Chesterton Tribune

Trojan Volleyball opens at home tonight

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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 program.”

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 defensively.”

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.”




Posted 8/14/2012