GIRLS VOLLEYBALL | ILLINOIS LUTHERAN'S ERIC DINNOCENZIO & TORI SCHREMENTI

Dinnocenzio, Schrementi are Illinois Lutheran's dynamic duo

2011-10-23T22:00:00Z 2013-03-05T19:13:23Z Dinnocenzio, Schrementi are Illinois Lutheran's dynamic duoBy Vince Vosti Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 23, 2011 10:00 pm  • 

CRETE | Illinois Lutheran senior Erica Dinnocenzo hopes to return to the school in a few years and see something that has never been seen at Illinois Lutheran before: a girls volleyball IHSA playoff banner.

The Chargers have never won a postseason volleyball tournament, but Dinnocenzo would like to change that, starting this week. The Chargers are the No. 2 seed at the Class 1A St. Anne Regional, and will begin their quest for a first-ever regional title Tuesday, when they meet the winner of today's match between Luther East and Gardner-South Wilmington.

A Tuesday night victory would send them into the regional championship game two days later, probably against top-seeded Grant Park, with whom the Chargers have split two matches this season.

"We always have decent hitting, a good number of kills, and decent blocks," Dinnocenzo said. "To do well, we need to (play) defense and serve-receive."

The key to the Chargers fortunes lie in the play of Dinnocenzo and senior Tori Schrementi. Both of the Crete residents have played on varsity for four years, with Dinnocenzo earning all-River Valley Conference honors as a sophomore while Schrementi earned all-conference honors as a freshman and sophomore.

Both girls usually stay on the court for the entirety of a match. Dinnocenzo, who missed most of last season due to torn ankle ligaments, moved from middle hitter to outside hitter this year and has been a force, with more than 175 kills going into Tuesday.

Schrementi, a middle hitter, is among the area leaders with more than 100 blocks this season after moving from as outside hitter last year. Schrementi also plays middle hitter with Altitude, the club team both play for.

"I think it is honorable that we've been (on varsity) for four years; we really appreciated it," Schrementi said. "We have three sophomores on our team that start, so we try to help them feel confident going out there, because we used to feel not as confident going out on the court when we were younger."

First-year Chargers coach Rob Mathias considers himself lucky to have inherited a program with Schrementi and Dinnocenzo, athletes he considers the two best in the conference.

"The odds of girls like that coming around here are maybe once every 10, 15 years for talent like that," Mathias said. "I won't see it again before I leave."

At the kickoff meet prior to the start of the season, Mathias circled three dates on the calendar:- the first day of practice, the date of the regional final, and the date of the state tournament.

"You've got to have a goal," Mathias said. "And we'll have to beat some good teams to get there."

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