Volleyball: Haley Plothow having record-setting career for Bearcats
BY RYAN HASKELL Post-Tribune correspondent October 14, 2012 11:16PM
Wheeler's Haley Plothow and the rest of the Bearcats begin their sectional play with Lake Station. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 16, 2012 6:22AM
It was unexpected but quite fitting for Wheeler’s Haley Plothow.
Undersized for a volleyball player, Plothow came out of nowhere to be a force for the Bearcats since she transferred into the school her sophomore year.
Plothow broke the school record for digs in a career (she currently has 1,282) and has been a force on the court, playing outside hitter and left-side back despite standing 5-foot-51/2.
She jokes about her coach Alisha Polite trying to make her appear taller than she is on the roster.
“I’m 5-51/2 but the roster lies and says I’m 5-6,” she laughed.
But the accomplishments she and her teammates have achieved are no joke.
Wheeler has won two sectional titles, two conference titles and the school’s first regional title with Plothow being a major contributor. And they are the favorite to win a third straight sectional crown when the Class 2A tournament starts up Thursday at River Forest.
That’s pretty good for a girl that doesn’t fit the volleyball prototype.
“She’s been every bit important in helping her team,” Polite said. “She’s short so she’s not the girl who the other team is looking at. She surprises a lot of teams with her defense. She comes up with digs where I’m like I’m not sure where she comes from but she’s there. … and she didn’t come to Wheeler until her sophomore year so to set the school record in three years is amazing.”
What the Bearcats have been doing over the last three years has been amazing. Wheeler continued that trend this year, winning its first 14 matches of the season. They finished undefeated in the Greater South Shore Conference after sharing the title with Whiting last year.
Plothow has been equally impressive, recording 411 digs her sophomore year, 533 last season and has 338 so far this year. She’s also recorded 221 kills and 58 aces for the 28-5 Bearcats.
But Polite and Plothow both know the team’s record doesn’t mean a thing with the postseason starting this week.
“Now we’re 0-0,” Polite said. “Everything has been practice for our postseason. We have to learn from what’s gone on. Anybody can show up on any given night so we need to hold on tight and enjoy the ride.”
Plothow reiterated the same thoughts as her coach.
“We’ve absolutely had a great year,” the senior said. “But everyone is 0-0. It doesn’t matter what your record was. It’s all about the postseason. We’re definitely going in thinking we have this. We’re working in practice and working on our weaknesses. We know on any given day that anybody can beat anybody.”