Girls Volleyball: Marian Catholic’s Todd continues to make memories
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org October 14, 2013 10:58PM
Marian Catholic's Kendyl Todd (14) and Rosalind Byrd (4) save the ball, at Saturday nights game between Payton and Marian Catholic. | Paul James Bergstrom~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 16, 2013 6:26AM
What Kendyl Todd has meant to Marian Catholic volleyball over the past four years can be traced through numbers, team achievements and the testimony of coach Ryan Summers.
What volleyball means to Kendyl Todd … well, just ask her and she’ll tell you.
“I love volleyball. It’s a huge part of my life,” she said. “I’ve had lots of friends that have told me they’ve lost their love for the game. I consider myself very lucky that I don’t feel that way.
“I feel really blessed with my experiences at Marian.”
Todd, 17, of Crete, is in her third season on the Spartans varsity.
She made the biggest possible splash as a sophomore in 2011, helping lead the Spartans to the Class 3A state finals for the first time since 2002.
Todd, sophomore Amber Clay and freshman Kelsey Clark were a trio of unheralded underclassmen who spruced up a volleyball reputation at Marian that had been lagging behind.
“I know a lot of girls never get a chance to go to state. As a sophomore … that was one of the coolest experiences,” Todd said. “I still tell people about it. I still look at pictures and articles that were from my sophomore year at state.”
Meanwhile, Todd continues to make memories.
As a junior in 2012, the 5-foot-10 middle hitter was first on the team in blocks and block kills and second on the team in aces and kills. Her hitting percentage was .435 and her kill ratio an eye-popping .560.
This season Todd, with a new setter, a new back row and pretty much a consistent double-block on the other side of the net, is still hitting well, with a kill ratio of 47 percent, as the rebuilding Spartans have rallied from a slow start to flirt with the .500 mark.
“Some players might complain (about being double-blocked), but Kendyl adapts,” Summers said. “She picked up two new shots to give some variety to her game and has developed a ‘take it from here’ role.
“She’s a great player because she finds some way to help the team win, and then does it. And if that means learning how to hit a slide from 12 feet off the net, or jump setting, or simply being a decoy, then that’s what she does.”
Volleyball, Todd said, won out over all other sports on the influence of her older sister, Chandler, who played volleyball at Marian.
“I used to go to all of her volleyball practices,” Todd said. “I learned to start overhand serving. As much as I liked the diversity of playing other sports, I always loved the team aspect of volleyball and thought I could excel.”
As a freshman, Todd played on the sophomore squad at Marian before being a part of Summers’ varsity youth movement in 2011 that led to a historic season for the Spartans.
“I consider that very fortunate for me,” Todd said. “I know some people don’t get that chance (to go to state). It’s something you should never take for granted because you never know how many times you’ll have that opportunity.”