Thursday, May 17, 2012

First-year UIS coach Rooke adds sand, Champaign to recipe

The Energizer Bunny has spent the last few months masquerading as University of Illinois Springfield volleyball coach Noelle Rooke.

Rooke has been on the go since she was hired in March to oversee a program that hasn’t had a winning record since 2007. She experienced a “whirlwind” spring season that introduced the Prairie Stars to an entirely new way of doing things.

“I couldn’t imagine coming in over the summer and the first day being with them would have been the first day of the preseason,” Rooke said. “Give or take we had four weeks together, so that behooved us. I was happy to have it but wish I had more time.”

Rooke, who came from NCAA Division I Mercer, crammed as much as she could into those weeks. She also implemented offensive and defensive systems.

Week One started player evaluations and ended with UIS playing in a tournament at Lincoln Land. More training took place the second week, and tryouts were held.

Rooke was featured in an May 15, 2012, article in the State Journal-Register.

Read the article online