The Chesterton volleyball team opens the 2012 season at home tonight against
Hammond Morton with high expectations.
“I think if we continue to work at it, we’ve got a chance to be pretty
good,” Chesterton coach TR Harlan said. “We’ve got a lot of kids back with
varsity experience that have waited a long time to make their mark on the
The Trojans feature six seniors who are poised to make a run at the school’s
first Sectional title.
“Our senior class has done a real good job of working hard and getting
better since the end of last season,” Harlan said. “They have a lot of
little goals as a team and individually, but at the end of the day, their
focus is on being the first Chesterton team to win a Sectional title.”
Outside hitters Katie Urycki, Emily Nix and Brittni Rondinelli, along with
middle hitter Shelby Ruffner, will make up a bulk of the Trojan offense.
Nix led the team in kills last year as a middle hitter with 294, while
Ruffner added 234 and set the single-season block touches record with 374.
Urycki, playing on a surgically repaired left knee, tallied 130 kills and
205 digs, but is fully healthy and returning to the form that brought her to
the varsity as a sophomore two seasons ago.
“I think with the trio of Katie, Emily and Shelby, we’ve got a chance to be
as good an offensive team all-around as we’ve been in my nine years here,”
Harlan said. “Emily’s role has changed for us and she’s really doing a good
job of adjusting to it and Shelby just continues to get better. Having a 100
percent healthy Katie adds such a different dimension to us offensively and
Junior Ali Ostrom will play the other middle hitter position, while
sophomore Jessica Urycki will see time on the outside.
“Ali is battling through an ankle injury and probably will have to all
season,” Harlan said. “She’s working hard and getting better every day.
She’ll be a big key for us if we’re going to be successful .”
Seniors Ari Mahaffey and Jennifer Williams, along with junior Jessica
Thornton, will have the job of getting the ball to the hitters after the
loss of three-year setter Kate Nowak.
“Ari and Jen have been in different roles in the past and now we need them
to step into this one (setting),” Harlan said. “They are both very capable
of handling the job and will only get better at it as the season goes on.”
Defensively, junior Sara Tarnowski, along with sophomores Emily Marcus and
Jordyn Moleski will have to get acclimated to varsity play quickly.
“Our back row is young, but talented,” Harlan said. “Sara played for us last
year and is really athletic. Emily and Jordyn both play extremely hard and
have great instincts.”