Jelling Providence starts to jam in ESCCProvidence Catholic's #5 Katie Urchell returnes a serve vs Joliet West held at West and Providence won in 2 matches on Thursday, September 08, 2011. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Entering Tuesday’s match between the Herald-News’ top two volleyball teams, Nora Mitros, of No. 2 Providence, conceded this wasn’t just another day on the schedule.
“We want to go hard in all our matches, but this one is a little bigger,” the Celtics senior said. “I haven’t been on a team at Providence that has beat them, so hopefully this is the year.”
Mitros is one of three veteran players who led the Celtics to a 21-5 record entering the match, including a 5-0 mark in the ESCC. She and fellow outside hitter Katie Urchell are four-year starters, and senior middle blocker Alyssa Podwell is a three-year starter.
The Celtics also look to senior Kelly Sloyan and junior Lacey Hill on the outside, junior Alyssa Maloney in the middle and junior setter Krista Brakauskas has done a great job setting and serving.
“We are all looking forward to the match against Joliet Catholic,” Providence coach Rachel Ellingson said. “I am sure it will be a hard-fought match, with both teams being undefeated in conference play. We all know that blocking and defense is the name of the game. We have been able to stay strong and steady in that department.”
After a couple of early season losses, the Celtics started jelling and have been playing as well as any team in the state as of late. Wins over highly regarded Marist and Benet in the ESCC have proved as much.
“At the start of the year we had a lot of different lineups to see what was best for the team,” Ellingson said. “I think that the girls have found they have the potential.
“Having a senior-led team has been very important as well. All our seniors are really excited, as it is their final season in a Celtic uniform and I wish I could have them all another year. They are all true leaders, whether on or off the court. All players understand that volleyball is an avenue to many life lessons.
“That is what being a Celtic is all about.”
Not only were Providence and Joliet Catholic meeting Tuesday, there exists the possibility they could cross paths Saturday in the Autumnfest Tournament at Glenbard East.
Morris on the move
Morris captured the title at the Wilmington Fall Classic with a thrilling 22-25, 25-22, 15-13 win over Kennedy in the championship match. Laney Torkelson and Katie Chatten were selected to the All- Tournament team.
The win moved the Redskins to 19-10-1 overall entering Tuesday’s action, and 4-2 in the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference.