Clare Urchell has been a steadying force all season for Providence.
It’s safe to say she’s got a little Providence Celtics in her blood.
Brothers and sisters, cousins … the Urchell history is a rich one at Providence.
“My brother Brian played four years on varsity and his junior year that team went to state, finished fourth,” Urchell said. “My sister, Katie, was on varsity all four years, too. It was definitely a goal to play [here]. I was always going to games as a kid.”
Urchell’s cousins, Nora and Colleen Mitros, were also key contributors to the varsity squad.
A 5-7 senior outside hitter, Urchell is a starter for the Celtics, but this is no legacy spot. She earned it, and intends to make the most of her senior season.
Through Providence’s first 22 matches, the outside hitter totaled 101 kills, 118 digs and 21 aces.
Providence coach Rachel Ellingson said this was the first season the players voted for team captain. Urchell was one of four voted to be a captain, along with Leah Alles, Allison Errthum and Maggie Turk.
Having grown up around the program, Urchell didn’t blink at the chance to be a captain. Her goal? Don’t let the team get too high or too low.
“We’ve got a good thing going. We click, and we’re comfortable with each other,” Urchell said. “I try not to get too crazy out on the court. We can get a little crazy, a little caught up in the moment so we need someone to slow it down.”
Ellingson has come to count on Urchell’s calm on-court demeanor. As well, the experience gained during her junior season has paid big dividends.
“When Clare is on the court, she is our most steady and consistent player out there,” Ellingson said. “She has more of an understanding of the game. Even though she’s little, she can jump and is a go-to girl. In a pinch, she’ll be there for us all over the net.”
Urchell has not decided on a college, but she’s leaning toward Illinois, which her brother, Brian, and her sister Katie, attend, or Indiana. Club volleyball is a possibility.
In the meantime, she’s hoping the Celtics can keep coming to play match in and match out.
“We want to win the big games,” Urchell said. “In conference (East Suburban Catholic), we want a winning record, and to win it would be awesome. We can do it. All teams are beatable.”
It’s that mind-set Ellingson has come to count on.
“She is a leader. That’s what Urchells’ and Mitros’ are,” Ellingson said. “It’s a family trail. Clare is just a good kid who represents what Providence is about.”