By: Austin Monaco
Looking up and down the roster of the 2017 varsity volleyball team, you will see an outstanding factor: TEN seniors marked with veteran leadership. This group has been together since freshman year and carried the team all the way to the IHSA Regional Championship where they played against Mother McCauley at Reavis High School.
“Though our season ended at Mother McAauley, the friends I’ve made not only at De La Salle, but the friends I’ve made on this team will last forever,” senior Kaitlin Cook said.
The team placed in all three tournaments this year: Chicago Christian Tournament, Maine East Tournament, and Elk Grove Tournament, and finished the year with a 20-16 record after rattling off a winning streak of six matches in a row. This is what led the team all the way to the IHSA Regional Championship against Mother McAuley where the team eventually lost two sets to one.
Both freshman Francesca Bertucci and senior Taylor Duddleston finished in the All Girls Catholic Athletic Conference honors and Duddleston played in the 8th Annual Illinois Volleyball All-Star Game at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois on December 3, 2017.
“Representing De La Salle in this game was a humbling experience,” Duddleston said. “This season was one of the best simply because every game had a purpose for us. We were out there playing for each other. For the senior class, it has been four years and one hundred and fifty seven games of strength, durability, and mental toughness.
This group was heavily dominated by seniors, but the team had great assistance by freshman Francesca Bertucci. “Being a freshman on varsity certainly matured me as a player, and it was great to tag along on the final ride with all of our seniors,” Bertucci said.
Though the Meteors lost in the IHSA Regional Championship, that doesn’t define their season. The Meteors won as players, as people, as teammates, and as students. That’s more than any statistic or record that will show up in the brackets and books.