Senior middle blocker/hitter Ivy Schoditsch helped the Nazareth Academy girls volleyball team achieve a program-best third place in their first trip to the Class 3A state tournament finals in 2019.

Now she’s contributing significantly more to what the Roadrunners hope will be an even better return trip.

After no 2020-21 state tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Roadrunners earned another berth last week with a 25-12, 25-8 over De La Salle at the IHSA Class 3A Little Village Supersectional Friday. 

Nazareth (27-8) meets Joliet Catholic (27-13) in the Class 3A state semifinals at 4 p.m. on Nov. 12.

“It’s the best feeling ever. After we came back from state [in 2019], we’re like, ‘We’re not graduating without coming to state again,’” said Schoditsch, a 5-foot-10 LaGrange Park resident who will play at NCAA Division II Ferris State.

The Roadrunners have four other college volleyball recruits in seniors Gill Grimes (Michigan State), Katie Hurta (Indiana) and Abby Reid (Penn) and junior Kitty Sandt (Clemson). Also playing Friday were junior Emily Risley and sophomores Olivia Austin and Lauren Salata. 

Grimes, Hurta and Sandt also were at the 2019 state finals. Schoditsch, who had 33 blocks that season, has a team-best 47 as a senior and 120 kills, nearly twice as her first two varsity seasons combined.

“Sophomore year I took the role of being the best blocker I could be,” Schoditsch said. “This year, I feel really good to give the offensive side and defensive side for my team and really just to be a leader is something important to me.”

Roadrunners host Fenwick in 5A quarterfinal

Nazareth (7-4) will play host to Fenwick (9-2) in the Class 5A football state semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday after the Roadrunners’ 23-14 victory at Marmion Saturday.

The Roadrunners broke a 14-14 tie entering the fourth quarter on Ryan Short’s 21-yard field goal and Justin Taylor’s 4-yard touchdown run.

Taylor caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Logan Malachuk (11 for 17 passing, 140 yards) and Quentrell Harris’s 4-yard rushing touchdown opened a 14-7 third-quarter lead. Kaleb Miller contributed 59 rushing yards and a team-high five tackles. Jacob Eraci and Harris had interceptions.

Kinsella repeats all-state performance

Junior Colette Kinsella, the only top-25 all-stater in Nazareth history, was 13th at the IHSA Class 2A girls state meet on Nov. 6 in Peoria, improving one place on her 2019 all-state performance.  

“I feel like I was a little less nervous [this year] because I could trust the training,” said Kinsella (17:44.77 for 3.0 miles). “This season was kind of up and down, so I’m glad to end with something good.”

The Roadrunners (14th, 355 points) were one place from their best state showing. Also competing for the Roadrunners were freshman Sarah Owen (48th, 18:39.98), sophomores Jane McNamara (79th, 19:02.76) and Hannah McCarthy (124th, 19:26.43) and juniors Taylor Lester (190th, 20:09.74), Natalie Ereio (228th, 21:29.39) and Molly McNamara (231st, 21:36.82).