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Sports Spotlight: Cross Country and Volleyball

Due to having only one eVision issue in October, this month our Sports Spotlight focuses on two teams: Cross Country and Volleyball. For Cross Country, Coach Neal Masterson nominated sophomores Ben Kelly and Maci Hoskins, who will compete at semi-state on Saturday. (Tickets are $8 and must be purchased in advance.) It is the first trip for Ben and the second for Maci. Ben placed 23rd at last Saturday’s regional, and Maci finished seventh. The remaining team members also competed at regional, including junior Sarah Boehm, who placed 59th, and sophomore Erica Voelker, who placed 66th. For the boys — all juniors — Garrett Huber placed 42nd, Kaden Connin 52nd (with a personal record), Akhil Long 67th, and Will Harper 75th.

For Volleyball, Coach Terri (Blunk) Purichia ’90 nominated seniors Anna Purichia and Ali Hornung, Anna for her the leadership role she has taken on this season and Ali for her success on the court and serving as a role model to younger players. Also of note, Ali is one of 25 finalists for MaxPreps National Player of the Year.

The Volleyball team defeated Seymour and Floyd Central in three sets each last weekend to win its 10th sectional in as many years. The team will play in the sold out 4A Bloomington North Regional at 11 a.m. on Saturday, with finals at 7:00 p.m. Games will be livestreamed on the team’s Facebook page.

Read below for Q&As with the players.

Anna Purichia, senior, Volleyball, outside hitter, fourth season PHS, playing since age 6, House of Integrity, club volleyball
College plans: Playing volleyball at Eastern Kentucky University, considering majoring in pre-dental

From Coach Purichia: Anna has taken on a big leadership role with our team this season.  The seniors had several zoom meetings with me in the off season designing what they would like the season to look like.  Anna did a lot of research on her own and talked to vendors on her own to make sure that every detail possible was taken care of in the way the senior class wanted it to be. She communicates messages to the team, and helps to keep everyone well informed.  She has really done a great job helping the younger players get acclimated to our program through her guidance!

Question: What has been the highlight of your senior season?
Anna: The highlight of my season has definitely been having a season! We weren’t sure what it was going to look like during the summer, and we were all worried that the possibly we may not even have a season was going to become reality! I am so thankful for each and every game and practice I have had with my amazing teammates!

Q: How did you get started playing volleyball?
AP: I have played volleyball since I was 6 years old. I got started (obviously) because my mom lives and breathes volleyball, and I grew up around the sport, so it is something that has always been and will always be a huge part of my life.

Q: What do you enjoy about volleyball?
AP: I love the intensity of the sport! It is the best feeling when you are in a close match, and your physical and mental capabilities are being tested! That feeling of energy and adrenaline is the best! And it is a bonus that I get to play the sport with my best friends, and have met some of the most important people in my life through volleyball!

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
AP: My favorite part about begin a Pioneer is the image that comes with the title! I love how being a Pioneer means you are known for your dignity, strong academics and athletics, and faith! Being a Pioneer to me is wearing the name Providence on my back and having pride in doing so!

Q: How are you making the most of your senior year?
AP: I am making the most of senior year by putting as much effort into my academics as I do into my sports and extracurricular activities, to really prepare myself for college, as well as trying to go to as many sports events as possible and support my fellow Pioneers!

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
AP: My favorite school subject is either science or art. I love science, mainly anatomy (which her father, Jeff Purichia teaches), because I love learning about all the different ways that our bodies work, and art because I love to be creative and I find it very relaxing and a great pass time!

Q: Coach Purichia mentioned you took on a big leadership role this year, researching items to get the team’s requests fulfilled and bringing the freshmen on board. What have you enjoyed about being a leader?
AP: I have waited four years to finally be able to be considered a “big dog” on the team. Having that title may be intimidating at first, because of the status and image that Providence Volleyball upholds, but I was definitely excited to face the challenge head on. Of course, my teammates make it easy being a leader because they are always listening and observing, wanting to get better each and every day, and I have loved being able to get to know each and every one of them, not just as my teammates, but as some of my closest friends!

Q: What is it like having your mom as your coach?
AP: My mom being my coach is not a new thing, as I have played for her for the majority of my life, and while it does present some challenges, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel as if volleyball is one of our biggest ways to bond, and I know that no matter who I am playing, how I am paying, who I am playing with, she will always have my back, and that is a luxury that not many players get to have! I will definitely miss seeing her at practice every day once I graduate, but it truly has been the best four years!

Ali Hornung, senior, Volleyball, outside hitter, fourth season, playing since age 7, House of Integrity, Student Ambassador, Lector, Eucharistic Minister, and National Honor Society.
College Plans: Playing volleyball at Purdue University where she will get to play one last year with her sister Marissa.

From Coach Puriciah: Ali has had an absolutely amazing career at Providence! She is a top-notch athlete, student, and young lady! She is an outstanding role model for younger players to one day dream of being!

Question: What has been the highlight of your senior season?
Ali: The highlight of my senior season has just been being able to play the full season without missing a game. I know so many people who haven’t been able to play their full season because of COVID-19. I am grateful that I have been able to have a senior season, and I am even more grateful that I have been able to spend it with this particular group of teammates and coaches.

Q: How did you get started playing volleyball?
AH: I have been playing volleyball for 12 years. My mom (Kelly Quinkert-Hornung ’87) played volleyball at Providence and Indiana University, and both of my sisters played, so I was destined to play too!

Q: What do you enjoy about volleyball?
AH: The thing I enjoy most about volleyball is how fast paced and competitive it is. There are not many times when I am just standing around because there is always something going on. Volleyball in Indiana is super competitive because there is a ton of talent, and I have loved every minute of competing against that talent.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
AH: My favorite part about being a Pioneer is the relationships I have made with friends, teachers, coaches, etc. Everyone at Providence genuinely cares about one another and will always be there for support. It is a very close community, and I am so grateful for that.

Q: How are you making the most of your senior year?
AH: I am making the most of my senior year by trying to stay as involved as possible. I try to participate in as much as I can and attend as many events as I can because it is my last year as a student, and it will go by so quick.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
AH: My favorite subject in school is art because I love to be creative. There is not just one way to do things in art, you can pretty much do the things you like the way you want. Our art teachers are pretty great too!

Q: Coach mentioned you are a role model for younger players. Who has been your role model during your volleyball career?
AH: My sisters have been my role models during my volleyball career. I grew up watching them play pretty much every week. Even though they were so different on the court, they were both amazing, so I always have looked up to them.

Q: What does the sport of volleyball mean to your family?
AH: Volleyball has meant so much to my family. It is something we all enjoy doing and watching, and it has taken us to so many amazing places. It is something that makes us closer as a family because we all love it so much, and it is something we always support one another in.

Benjamin Kelly, sophomore, Cross Country, second season, running since fifth grade, House of Integrity, Math Team, Boys Track, and basketball.

Question: What was the highlight of your regular season?
Ben: The highlight of my season was running 17:11 for the 5K at the Trinity/Valkyrie Invitational.

Q: How did you get started running?
BK: I started running in fifth grade for Southern Indiana Catholic because my younger brother wanted to run, and I wanted to try it out too. I liked it and decided keep running in high school.

Q: What do you enjoy about running?
BK: I enjoy running because if I want to improve in the sport, I can just work harder. In running you just rely on yourself and how hard you’ve worked.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
BK: My favorite part of being a Pioneer is having support in everything I do from the school community.

Q: What is your favorite school subjec
BK: My favorite subject is math because there are always a lot of different ways to get the answer.

Maci Hoskins, sophomore, Cross Country, second season, running for nine years, House of Courage, Girls Soccer, Girls Basketball, Girls Track.
Question: What was the highlight of your regular season?
Maci: The highlight of my season was my race at CERAland Park near Columbus. I ran my personal record of 19:20 and set a new school record.

Q: How did you get started running?
MH: I started cross country because I was looking for another fall sport and was originally going to play softball but I decided to try running and loved it.

Q: What do you enjoy about running?
MH: I love the individuality of running. I also love to compete, whether it’s friendly bets with the boys or racing down the stretch. The competition of cross country makes me love it even more. Cross country also challenges my mind and body, and I love being able to improve and reach goals, knowing that my physical and mental strength gets stronger and stronger.

Q: What is your favorite part about being a Pioneer?
MH: I love the closeness of the PHS students, especially at sporting events when everyone is excited and cheering.

Q: What is your favorite school subject?
MH: I love my Weightlifting class! Weightlifting is super fun and improves my athletic ability.

Q: What are the challenges and rewards of playing two sports at once?
MH: The main challenges are time management, strain on my body, and finding time to do school work. However, the rewards of playing two sports that I absolutely love are getting to be teammates with all the soccer girls and the Cross Country team. Those friendships and bonds are my favorite and keep me motivated to continue to do both sports.

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