Mary Murphy named Player of the Year

Herald-News (Joliet)/Shaw Media Lathan Goumas photo

Herald-News (Joliet)/Shaw Media Lathan Goumas photo

Joliet Catholic Academy’s Mary Murphy has been selected as The Herald-News girls volleyball player of the year. The senior captain helped lead the Angels to a second-place finish in the IHSA Class 3A state tournament.

Growing up, Mary Murphy watched her sisters playing volleyball. She would run to the ball cart before her sisters’ high school matches started, grab a volleyball and – during timeouts and in between games – she would play with her mother on the sidelines.

Simply put, volleyball has always been a dominant part of Murphy’s life.

“When I was little, I always just wanted to play and be like my sisters,” Murphy said. “I loved have a volleyball in my hand; I loved being able to do something with it. I always thought about volleyball and how I couldn’t wait to play it. When I started playing, I knew it was what I wanted to do, and I dedicated all of my time to it.”

It was time well spent. In her senior year, Murphy helped Joliet Catholic overcome a slow start and finish second overall in Class 3A.

In the state semifinal against rival Montini, Murphy tallied 17 kills in the three-game match; and in the two-game regional final against the school’s biggest rival, Providence, Murphy led the Angels with 11 kills.

Those are impressive numbers for an outside hitter, but what makes Murphy special is that she is a double-threat setter and right-side hitter. In addition to Murphy’s team- and season-high kills in the regional final, Murphy tallied 17 assists.

The Western Michigan-bound setter totaled 368 assists, 327 kills, 115 digs, 47 aces and 34 blocks for the season. Her well-rounded play is what makes her the 2014 Herald-News Player of the Year.

While Murphy was first team all-area, senior middle hitter Maddie Naal was second team all-area and senior outside Madeline Grimm honorable mention. Murphy also was named first team All-State by the Champaign News-Gazette. Naal was chosen as honorable mention All-State.

To read the Herald-News (Joliet) story, follow this link: JCA’s Mary Murphy is 2014 Herald-News Player of the Year


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