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Athlete of the Week: Volleyball Player Kerry Risley

Risley leads her team in kills from the middle hitter spot. The senior shares the honor with cross country racer Nick Korhumel and soccer player Adam Witucki.

Regardless of whether volleyball player Kerry Risley chooses Butler University or St. Louis University, she will leave Libertyville with plenty good memories of athletics at the high school.

"Last year was amazing,'' Risley said. "We were 35-3."

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It's volleyball season again in 2011 and Risley is again a starting middle blocker for the Wildcats.

"Kerry has done a great job this year at the middle hitter position,'' said Libertyville volleyball coach Greg Loika. "Though volleyball hasn't been her primary sport growing up, she has developed into a great weapon when all cylinders are clicking in the match."

When the Wildcats took five of six matches at the Wheaton Classic, Risley actually led the team hitting out of the middle with 18 kills and 12 blocks. Those kill numbers are high for someone hitting out of the middle.

Risley reports blocking is something a player really needs to work at.

"You need to be quick to read the setter,'' she said. "You need to read their shoulders. You need to be quick in your approach.

She admits she hasn't had that much time to practice this sport. Basketball does take up plenty of time.

"I've never had time to play in the winter,'' she said.

Loika is still glad to have Risley on the volleyball team.

"Kerry is also a great on court leader,'' he said. "She's energetic and has the ability to pick up others around her. And she has an ability to not let one mistake turn into several. In a game like volleyball, a short memory can be your best friend when you get three seconds to regroup and go after it again. Kerry was a starter last year as a junior (35-3) and really emerged as the more offensive middle hitter and has retained that role so far this season."

Risley admits sports may go by the wayside when she enters college next fall. In the meantime, she will put up a formidable block in the front row.

This volleyball team seems to be coming around after a slow start.

"As a team, we did have a rocky start,'' Risley admitted. "But in some recent matches, we have been getting momentum."

Nick Korhumel, Boys Cross Country: Also chosen by the Libertyville athletic department was cross country runner Nick Korhumel. At the Libertyville Invite, he took home second place. His time of 15:48 at Adler Park was a season best for him. The cross country team also is doing some good things off the course. .

Adam Witucki, Boys Soccer. The school has one special boys soccer team. In helping his team at the , Witucki checked in with an game-winning goal against Lyons in the title match.

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