Providence blocks out Lincoln-Way CentralProvidence Catholic's Nora Mitros (25) attempts to recover a block from Lincoln-Way Central's Amy Bernhard (3) and Amanda Dolan (12) at Monday evening's game between Lincoln-Way Central and Providence Catholic. | Paul James Bergstrom~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 29, 2011 8:16PM
At times, it seemed Providence middle blocker Alyssa Podwell was reading the minds of Lincoln-Way Central’s hitters during the Celtics’ 25-22, 25-19 victory in Monday’s annual “Battle of New Lenox.”
So what about it, Alyssa?
“Umm, some of our friends (from club ball) play on that team and we could kind of read which way they were hitting,” she said, smiling. “We we blocked across, and even if we tipped it we had people behind us who could backing us up.”
Podwell (8 blocks) and teammate Lacey Hill (5 blocks) were the standouts as the Providence (5-1) won its fifth match in succession.
Other leaders for the Celtics were Krista Brakauskas (13 assists, 11 digs), Katie Urchell (7 digs, 4 kills) and Alyssa Maloney (4 kills).
Lincoln-Way Central (2-1) was paced by Danielle Dowd (10 digs, 5 kills), Val Crilly (7 digs) and Kaitlyn Siadek (6 assists).
Both teams came into the match after exhausting weekends. Lincoln-Way Central took a long bus trip Saturday to Normal and emerged victorious over Normal Community. Providence played five matches at the Plainfield North Invitational.
“We never even got a chance to practice anything,” said Celtics coach Rachel Ellingson, who used two different lineups in Games 1 and 2. Both were pretty successful.
In Game 1, Podwell and Kelly Sloyan had kills during a 6-0 run that broke a 10-all tie.
Central showed some resiliency at the end, kills by Jacqueline Langer and Amy Bernhard and an ace by Siadek helping shave a 24-18 deficit down to 24-22. Podwell, though, was able to close it out with a spike for the Celtics.
Maria Brown and Dowd had a pair of kills each early in Game 2 as the Knights opened a 9-4 lead. It was then when Podwell and Hill began to assert themselves at the net. Podwell’s four blocks were the highlights as the Celtics turned a 12-11 deficit into a 21-13 advantage.
The “Battle of New Lenox” was pretty much over.
Central often was its own enemy, committing nine service errors and 14 attacking miscues.
“I felt like we did not play to our potential,” Knights coach Kathy Sulkowski said. “We gave the runs of points, and when that happens it’s really difficult to come back from it. Their blocking was very strong, but we didn’t respond well to covering.
“But up to this match we have been playing consistent volleyball. Our defense and passing have been better. When we all put it together, it’s going to jell very nicely.”