Colleges: Defense paving way for South Suburban College women’s volleyball team
By Dennis Nelson For Sun-Times Media October 10, 2013 9:46PM
Trinity's Becky Gold has three shutouts this season. | Lisa Roller/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 12, 2013 6:27AM
The South Suburban College women’s volleyball team is doing it with defense.
The Bulldogs are 22-7 and have won six of their last seven matches, but have dropped out of the NJCAA Division II national rankings. South Suburban was No. 19 last week.
On Friday at the DMACC Tournament at Des Moines Area Community College in Boone, Iowa, South Suburban will face No. 2 Parkland (33-2), No. 4 Kirkwood (23-5) and the host, No. 19 Des Moines (19-8).
“Our goal is to win the region tournament and go to nationals,” South Suburban coach Larry Babcock said. “That’s our focus. Every day until November is practice to get us ready for the tournament.”
Defensively, the Bulldogs lead the nation in total blocks (441), are third in solo blocks (329) and ninth in digs (1,820). Offensively, South Suburban ranks among the top 10 in the NJCAA in sets (fourth, 110), kills (fifth, 1,201) and total attacks (fourth, 3,443).
Bulldogs sophomore middle hitter Robin Osmolski is third in the nation, averaging 1.7 blocks per set. Sophomore libero Julia Novotny (Illiana Christian) is ninth in the country with 554 digs.
Freshmen Melva Smith (298 kills) and Becky Dent (277) and sophomore Symone Sharrod (194) are the top hitters for the Bulldogs.
“Sharrod was here two years ago, came back this year and has been a great leader for us as has Osmolski,” Babcock said. “Becky Dent is here from Wyoming. She leads by example, is a great kid and I look for her to go off somewhere and play big.”
Speaking of big, South Suburban’s roster features 14 players.
“We’ve got the biggest roster the college has ever had with 14 girls,” Babcock said. “I’m very fortunate, because our success last year turned the program around. The kids do a great job motivating themselves. We’ve got some great leaders in the program.”
Lewis junior Armand Levandi advanced to the Final Four of the USTA/ITA National Small College Men’s Tennis Championships on Thursday with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Colorado Mesa’s Jordan Lyden at the Three Oaks Tennis Center.
“The opening round of a tennis tournament is usually tough, and Armand did what he needed to do to get through the match,” Lewis coach Brett Bridel said.
Trinity Christian’s Rachael Webb and Becky Gold recently earned CCAC Players of the Week awards.
Webb, a junior forward, earned the Offensive Player of the Week honors, totaling four goals in two victories for the Trolls (8-1-1, 3-0 in the CCAC).
Gold, a senior goalkeeper, was named Defensive Player of the Week by allowing one goal in 102 minutes played for the week. For the season, Gold has a 0.92 goals-against average and three shutouts. She also has a total of 44 saves.
St. Xavier sophomore forward Marco Gutierrez was named the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week. Gutierrez had a hand in on five of the Cougars’ seven goals in a pair of league wins last week.
Building off her stellar 2012-13 season, Lewis forward Jess Reinhart earned preseason Honorable Mention accolades from Women’s Division II Bulletin.
Reinhart, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament, led the Flyers to the GLVC Championship averaging 14.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. The junior also was named to the 2013 All-GLVC First Team and NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Daktronics All-Midwest Region Team.