Volleyball: Torline helps lead Kapaun past Carroll, South
It’s doubtful many volleyball coaches would overlook Kapaun Mount Carmel senior hitter Gabby Torline, who is athletic and hits with power.
But while searching for ways to slow the ferocious Kapaun offense, opponents may focus on 2012 All-Metro selections Sydney Kuhn, who has made an oral commitment to Notre Dame, and Audrey Grant, who has committed to Tulsa.
The Crusaders, though, know exactly what Torline can do.
“She’s so athletic and has such great timing,” Kapaun coach Terri Hessman said. “I think everyone appreciates her. I know her team appreciates everything she brings to the team.”
Torline had nine kills and a stuff block in a 25-16, 23-25, 25-14 win over Bishop Carroll. Kapaun also beat South 25-11, 25-10 to improve to 18-1. The Crusaders’ only loss is to St. James Academy, ranked third nationally by MaxPreps.com.
Carroll beat South 25-20, 21-25, 25-12.
Kuhn added 13 kills against Carroll, while Grant had 11 kills and three stuff blocks.
Kuhn, Grant and Torline are powerful, consistent hitters with the ability to read the court well. Torline, though, admitted to sometimes feeling overlooked.
“But they are both amazing players, and I’m blessed to have them on my team, and it’s so much fun to play with them,” she said of Kuhn and Grant. “… A lot of people overlook me because I’m not a big, huge hitter. I’m more of a placement hitter.”
Kapaun setter Wesley Crowdus said every Crusader is valuable offensively.
“When (defenses) are keying on Audrey and Sydney, (setter) Austyn (Ames) and I know that we can give the ball to Gabby, and she’ll score, too,” Crowdus said. “But we also have Liz Dwyer and all the other girls who can score whenever we need them, too.”
Dwyer had four kills and MaKenna Johnson had three against Carroll. Against South, Grant had five kills, Kuhn 10 and Molly Kush seven.
“We’re pretty lucky,” Crowdus said. “We have a lot of talent.”
The skill level was most evident in the first set against Carroll, when Kapaun had five unforced errors and 14 kills.
“We were flowing, we were breathing as a team,” Hessman said.
Kapaun played more passive in the second set while Carroll played a much cleaner game. Jessi Haffner had five kills in the set and finished with 11. Taylor Bevis had three of her eight kills in Set 2 and added 20 kills against South.
“We were passing better,” said Carroll coach Rita Mernagh, whose team is 12-5 after starting 9-1. “It came down to our serve-receive. We’re trying to find those people who can play consistent serve-receive.”