LISLE – Benet’s Caroline Wolf understands that defense wins championships.
Under the tutelage of Benet head coach Brad Baker, assistants Kyle Reid and Kim Sayers, and former Redwing liberos such as 2012 graduate Sheila Doyle, Wolf has developed the defensive moxie that defined the Redwings during back-to-back state title runs in 2011 and 2012.
In her fourth year on the varsity squad, Wolf guided Benet to a 24-3 regular season record, has recorded 426 digs, and has led the Redwings back to this weekend’s state finals. The team’s defensive leader as libero and also a team captain, Wolf is also the Suburban Life all-area girls volleyball team MVP.
“Caroline has been an impact player for us all year long,” Baker said. “She is the leader of our defense and also an emotional leader on and off the court. She brings a team-first mentality and is a great communicator.”
The Naperville resident also pitched in on the offensive side of things by successfully serving 96 percent of her serves. As a result, Wolf was crowned the MVP at the Benet Invite and the Wheaton Classic and was all-tournament at Autumnfest.
A defender through and through, she selflessly deflects praise and credits her coaches and the Redwings’ program for her success.
“It is really a pleasure to be a part of such an esteemed program,” Wolf said. “The coaches have brought a winning atmosphere to the school and helped a lot of really talented athletes improve as players and individuals.”
Before coming to Benet, Wolf played softball and a was a highly regarded gymnast and swimmer. It wasn’t until her seventh grade year at Lisle’s St. Joan of Arc School that she picked up a volleyball.
Wolf soon joined up to play club volleyball with Sports Performance, explaining that her natural communication skills were perfectly suited for such a cooperative game.
“As a libero, my communication skills are my biggest asset,” Wolf said. “I am a loud person, I’m instinctual and say what I feel. My energetic personality goes a long way on the court.”
Wolf’s volleyball skillset and natural athletic abilities are not far behind her communication savvy. A hitter before switching to the libero position, Wolf’s tremendous reach and quickness allow her to dig balls that most defenders cannot get.
Volleyball coaches at Wake Forest University also recognized Wolf’s bevvy of talents, recruiting her to come aboard following a junior season in which she helped lead the Redwings to a state title. But, she’s not quite ready to look that far ahead, as Wolf again has her team vying for another state title.
“Winning the title last year was great, but this is a new team and we feel that we have something to prove,” Wolf said. “We are one of four teams left standing [in the 4A playoffs] and we want to have fun and make the most of our time at state.”