Curie's Aaliyah Grandberry, shown on the podium after a meet in 2022, is gunning for a state championship this season. Curie High School photo

Area Sports Roundup: Curie’s Grandberry eyes wrestling state title

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

The inaugural IHSA state girls wrestling meet took place last year, with Curie heavyweight Aaliyah Grandberry finishing second at the historic event.

She would like to do a just a little bit better this year.

Gradberry will shoot for a state championship beginning Friday at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington. The junior takes a 21-0 record into the state meet after winning the title at the Evanston Sectional on Feb. 11. In 2022, she finished 11-1, her lone loss by pin to Kiara Ganey of Belleville East in the finals.

The two could be on a collision course again this year as Ganey, a senior, won the Peoria Richwoods Sectional and brings a 14-1 mark to Bloomington.

Grandberry is one of 12 area athletes to qualify for the state tournament via a top-four finish in sectional competition.

Also at Evanston, Mother McAuley’s Maggie Zuber (130 pounds) and Morton’s Faith Comas (140) finished second.

Evergreen Park’s Elliana Balderrama took third in 155 while Morton’s Paris Flores (100), Evergreen Park’s Carmella Woods (115) and Curie’s Vanessa Torre (135) finished fourth.

At Schaumburg, the Andrew co-op, which features girls from Sandburg and Stagg, Andrew won the team title with 154.5 points in a close battle with the host Saxons, who finished with a 150.

Alyssa Keane (135), Mickaela Keane (170) and Emma Akpan (235) finished second for District 230 and qualified for state.

Argo’s Michelle Kioltyka (105) took third and Riverside-Brookfield’s Elanor Aphay (120) took second to also qualify.

 

Gymnast heads to state
Thus far, just one gymnast has qualified for the state meet, which takes place Friday and Saturday at Palatine High School.

Riverside-Brookfield sophomore Lia Christiansen qualified in the vault after finishing fourth in the Hinsdale South Sectional with a 9.3250.

Lyons and the District 230 co-op (Sandburg, Stagg, Andrew) had to wait until Feb. 13 to find out if they had at-large qualifiers.

 

Red Stars schedule released
The Chicago Red Stars open the NWSL season with a road game against San Diego at 9 p.m. on March 25.

Their first home game at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview at 1 p.m. April 1 against Houston.

The exhibition Challenge Cup, which kicked off the 2022 season, will be held during the season.

Overall, the Red Stars are scheduled to play 14 games at home. Matches against San Diego (July 1) and Kansas City (April 15 and July 29) in Bridgeview will mark the return of former Red Stars players Danielle Colaprico, Rachel Hill, Vanessa DiBernardo and Morgan Gautrat.

The top six teams will qualify for the playoffs, which begin with the quarterfinals to be played Oct. 22, followed by the semifinals Nov. 4 and championship Nov. 11.

 

RED STARS HOME GAMES IN 2023

April 1 – Houston, 1 p.m.

April 15 – Kansas City, 7 p.m.

April 29 – Washington, 7 p.m.

May 7 – NJ/NY Gotham, 5 p.m.

May 27 – Orlando, 7 p.m.

May 31 – Louisville, 7 p.m. *

June 10 – North Carolina, TBA

June 18 – Portland, 5 p.m.

July 1 – San Diego, 5 p.m.

July 29 – Kansas City, 7 p.m. *

Aug. 5 – Houston, 7 p.m. *

Sept. 17 – Angel City, 5 p.m.

Sept. 30 – Louisville, 7 p.m.

Oct. 15 – OL Reign, 4 p.m.

*–Challenge Cup exhibition games

 

Hounds get TV deal
SeatGeek Stadium’s newest tenant, the Chicago Hounds rugby team, will have some of their games broadcast on Marquee Sports Network.

The network owned by the Chicago Cubs will broadcast 13 of the Hounds’ 16 Major League Rugby games, including the season opener Saturday at Old Glory DC.

Hounds CEO James English calls the deal “a monumental achievement” for the first-year franchise.

The Hounds lost a 26-7 exhibition match against Atlanta on Feb. 9 in Panama City Beach, Florida. Luke Beauchamp scored for the Hounds.

 

Track Trolls Triumph
Trinity Christian College’s Alyssa Busker won the 60- and 200-meter dashes Saturday to win national indoor track championships in the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association meet in Cedarville, Ohio.

Busker, a junior, broke the school record and the NCCAA mark in the finals of the 60 with a 7.6-second dash. She set a school record in the 200 with a :25.38.

Senior Milos Pendic won the 3,000-meter run with an 8:36.93 to win a national title.

 

Fundraiser for former Cougar
Former Saint Xavier football player Tom McKenna, who graduated in 2008, is battling brain cancer.

There will be a fundraiser for him from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday at 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W. 115th St., Merrionette Park.

There is also a gofundme.com page for the McKenna family.

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