SouthtownStar girls volleyball notebook
Updated: March 22, 2011 4:24PM
Only 914 to go.
That's how many victories new Providence Catholic coach Rachel Ellingson needs to match the career mark of 918 victories amassed during a 36-year career by her predecessor, Nan Airola.
Ellingson got off to a good start over the weekend as the Celtics captured four of five matches and finished ninth at the Benet Academy Invitational.
Among the victories was a 25-16, 25-15 decision over Lincoln-Way North.
"I was very pleased, considering it was our first time out," Ellingson said. "It appeared we had some first-game jitters (in a 25-21, 25-17 loss to St. Charles North), but we played exceptionally better in the matches that followed."
Senior captain Noelle Burchette led the way for Providence, averaging
6.6 kills per match. Junior Katie Urchell (44 good serve receives) and senior Maggie Ruettiger (40 digs) led the defensive effort.
Ellingson replaced Airola after spending 10 seasons as an assistant coach.
"I can honestly say that Nan prepared me for this day more than I even realized," Ellingson said. "I did feel extremely comfortable sitting in her seat. I think that having the familiarity with the program and the team made the transition from assistant to head coach a smooth one."
Holding their breath
Lemont is not only off to a 2-4 start, but the Indians might be without senior outside hitter Courtney Keefe for a spell.
Keefe, a member of the 2009 SouthtownStar All-Area Team, hurt her right ankle during the third game Friday against Waubonsie Valley at the Benet Invitational. She wrapped it for the next match against Benet, but sat the rest of the weekend. Lemont finished in sixth.
She was scheduled to see a doctor Monday for a diagnosis.
"The trainers at Benet said it was a sprain," Lemont coach Chris Zogata said. "She's never had an ankle sprain before, and kids don't always react very well to their first ankle sprain. So we'll just have to wait and see and hope for the best."
Turning it around
Andrew earned a No. 6 preseason ranking because of its experience. The T-bolts maintained their position in the 10 Spot with a 4-1 showing at the Wheaton North Invitational that included a 30-28, 26-24 decision over Oak Forest.
"The team is working very well together," Andrew coach Courtney Stoub said. "(Setter) Jackie Schwieger is doing a wonderful job of spreading the offense and she has been in double digits for defensive digs."
Schwieger, a senior, made just two errors during the five matches, totaling 102 assists. Her favorite targets were junior right side Maureen Carls (34 kills) and senior outside Theresa Curran (21 kills). The Thunderbolts finished the tournament with six players in double figures spiking.
Back home again
New Hillcrest assistant Alisha Green is a graduate of the Country Club Hills school. She started her college career at the University of Tampa and in 2006 helped lead the Spartans to the Division II national championship. She played her final two years in college at Ball State.
"Every year that Alisha was in town during our summer camps she spent time instructing and motivating our girls to be better athletes, students, and people," Hawks coach Stacey Lane said. "She is a wonderful example of a student who never forgot where she came from."