Athletic excellence is part of St. Rita High School's 110-year-old tradition. Head Volleyball Coach Brian Hagen '04 is well aware of that fact. So, Coach Hagen made capturing the conference title a priority. In only his second season in charge of the program, the Mustangs ensured themselves at least a share of the 2016 Chicago Catholic League (CCL) Boys Volleyball title, with a come-from-behind win at home over Augustinian-rival Providence Catholic on Senior Night, Monday, May 2, 2016.
Before the game, the Mustang faithful and many grade school students in the crowd honored the St. Rita senior players and their parents in a Senior Night Ceremony. Those seniors are: Danny Ashe (St. Cahterine), Tim Carroll (St. Christina), Tommy Houlihan (St. Catherine), Michael Long (St. John Fisher), Aidan Mitchell (St. Germaine), Sean Noone (Finley Jr. High), and Carlos Tenorio, (St. Mary-Riverside).
After losing the first set to Providence 17-25, the Mustangs never gave up. Strong performances by A. Mitchell (11 kills 4 blocks, 7 digs) Sean Coghlan (8 kills/St. Cajetan), Brendan Murney (7 kills/St. Alexander) and Long (28 assists) helped the Mustangs effort to win the second and third sets by scores of 25-15 and 25-17 and remain undefeated in the CCL.
Coach Hagen praised his student-athletes after the game. He said, "We stress hard work, preparation and execution. When a team works hard together, eventually success follows. I am pleased with the the way our guys played tonight against a very competitive Providence team. We look forward to more hard work and strong competition."
The Mustangs now look to stay undefeated in the CCL and win the title outright. The upcoming schedule includes what should be exciting games against Br. Rice on Thursday, May 4 on the road and Tuesday, May 10 at home.