Girls Volleyball: Plainfield North earns No. 1 spot in Herald-News Top 10
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media September 1, 2013 8:28PM
Plainfield North's Kate Federico | File photo
Updated: October 3, 2013 6:03AM
A little sample of success led to big things last season for Plainfield North.
Tigers coach Tracey Marshall hopes that experience in 2012 will lead to bigger and better this season.
Returning the core of a team that produced the young program’s best-ever record, Plainfield North is the Herald-News No. 1 volleyball team to start the season.
“These young ladies got a taste of what this group is capable of,” Marshall said. “With that, I think there is a different hunger in the gym. It is exciting to see. With a shortened preseason due to IHSA rules, it is extremely important we jell very quickly.”
Plainfield North was 29-9 a season ago, improving on the program’s previous best win total of 23 from the 2009 season. The Tigers’ 2012 postseason ended in the Class 4A Neuqua Valley Sectional semifinals in a three-set thriller vs. Lemont.
As Marshall has seen in practice, North looks to have used that loss as a springboard.
North is absolutely loaded with talent, starting with a dynamic senior duo in setter Kate Federico and outside hitter Dakota Santore. The team is young but experienced beyond the only two seniors on the roster.
Junior setter/opposite hitter Kaitlyn Fisher, sophomore middle Lauren Robeck and sophomore Ali Lindroth all figure into the Tigers’ offensive plan.
“With a majority of upperclassmen on the squad, I anticipate our juniors and seniors to set an expectation for the underclassmen to follow,” Marshall said. “I am looking forward to seeing leadership from every aspect.”
Clemson-bound Federico will lead the offense, looking to improve on a junior season during which she dished out 638 assists while adding 142 digs and 108 kills.
“Our senior setter and quarterback Kate is hoping to lead this squad past their record-breaking school finish from last year,” Marshall said. “We need the younger players to step up, and the seniors to embrace the spotlight.”
North will look to defend its Southwest Prairie Conference title. The Tigers will compete at tournaments at Willowbrook and Wheaton Warrenville South, as well as in the Mizuno Cup.
Last year’s success was one thing, but Marshall thinks her team is poised for the next step.
“The caliber of younger players we’re fielding are bigger, faster and stronger,” Marshall said. “Couple that with quality training from the club season, we anticipate the face of the program at Plainfield will look vastly different over the next couple of years.”