Amelia Wegman excels as Rosary’s ‘go-to player’Rosary's Amelia Wegman sends a jumping serve to the Downers Grove North side. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 4, 2011 7:12PM
It was no small feat — considering the volleyball program’s history — last year when Amelia Wegman set Rosary’s single-season record for kills with 380. But it’s not necessarily something she wants to repeat.
Call it a sign of the fourth-year varsity player’s maturity.
“I didn’t really make a goal, regarding kills or anything like that,” the 6-foot outside hitter said. “I kinda thought it would actually be a good thing if I don’t break that record because that means we had more sets taken (by other hitters on the team). As long as it’s not because I’m not performing, I would be totally happy with not breaking that record.”
A better balanced offense, Wegman realizes, could make for a better won-loss record.
Make no mistake, she continues to perform well. Wegman had 14 kills Monday in the Royals’ 20th win of the season, a two-set decision over Montini. It pushed her within 56 kills of a milestone.
“She, obviously, is our go-to player,” said Rosary coach Lisa Kasper. “She will, hopefully, get a thousand kills.”
The only other Royal to top that mark was Beacon-News 2004 Player of the Year Catherine Smale, who finished with a school-record 1,135 kills then went on to notch 1,315 kills from 2005-08 at Iowa, which ranks eighth on that school’s list.
“She’s amazing,” Rosary junior outside hitter Kate Stefanski said of Wegman. “She goes out there and puts the ball down and gives us so much momentum. She’s just an excellent presence on the court.”
And she never leaves it.
“I do take pride in being a six-rotation player,” Wegman said. “It’s fun. I like passing.”
It was those all-around skills, no doubt, that caught the eye of second-year University of Houston coach Molly Alvey last summer when she was watching Wegman and her Sports Performance club team compete in the AAU nationals. She visited the school last Monday, received a scholarship offer and then gave Alvey a verbal commitment on Friday.
“I know they went from 140th two years ago to 90th last year and a week ago they were ranked 40th,” Wegman said of the (currently) 10-5 Cougars. “They plan on being a top 25 program in a couple years.
“Everybody talks about that feeling (when deciding on a college). You know that when you’re there. I definitely had that feeling.”
Meanwhile, there’s work to do.
“Mia might have got (the school career kills record), but her freshman year she had only 83,” said Kasper, noting her team leader has come a long way. “She’s definitely grown into a leadership role. Freshman year, she never said a word to me, but the girls (this year) look up to her. She went through being a freshman on varsity by herself. I tend to try to move up two freshmen at a time so there’s somebody else for them to talk to, but she had to do it by herself. She understands keeping everybody involved and getting them a lot of playing time.”
She also understands she can’t rest on her laurels.
“I’ve always been kind of a slow hitter,” Wegman said. “I’d take a slow approach and take a slow-arced swing. When I was younger, like 13 or 14, that worked because I’m tall. So I’ve really worked on speeding things up.
“That, and I’ve gotta stay focused. Get in the gym. I know that’s what I have to do if I want to play at the highest level I can.”
She’s hoping the same is true of her final Rosary team.
“I’m not taking the attitude this is my team or anything like that,” she said, “but we’re really focused on the team aspect of it. We all need to work together and be a unit.”