Lewis signs three high school standouts from Illinois

Lewis did not have to look far to field its incoming recruiting class.

Coach Dan Friend announced Tuesday that Chicago area high school seniors Jake Walenga, Michael Simmons and Mitch Perinar signed national letters of intent to play for the Flyers beginning in 2015.


Walenga, a 6-foot-1 libero and outside attacker from Frankfort, Ill., earned IHSA All-Tournament Team honors last season and finished the state tournament averaging 19.3 kills per match. The high school senior also led Lincoln-Way North to the Illinois state championship match and his club team to back-to-back silver medal finishes at the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships.

Simmons, a 6-foot-4 outside attacker from Aurora, Ill., had more than 400 kills in a single-season and was named to the all-area team as helped his high school team finish 26-9. As part of his club volleyball team, Simmons also was selected to the All-Tournament Team at the USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championships.

Perinar, a 6-foot-5 opposite from Channahon, Ill., led Minooka Community High School last season to a 38-win season and the team’s second straight state playoff appearance. He also placed in the top 20 with his club team this summer at the national championships.

“I am excited that we signed three stand-out players from the Chicago area,” Friend said in a statement. “It’s excellent for the program and the university when we can get local talent, from a recruiting stand point and a fan base.”

This incoming recruiting class continues Lewis’ trend of placing an emphasis on local, in-state recruiting.

The Flyers for the upcoming season will have 10 Illinois natives on their 24-player roster.

Lewis finished last season winning a share of the MIVA regular season championship, but lost in-state rival Loyola in the MIVA Tournament championship match.