Girls Volleyball: Richards excels on Rockey road

Updated: November 5, 2012 7:21PM

Kara Rockey wasn’t only the best defensive player on the court for Richards in 2012, she also was a pretty impressive pinch hitter.

In her fourth year as a varsity player, the 5-foot-6 libero became one of the area’s best snipers from the back row, putting down 42 kills.

“She really stepped up when we needed her to,” Richards coach Troy Grevengoed said of Rockey, who was voted South Suburban Red Conference Player of the Year. “Her defense has always been her strength, and somehow she’d come back every year better than the last.

“This season was had a hard time finding kills, so we were able to go to Kara in the back row when we were in trouble. She developed a pretty impressive swing from the back row. It kind of became a secondary threat.”

Rockey finished this season with 353 digs for the 17-12 Bulldogs, running her career total to 1,357. She also had 32 aces and 64 assists.

“Kara has been a driving force for our team the last three seasons,” Grevengoed said. “She had two things she wanted to do here at Richards which were very evident. The first was to win games, and the second was to prepare herself for the next level. Both goals have been accomplished.”

Rockey will play in college at Division I Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The perfect storm

That’s how Marist coach Natalie Holder described her RedHawks’ stunning 25-19, 23-25, 25-21 loss to Lincoln-Way Central in the Class 4A Lincoln-Way North Regional final.

“They played amazing and out of their minds, which is a credit to them and their coach (Kathy Sulkowski),” Holder said. “They had a great crowd, and you can see where it really did help them at many points, which is a credit to their community as well.”

As for the rest of the storm ...

“On our side of the net, we just made too many errors and it ended up showing up on the scoreboard,” Holder said. “We would hit out by an inch, miss a blocking assignment, not be ready to get to a ball off their block quick enough, a missed serve here and there ... a bit of everything by everyone.

“But one loss does not dictate the entire season. No one, except maybe Assumption from Kentucky, played a schedule as ridiculously challenging as ours, and with our success rate, no less. ... I would rather walk out with them out of any gym — win or lose — than with any other team at any other time.”

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