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Volleyball preview: Montini targets success

Montini's Gina Cappetta sets the ball against Stagg during play at the Wheaton North tournament Aug. 28.
Montini's Gina Cappetta sets the ball against Stagg during play at the Wheaton North tournament Aug. 28.

LOMBARD – Coach Steve Dowjotas is entering his third year as coach of Montini’s volleyball teams and is hoping to continue the improvement the girls’ program showed last season.

The Lady Broncos won the SCC Gold but lost to IC Catholic in a regional semifinal. The goal this season is to have more postseason success.

“We have all the needed positions with some amazing talent and experience,” Dowjotas said. “It became very clear to me during summer league that Montini Catholic has developed the talent and experience to compete with some of the best volleyball teams in the area.”

Seniors Joyce Balash, a Lewis University commit, Natalie Lopez and Bridget Lucas and junior Monica Loftus give the Broncos four all-conference returners. Loftus, a Lombard resident, led the team with 150 kills as a sophomore and has Division I offers.

Junior Jordan Bruscianelli is another returner. Senior Tricia Ilich and sophomore Gina Capetta will share setting duties.

The Broncos showed the program’s ability to meet higher expectation by recently winning the Blue and Gold Invite at Wheaton North. Montini swept Larkin and Stagg in pool play and did the same to Andrew, Glenbard South and Glenbard West in bracket play. The tournament win was a good first step on the road to a larger goal.

“I’m focused on getting our first regional win in nine years,” Dowjotas said.

Montini at a glance

Conference: Suburban Christian Gold

Home court: Montini Catholic, 19W070 16th St., Lombard

2012 record: 21-12, 10-1 Suburban Christian Gold

Coach: Steve Dowjotas

Top returners:
Joyce Balash sr. MB
Jordan Bruscianelli jr. RS
Gina Cappetta so. S
Tricia Ilich sr. S
Monica Loftus jr. OH
Natalie Lopez sr. OH
Bridget Lucas sr. L

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