Angel Volleyball honors Tortorello-Nelson; Victorious in home opener

Tortorello Angel Volleyball

JCA Volleyball posing with Angels’ legend Liz Tortorello-Nelson after their home opener victory over Minooka.

After Wednesday night’s match, senior middle hitter Addy Alt said, “I love being an Angel.”

It showed in JCA’s 25-23, 25-18 victory over Minooka at the Student Activity Center.

The 5-foot-9 Alt finished with a team-high 3 aces and 2 kills, but none was bigger than her kill that ended Game 1.

The Angels (1-1) jumped to a 13-3 lead, but then actually trailed 22-21 before senior libero Meghan Harrison went on a 3-point service run to set up Alt’s clincher. JCA pulled away in Game 2, leading by 20-12 and 23-16.

Senior outside hitter Megan Cladis led the Angels with 5 kills, 9 digs and a 2.83 serve-receive rating. Harrison notched 11 digs and junior outside Taylor Zurliene added 9, including going to the crowd for a spectacular save in Game 2.

Senior setter/right-side hitter Jessica Simon, the Augustana University, S.D. recruit, notched 3 block kills and 5 assists. Senior setter Megan Melone, converting again from a defensive specialist, contributed 6 assists and 5 digs.

JCA’s varsity improved to 11-1 vs. Minooka in the last 12 years. The Angels’ sophomore team also won in dominant fashion, 25-16, 25-14. The freshmen A team rallied in both the first and third games to win in three.

“The girls came out strong and played solid volleyball from the first point,” JCA coach Christine Scheibe said. “Addy and Taylor did a great job of serving aggressively to get Minooka out of system.”

JCA returns to action on Thursday night on the road against Hinsdale South.

Between games of the varsity match, JCA honored former All-American setter Liz Tortorello-Nelson (’88), who led the school downstate in both 1986 and 1987, including a third-place finish in Class AA in 1986.

Tortorello-Nelson earned a full-ride scholarship to the University of Wisconsin before coaching at Loyola University and Chicago Latin. She is currently an athletic director at Latin. She gave the girls a pep talk between games.

“We were so thrilled to have Liz here tonight,” Scheibe said of Tortorello-Nelson, who will be inducted this weekend into the school’s Hall of Champions as the second class. “In my first year here at JCA, I had the pleasure of coaching her younger sister Sam, who went on to Penn State. The Tortorello family has meant so much to this program.

“Liz also stayed around and congratulated the girls after the match. We always talk about, ‘Once an Angel, always an Angel.’ And you could see that in the way the girls acted with Liz and how sincerely proud she was of them.”

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