The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

November 23, 2012

Herald's all-area volleyball awards announced

CLINTON — Record-setting season: Clinton’s Wing named POY for 2nd straight year

By Kurt Ritzman

Herald Assistant Sports Editor

CLINTON — Clinton senior Alyssa Wing closed out a record-setting career with a dominating season.

She led Class 5A with 5.43 kills a game and a .462 kill efficiency. Wing went over 1,000 career kills and became Clinton’s all-time kill leader with 1,088. Her 472 kills as a senior was the second-best season mark in Clinton history. She knocked down 39 kills — setting a Clinton match record — in a five-set win over Bettendorf, which was the last loss of the season for the eventual state champions.

“It’s certainly been a nice luxury to have her sitting either in the middle or outside waiting for the ball,” Clinton coach Mark Massey said.

In part because of those numbers, Wing was selected as the Herald’s all-area volleyball Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

Wing said she’s had a chance to look back at her high school volleyball career a little bit.

“I have an appointment for my picture for first team all-state,” Wing said. “Just going through there and talking with Massey about this is where the picture is going to be, this is what it will look like. It definitely reflects everything that I’ve tried to do and everything that I’ve accomplished. I did have some great feats this year, but it hasn’t really sunk in that this is my senior year and I’m never going to play here again. I don’t really want to think about that yet. It’s kind of sad.”

There are a lot of reasons that Wing was able to have such a successful season and career, having the physical tools is certainly one of them.

“She’s certainly got an excellent combination of size and strength,” Massey said. “She’s very agile. She’s be agile were she 5-8. You put a kid like that in a 6-2 frame. So athletically right away, you’ve got a pretty decent package there.”

But there’s more to it than just being gifted.

“Obviously it takes hard work because you can’t get better if you don’t practice,” Wing said. “I practiced everyday. I was setting the ball to myself earlier. If I see a ball, I’m going to do something with it. My parents are coaches. They’ve coached me for a long time. They taught me the techniques and everything that goes into the game of volleyball. They taught me the mechanics of hitting and passing.

“My mom used to be a setter at Mount St. Clare (now Ashford), when it was that. So she’d set me the ball and I’d hit or she’d hit at me and I’d pass. I’m just always playing. The more you play the better you get.”

Wing said Massey and her club volleyball coach Greg Weller taught her a lot, but she had to be willing to learn and apply to see results.

“I had the mentality of taking those things and using them,” she said. “Some players can get taught by the best coaches ever and they still don’t succeed. You have to want to become better. I think I had the will and that’s why I accomplished everything I did.”

Wing is headed to UNLV to play volleyball next year. She admitted to taking one week off after the River Queens lost to Bettendorf in the playoffs. But after that week, she was back at work and starts club practice in December.

“I never stop; I play all year round,” Wing said. “I love it. If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t be going to school for it.”

Wing is expecting Bettendorf junior Caitlin Wernentin to join her in Las Vegas as a volleyball teammate in two years. So she went to watch and support Wernentin at the state tournament and watched the Bulldogs defeat Dubuque Hempstead in the quarterfinals and Pleasant Valley in the semifinals.

“I wore her shirt — a Bettendorf shirt — which was a little tough to do,” Wing said. “I wanted to support her and I did go. It was a little upsetting. The first match they won in five and it was really close. I know how the other team felt. Dubuque Hempstead, a few of their girls collapsed. They were crying. That’s how I was. I was really upset. It was my senior year and it ended. It was their senior year and it ended. I cried a little. I’ll admit it. Every time I went and watched I cried. I wished I was there. It wasn’t jealousy. I just wanted to play again.”

Wing said her fondest memory of the season was her record-setting performance in the five-game win against Bettendorf.

“I was at the top of my game,” she said. “I had 39 kills and I broke the record that night. That was a really good memory because I played my hardest and we ended up winning in five. It was a close game. The whole team played their hardest and we all played really well. I felt like I played the best I could. I played awesome. It definitely showed.

“Another one was one I broke 1,000 kills and Massey announced it to everyone. It was really special. That was a good night. Those were some pretty good moments.”

Murphy increases confidence, wins

By Kurt Ritzman

Herald Assistant Sports Editor

CLINTON — Confidence and belief can mean a lot in sports. Sometimes adding those to a physically talented team can make a world of difference.

Last year, Erie went 18-17-1 in coach Alicia Murphy’s first season. In Year 2, the Cardinals went 25-10 and won an Illinois Class 1A regional title.

“It was amazing,” Murphy said. “They always had the tools; they just didn’t realize what they were capable of. As they got success, they understood what it took and wanted it even more. Gradually they came into their own. They just needed a push in the right direction. It was very much about confidence.”

With a seven-game improvement and a regional title, Murphy was selected as the Herald’s all-area volleyball Coach of the Year.

As important as Murphy helping the team realize its potential was getting the players to buy into their roles. It took some difficulties early in the season to get everything ironed out.

“In our first tournament of the year — the Oregon tournament — we struggled,” Murphy said. “We were trying to get the right mesh. Once we found our mesh and the girls accepted their roles — even the girls off the bench accepted their roles — we found the key to our success.”

The Cardinals had only three seniors on their roster and they ended up starting two freshmen and playing three sophomores. That can cause problems, but Murphy said that wasn’t really an issue.

“It was actually very, very easy,” she said. “The two freshmen were sisters of upperclassmen, so it was very easy to bring them in. The girls wanted to be successful and bringing up girls with talent was how we were going to do that. They all got along very well and that’s big with teenage girls.”

Erie came from behind to beat Eastland in the regional final in three games to win its first regional title since 2008.

“The best moment was absolutely winning the regional, especially being on our home court,” Murphy said. “It was a big deal for us, a big deal for the girls. It was great being part of hopefully a new trend at Erie.”

So how does Murphy continue this improvement?

“We need to keep doing what we’re doing — preaching fundamentals,” she said. “We’re finally making them understand they’re capable of winning. They’ve always had the talent. We’re just giving them confidence and instilling a killer instinct, fight and competitiveness. We want to base our program on solid fundamentals, that’s the big thing.”

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Medicaid paid $12M for Illinois dead

    The Illinois Medicaid program paid an estimated $12 million for medical services for people listed as deceased in other state records, according to an internal state government memo.

    The memo dated Friday, which The Associated Press obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, says the state auditor compared clients enrolled in the Medicaid database last June with state death records dating back to 1970. Auditors identified overpayments for services to roughly 2,900 people after the date of their deaths.

    April 19, 2014

  • Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    A couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.

    Helen Felumlee, of Nashport, died at 92 on April 12. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died the next morning.

    April 19, 2014

  • Prince reaches agreement with music label

    Prince now owns the rights to the music he recorded on Warner Bros. Records after years of disputes and battles with the record label.

    Warner Bros. announced Friday it had reached an agreement with the pop icon, who was signed to the label from 1978 to the mid-1990s, during which time he released key projects like "Purple Rain," ''1999," ''Diamonds and Pearls" and "Around the World in a Day."

    Financial terms weren't disclosed.

    April 19, 2014

  • Ill. GOP officials who wanted Brady out replaced

    A crop of Republican officials who wanted to oust former Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady for his statements supporting same-sex marriage have been replaced in their party positions.

    Illinois Republicans across the state held elections for all 18 state central committee member posts this week, replacing six of the seven officials who signed on to a letter last year to hold a vote on removing Brady as chairman. The seventh person to sign the letter, Mark Shaw of the 10th Congressional District, was re-elected to a four-year term.

    April 19, 2014

  • Iowa gets nearly $72M in yearly tobacco payment

    Iowa received $71 million this week from tobacco companies — its annual share of a 1998 landmark legal settlement in which tobacco companies pay states for smoking-related health care costs.

    The Iowa Attorney General's Office says that since 1999, the state has received more than $960 million in tobacco payments.

    April 19, 2014

  • U of I burn center sees jump in ammonia burns

    The University of Iowa Burn Treatment Center is reporting a higher-than-normal number of patients suffering from anhydrous ammonia burns.

    The center says it has treated five people in the last two weeks. The center's medical personnel say they usually only see one or two cases each year. Official say the high number of patients in such a short amount of time is concerning.

    April 19, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 19, 2014

  • Way of the Cross photo The Way of the Cross By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer The Way of the Cross

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Hood A year after 'chaos'

    It happened two hours after John Hood finished his run. Like many, he thought the loud boom was just the sound of cannons going off, something that shook the ground. It was odd, but Hood — a 1989 Clinton High School graduate — tried to make it logical, associating the noise with another good happening at the Boston Marathon.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video