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Hanson-Tuntland achieves pro volleyball dream
By John Leusch | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 9/21/201 12:01 AM

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When she was starring on the volleyball court at Wheeling High School, Ingrid Hanson-Tuntland was convinced by Wildcats assistant principal for student activities Steve May to play the sport in college.

Once she finished a stellar career for North Carolina, she was inspired to reach the next level.

And that's exactly what Hanson-Tuntland has done.

Three weeks ago, she inked a professional volleyball contract in Europe, signing with the Katrineholm Volleyboll Klub in Katrineholm, Sweden.

Opening matches begin Oct. 17 in Katrineholm, and Hanson-Tuntland's mom Tiaa will be there.

"Everyone else is welcome, too," Ingrid said.

"I have always wanted to play professional volleyball since I played with UNC," she added. "I learned the sport at Wheeling, narrowing it down from three sports into one."

After college graduation in December 2009, Hanson-Tuntland hired an agent to find the market that could give her a professional volleyball career.

She played through a European exhibition tour of six countries (competing with their players) to gain exposure in the world sports market.

She also worked volleyball camps in the United States.

"I had to drive to three states (Ohio, Michigan and Illinois) to cover this job at the different camp locations," she said.

"There are some great young women developing their volleyball skills, and we will see this sport continue to gain in popularity, across the USA."

Hanson-Tuntland opened an online shopping business called "Hanson Worldwide Shopping" to help stimulate the economy. It also allowed her to work during personal time wherever she was coaching at the volleyball camps.

Hanson-Tuntland led the Tar Heels in kills and blocks last season and was an All-ACC performer.

The Prospect Heights native is excited to return to the country where her mother was born.

"I could not be more excited to return to Sweden and continue playing the sport I love," she added. "I'm excited to join such a great team in a great place."

Katrineholm Volleyboll Klub is the No. 1 volleyball club in Sweden and the reigning champions of their league. Katrineholm, Sweden is located two hours west of Stockholm and an hour north of Norrkoping.

Football

North Park's Nick Pantaleo (Hoffman Estates) earned College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin "Defensive Player of the Week" honors.

The senior defensive back from Hanover Park had a career day in North Park's 31-20 comeback victory over visiting Benedictine.

Pantaleo recorded a career-high 14 tackles, including 7 solos, and returned an interception late in the fourth quarter for a 99-yard touchdown. His touchdown return became the longest in school history as it broke the 50-year old record of 93 yards held by Gene Boba against Benedictine in 1960.

Water polo

Brandon Kase (Schaumburg), who led all high school water polo players in goals last season with 191, received a scholarship to play at Division II Notre Dame of Ohio.

Volley for the Cure

Prospect's volleyball team is scheduled to host the only Mid-Suburban League "Volley For The Cure" match this fall when it hosts Maine South on Oct. 12.

"We will be selling T-shirts for $10 to raise money," said Knights coach Mike Riedy, whose program has earned $11,800 for the cure the last two years. "We will have prizes to raffle and also do a 50/50 raffle."

Men's soccer

For the second straight week, Saint Xavier freshman keeper Kyle Held (Palatine) was named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Defensive Player of the Week.

Held logged his second collegiate shutout behind 8 saves in SXU's only game of the week, a 2-0 road win over nonconference foe Goshen College (Ind.).

As a senior at Palatine, the Pirates were 21-2-1 and Held collected 13 shutouts.

• Eureka freshman Tom Moody (Hersey) scored his first collegiate goal and it gave the Red Devils a 2-0 lead in their 4-1 victory over Knox in Galesburg. It was Eureka's first season-opening victory in program history.

Women's volleyball

Cincinnati senior Annie Fesl (Hersey) is ranked No. 6 in the NCAA in set assists with 12.08 assists per game.

The Bearcats won the Big Ten/Big East Challenge with a big win against No. 5 Illinois.

They have won 32 straight home matches.

• Memphis received 11 kills from Altrese Hawkins (Hoffman Estates) in a 28-26, 25-23, 25-18 win over Jackson State.

• Carthage setter Drewann Pancratz (Schaumburg) and outside hitter Lauren Dembkowski (Hersey) were named to the all-tournament team at the DePauw University "Tiger Invitational" in Greencastle, Ind.

Carthage (8-5) went 3-1 and took second place to Divison III top-ranked Washington University (Mo.).

• St. Francis's Kyrsten Becker (Rolling Meadows) was named the CCAC "player of the week."

Helping St. Francis (14-1 overall) to a 4-0 start, Becker averaged 6.0 kills and 7.1 digs and was named to the University of Michigan-Dearborn All Tournament team.

She combined for 42 kills and 50 digs and had a double-double against Bethel College (Ind.). She was also named to the all-tournament team at Graceland University (Iowa), accumulating 48 kills and 56 digs.

Men's cross country

Senior Michael Spain (Schaumburg) and freshman Pat Lesiewicz (Schaumburg) of North Central claimed individual victories in the Elmhurst and Aurora invites and received the first two CCIW "Runner of the Week" awards for 2010.

North Central freshman Albert Ciolek (Prospect) finished 19th (26:22.5) at the Aurora Invite while freshman Aaron Ferst (Fremd) was 27th (26:39).

Women's cross country

North Central's Kala Bingham (Barrington) finished 51st in 20:13 at the 31-team Illinois Intercollegiate Championships held at Weibring Golf Course in Normal.

The Cardinals duplicated their finish from last year's meet, scoring 216 points and placing second among the non-NCAA Division I teams in the field.

Women's soccer

Wisconsin-Whitewater sophomore Christina Tooren (Hoffman Estates) was named the school's athlete of the week and then offensive player of the week.

She scored her team's only goal against Wartburg College in a 7-1 loss and had 4 shots in a 3-2 loss against Loras College.

She earned "offensive player of the week" by scoring both goals in a 2-1 victory against UW-Oshkosh. Then, against UW-Stout, she also scored 2 goals and had an assist.

Tooren leads Whitewater with 6 goals this season.