FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Lauren Passaglia, Cary-Grove volleyball, jr.
Cary-Grove’s Lauren Passaglia and the Trojans won their first regional championship in four years with a 25-15, 25-14 win over Gurnee Warren. C-G continued its strong postseason run this past week with a 25-21, 25-16 win over Stevenson, led by Passaglia with 11 assists, six kills, five blocks and a pair of aces.
The Trojans (28-11) ended their season a win short of their first sectional title since 2015, losing to Libertyville, 25-16, 27-25, in a Class 4A Warren Sectional final Wednesday. C-G finished third in the FVC at 15-3 and improved by nine wins overall.
Passaglia was voted Female Athlete of the Week by readers and tackled these questions from Northwest Herald sports writer Alex Kantecki.
What will you remember most about your team’s postseason run?
Passaglia: Just the overall feeling of family we have as a team. We all worked really hard and played for each other every day in practice and in games.
Who is the biggest influence on you as an athlete?
Passaglia: Playing with Evynn Layshock this past season has been super influential. She’s a really great leader and really pushes us all to work really hard. She definitely taught me a lot about the game and how to be a leader.
Who is your funniest teammate?
Passaglia: Delaney Ruhland. She always knows how to put a smile on everyone’s face, even though she was out most of the season with an injury. She was always on the sidelines cheering us on.
If you had a sandwich named after you, what would be on it, and what would you call it?
Passaglia: I’ve gotta go with a plain ham sandwich. Ham and cheese, that’s my favorite. It’d be called the P-Sags, because that’s my nickname around school.
What would be your dream job?
Passaglia: I’m looking to go into business. I’m not sure what specifically yet, but I really like that aspect of being able to control my own work.
Can you ever see yourself coaching?
Passaglia: I definitely could see myself coaching. I love being involved in athletics. I’m a three-sport athlete (volleyball, basketball, soccer), and definitely think that would be really fun to continue on after school.
What sport that you don’t play would you be good at?
Passaglia: Softball. I played a little bit when I was younger and was pretty successful, but it got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying it as much. I think that’d be pretty fun to go back to if I ever got around to it.
What is the best Christmas gift you ever received?
Passaglia: I got a phone last year, which was pretty good. I’ve been needing one of those. I got an iPhone 8.
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
Passaglia: Before volleyball games, I always have a Jimmy Johns sandwich (ham and cheese). On the bus ride, my team would always listen to (Pitbull’s) “Hotel Room Service” to get us pumped up before the game.
What would be the ideal vacation?
Passaglia: Definitely somewhere warm. I really like the beach.
What match will you remember most from this past season?
Passaglia: Definitely the match against Crystal Lake Central (a 25-21, 25-16 win). It was so much fun. We played super hard, and the outcome was pretty unexpected, but it was really cool. We all fought hard and played as a family.
MALE ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Tom Coughlin, Crystal Lake South, soccer, so.
Coughlin scored the game-winning goal in last week’s sectional championship game, a 2-1 win over Boylan. The Gators later advanced to state for the second consecutive year. They will play in the Class 2A state championship game Saturday.
Coughlin recently spoke with the Northwest Herald's Sean Hammond about his goal, soccer and more.
What was it like scoring the game-winning goal at the sectional?
Coughlin: It was a very cool opportunity that I got, and it’s cool that our team got there. It was just a perfect ball from Sam [Bahnfleth], and I put it away to move on. Survive and advance.
How cool is it to have another shot at state?
Coughlin: It’s really cool going back-to-back state, especially with people that mean so much to me. It’s like a brotherhood for this team. It’s always a great opportunity to go back down to Hoffman [Estates] and show the state what we’ve got and that we can compete with the best.
Who’s your funniest teammate?
Coughlin: Ty [Getzinger]. He’s just always the person that if it’s a serious game, he’s the one to bring the mood back up. He’s the first one at practice to crack a joke. He’s one of my best friends, and he’s always making jokes.
What’s your favorite pregame meal?
Coughlin: Peanut butter toast.
Who’s your favorite pro athlete?
Coughlin: Former player is Ronaldinho. Right now would have to be Frenkie de Jong for Barcelona.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Coughlin: When I’m walking out of class, and I’m already out the door, and I hear my teacher call me to come back in. Everyone’s walking out, and I’m walking back in.
What’s a sport you were never any good at?