ELMWOOD PARK — Amy Lorenz knew she had to improve her skills this season after Guerin’s top player in volleyball and basketball — Becky Bartnicki — graduated in the spring.
Lorenz has responded to the challenge and is dominating on the volleyball court with the basketball season only a month and a half away.
“Filling her shoes was a big responsibility,” Lorenz said. “I’m a senior and basically taking over her spot in volleyball and basketball. It was a little intimidating at first because she’s an amazing player, but I think I’m doing well so far.”
Lorenz, who also plays softball at the River Grove school, has been able to stay calm on the court despite the new responsibilities.
“She doesn’t ever seem to get frazzled by any type of adversity, and she takes on all challenges,” Guerin volleyball coach Paul Bartnicki said. “She doesn’t always succeed, but it doesn’t affect her like it would most girls. She’s able to get past her mistakes.”
“She’s the sweetest and nicest person,” teammate Taylor Stevens said. “She pushes everyone but never gets down on herself or anyone else. She just says, ‘Oh, well,’ and moves on to the next point.”
Lorenz started the season as a middle hitter but wasn’t seeing enough action, so Bartnicki moved her to the outside. The position change has paid off.
“We moved her to the outside about two weeks ago and she has really flourished,” Bartnicki said. “She’s getting three times as many sets as she was, and she leads the team in kills. The setters look to her to get out of any sticky situations.”
Lorenz had six kills, four aces and three digs in the Gators’ 25-11, 25-22 win over Elmwood Park on Sept. 25, and she’s loving her new role.
“I’m feeling great, and I’m always very confident in how I play,” Lorenz said. “If I make a mistake, it’s going to be a mistake where I hit it hard out of bounds and not a soft one into the net.”
The Gators (8-8, 1-5) have struggled in the Metro Suburban East.
“I’m really happy with how we play and how we encourage each other,” Lorenz said. “Everyone has been contributing. I’m really happy with this new conference change and seeing new faces. I think now that we’ve seen all the teams, we’ll do much better in the second go-around.”
Lorenz was called up to the volleyball team as a freshman and was on the varsity basketball team for half of her sophomore season before she experienced a setback.
Playing in a JV game, Lorenz tore her left Achilles. While it took seven months to rehab, it gave her time to appreciate each of the sports she plays at Guerin.
“It was my first major injury, and I didn’t think about the pain I was in or the surgery I would need,” Lorenz said. “I just thought about if I would be able to get back on the court for any of my sports. I was so active and now I had nothing to do. … But I stayed positive throughout everything, and getting back on the court is what pushed me through it.”