FULTON, Ill. — Aubrey Rhoades Tanzillo has stayed in touch with many of her high school volleyball teammates through Facebook.
Seeing most of them in person was even better.
Tanzillo and most of her teammates on the 2003 Fulton volleyball team were back in the high school gymnasium Thursday night for a 10-year reunion of the most successful team in Steamers’ volleyball history. Fulton finished 33-2-1 that season and advanced to the Elite Eight in Illinois Class A.
“It was kind of like we never left,” said Tanzillo, a junior on that team who later played for Ashford and now serves as co-coach of the Clinton High team. “It was awesome.”
Stacy Germann, Fulton’s coach then and now, enjoyed seeing her former players, too.
“It is one of the most wonderful feelings,” she said. “What is so good is how successful all of them are now. What they did then, you could see they’d be successful.”
Tanzillo said the timing was perfect for a get-together, too.
“It’s fun now because we’re the age when we’re all getting married so we see each other at weddings,” said Tanzillo, who is one of those recent brides. Also married are Abby Young Temple, Colleen Wilkin Temple, Kendra James Peurach, Amanda Boonstra Neiss, Abigail Adams Eissens, Angela Wirth Vickroy, Rachel Kuebel Diedrich, Michelle Wilkins Peters, Cara Kaufman Painter and Jaci Ottens Chapeck. Sarah Buikema is engaged.
Jessica Phillips, Alyssa Drolema, Ashley Christensen and Amara Ward, the team manager, rounded out the squad.
Rhoades was one of three key juniors on that team — along with Adams and Boonstra — who joined seniors Wilkin, James, Kuebel, Phillips and Wilkins as the mainstays on the team. James led the Steamers in kills, with Rhoades second; Wilkin was the setter, whose 663 assists that season still stand as the school record; Wilkins ranked second to James in blocks; and Phillips had the team lead in aces.