Wolfpack continue to roll
Updated: September 1, 2011 9:23PM
St. Ignatius coach Erik Eastman saw his season flash before his eyes midway through Game 1 of the Wolfpack’s nonconference match Thursday at Providence.
St. Ignatius’ All-American setter Sophia Dodd had to be helped off the court and escorted to the trainer’s room while holding her right arm in obvious pain.
“I went in for a pancake, and as the ball was coming down I kind of moved my arm,” Dodd said. “As my shoulder hit the ground, it popped out of place. But as I got up, it kind of popped back into place. It was more shock than anything else. I mean, it’s sore.”
Dodd missed just six balls, however, returning in time to help her team rally from a 17-15 deficit.
“I was not happy (leaving off the court),” she said. “I just wanted to play again.”
Dodd had 17 assists and two kills, Rachele Lock and Camille Evans each had six kills and 6-foot-1 middle Courtney Somerville added three kills and three blocks as the No. 10 Wolfpack improved to 4-0 with a 25-23, 25-20 victory.
“I feel like we played well,” Dodd said. “We played real well as a team. There was a stretch of points where we played down, but we came back. We just tried to stay focused. We won, so I guess it worked.”
Eastman has been quietly assembling an array of talent at St. Ignatius, which lost to eventual state champion Lyons in last year’s sectional final and has its sights set on advancing deeper into the tournament in 2011.
“We have a lot of talent,” Dodd said. “No. 8 (Evans) is committed to Connecticut. She jumps out of the gym. She can hit the ball hard. Our other outside No. 5 (Lock) is not committed. She has some nice shots. She can get can hit the ball hard and she’s smart
“We compete with each other in practice,” Dodd added. “That’s when it matters. If you play well in practice, you’re going to play well in games and you’re going to compete for a state title.”
Nora Mitros had seven kills for Providence (5-2), which wiped out most of a 12-3 deficit in Game 2 and closed to within 21-20 on a kill by Katie Urchell. But a service error and a kill by Lock gave St. Ignatius some breathing room, and Dodd’s dump gave the visitors match point.
Urchell had four kills and Krista Brakauskas added 14 assists and three kills for the Celtics.
“I think it’s a very good lesson to come back, but you can’t do that,” Providence coach Rachel Ellingson said. “You certainly can’t do that against a team like St. Ignatius. That’s a great program. I was pleased that they came back, but it was what it was.”
Ellingson, who has been toying with her lineup during the early going, had high praise for Urchell, a 5-8 senior outside who she calls “the most efficient player” on the team.
“People don’t realize little Urchell is the most efficient player out there,” Ellingson said. “You ask her to do whatever and it’s done and without error, for the most part. She gets overlooked a lot.
“We’ll continue to work,” the coach added. “We’re 5-2. It’s not an embarrassing loss to a program like that. We have a nice team. We have a lot of hitters. We’ll continue to work on those things we need to in practice.”