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Coal City coming together; Reed-Custer falling apart

09/30/2013, 8:50pm CDT
By Tim O’Brien

Coal City is putting things together at just the right time, while Reed-Custer is still winless this season.

Liking your team’s talents and skill level is one thing. How that team uses its ability is another thing.

To that end, Coal City coach Michael Lanoue is loving what he’s seen from the Coalers.

“The thing I like about this team is that they’re willing to get down and dirty for anything for each other,” Lanoue said. “The juniors are starting to understand what the seniors learned in values in getting to this point.

“The seniors are putting that pressure on them, but in a good way by example.”

The Coalers (10-7) finished in fourth place over the weekend at the Manteno Classic. Coal City is 5-0 in the Interstate Eight North heading into Tuesday’s conference match against visiting Plano.

No player on Coal City’s roster is taller than 5-9, but an experienced senior class has made up for any lack of height.

Emily Halliday (119 kills, 157 digs), Claire Smith (96 kills, 22 blocks), Kassie Aldridge (311 assists), Morgan Leopold (88 digs) and Britta Spelde (56 kills, 14 aces) power Coal City’s senior class. Junior Nicole Borgetti (31 blocks) provides a strong force in the middle for the Coalers.

“We have seven or eight players who are 5-foot-9,” Lanoue said. “Our team really provides itself on ball control. We’ll make adjustments and don’t let ourselves get beat three times.”

In 2012, Coal City finished 17-13-2 and won the Interstate Eight North Division, going 8-2 in conference play.

Early struggles for Reed-Custer

When Denny Pommier stepped down from the Reed-Custer varsity volleyball coaching position, sophomore coach Brittany Janz was ready to step up.

The Comets have struggled early, sitting at 0-12 record after a two-set loss to Coal City.

“We are an extremely young team, and we always have two freshmen on the court,” Janz said. “Every game we strive to keep the ball in bounds and keep balls on target toward the net.”

Courtney Welch, Vanessa VanDuyne and Paige Marquardt have played well for the Comets.

Player of the Week

Kaylin Korte, of Morris, is the Herald-News Girls Volleyball Player of the Week.

Korte, a 6-foot sophomore outside hitter, had 56 kills, 46 digs and 11 service aces for the Redskins who went 4-2-1 and finished third at the 16-team Reed-Custer Invitational.

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