Returning just two starters from last season’s 28-9 team, Providence had holes to fill all over the court for any hope of success. But for the Celtics, everything fell into place as the 2012 season developed.
Falling to Joliet Catholic in three sets in the Class 3A Morris Regional, Providence finished the season 25-12.
“As far as experience, we had a lot of ‘junior-seniors,’ ” Providence coach Rachel Ellingson said. “They really stepped up and learned a lot about what was expected as a varsity player. I’m extremely proud.”
Setter Krista Brakauskas led the offense, piling up a team-high 417 assists and 164 kills (second on the team), with Alyssa Maloney proving a dominant fixture at the net with 219 kills and 120 blocks, both team-highs.
Along with stars Brakauskas and Maloney, the Celtics will lose seniors Becca Rachke, Marisa Dion and Lacey Hill. The cupboard is far from empty, though, with non-seniors Allie Marthaler, Annie Cummings, Haley Lahey, Allison Erthum expected to return.
“This team never laid down and died, and was a team that wasn’t going to give up,” Ellingson said. “This group honestly with the camaraderie, we couldn’t ask for better kids. Getting 25 wins is extremely respectable, and you can’t do it by accident.”
Morris seniors lead way
From a nine-win season and winless conference season in 2010 to back-to-back 20-plus wins seasons, Morris came a long way, thanks to a strong senior class.
“This senior group built Morris volleyball from my perspective,” Morris coach Jackie Litwiller said. “Going 0-10 in conference (in 2010) as sophomores, they worked their butts off since. They were in the gym all the time, whatever they could, they were doing it.”
Kendall Korte (203 kills, 329 digs), Laney Torkelson (157 kills, 59 blocks) and Katie Chatten (694 assists) will graduate, but the Redskins have plenty of talent coming back.
“If our underclassmen can do half of what the seniors did, our program will continue to grow,” Litwiller said. “It’s going to be fun to watch.”