Guerin proud of milestone campaign
Chicago Thursday, 11/1/12 Guerin's Rebecca Bartnicki (27) and Melanie Gorny (11) both try to return a serve during the first game of Thursday evening's match against Resurrection. Guerin won the first game, but Resurrection came back to win the Class 3A Sectional Championship, 18-25, 25-23, 25-14. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 9, 2012 6:15AM
CHICAGO — Dominic DiSilvio recalled what he told Guerin’s athletic director two years ago.
“I said to (Dee Susin), ‘You give me the horses, and we probably could win a regional,’ ” said volleyball coach DiSilvio, who is in his second season.
“Now, we’ve won two.”
The 2012-13 Gator volleyball squad will be the one to live up to. The Gators won their second-straight regional title and made their first sectional final appearance.
“I am so proud of them and what they’ve accomplished and how much they’ve accomplished ’cause, like I said, two-regional two-peat is very hard to do,” DiSilvio said.
When DiSilvio joined the program, he was given seven juniors, including five who had played club and became his regular starters. He quickly has helped mold the squad into sectional contenders and state-series worthy.
The Gators, who moved up from Class 2A to 3A this season, came back from a 1-0 deficit against Latin in the Orr Sectional semifinal, taking the next two sets 25-22 and 25-23.
That comeback, according to DiSilvio, was a display of his team’s fight, which is ignited by his five senior starters — Allison Stieber, Melanie Gorny, Amanda Middleton, Alex Bojan and Sara Brodner — and trickles down to the rest of the team.
“When their backs are against the wall, they fight, and they really push each other,” DiSilvio said. “That’s the big thing. They push each other, and no matter what happens, they try to pick each other up. And that’s what makes that team.”
Though the victory over Latin marked a program high point for the Gators, their sectional final loss to Resurrection was disappointing, especially for a senior-dominated class.
Following the loss, Brodner held her composure as she reflected on the season.
“That game we played against Latin was the best game we’ve ever played in our lives,” Brodner said. “We’re like a family. We’re a small school, so we do every sport together. And volleyball was something special. We’ve had bonds since freshman year that will never be broke.”
The third-set loss in the final was only the second time DiSilvio saw his team break down. But he doesn’t want it to take away from the season his squad has had. The seniors are excited to have been a part of Guerin history.
“In our last huddle, we said we’re going to do this; we’re a family,” Middleton said. “No matter what, we stick together.”