Moraine Valley Community College volleyball players Gina Ryan (from left), Kara Kentner and Joanna Curtis earned either their 1,000th dig or assist this season. | Supplied photo
Updated: December 18, 2013 6:02AM
Three volleyball players at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills reached major milestones this season, hitting the 1,000 mark.
Sophomores Joanna Curtis (Sandburg High School in Orland Park), Kara Kentner (Sandburg) and Gina Ryan (Oak Forest High School) each recently hit the momentous number in their college careers.
Curtis notched her 1,000th assist on Sept. 11 after giving Kentner a set at the right pin.
Kentner reached her 1,000th assist on Oct. 5 in a match with Joliet Junior College.
Ryan earned her 1,000th dig on Oct. 19 while playing Rock Valley College.
According to head coach Gloria Coughlin, the combined 2,000 assists are a reflection of how efficient the Cyclones’ attack game has been throughout last season and the current season while Ryan’s digs are a product of her relentless pursuit of the ball.
In order to receive a setting assist, the ball must be attacked for a kill. With that in mind, an assist relies on many factors before and after the actual contact takes place.
“This shows the strength and balance of the team that two setters have reached the 1,000-assist mark,” assistant coach Donna Zidek said.
“They have teammates who consistently pass and dig the ball. Kara and Joanna make good decisions with their set distribution to get the ball to the right attacker to hit for a kill.”
Ryan established herself as a solid all-around player early on last season, and teams try to keep the ball away from her.
She has quickness and keen court sense, allowing her to get to balls that would be out of range for many defenders.
“The box score doesn’t tell the whole story after a match,” Zidek said. “Stats that lead to points, mainly hitting and blocking, hold a higher value than those that don’t. However, you can’t have one without the other.
“We would not be as successful as we are this season without the solid foundation of setting and digging that our offense relies on.”