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updated: 8/15/2012 4:32 PM

Big plans for Benet's Doyle, Rurka

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Two Benet athletes just firmed up their college plans.

Sheila Doyle, a senior libero on the Benet volleyball team, recently committed to North Carolina and Julianne Rurka, a junior third baseman for the softball Redwings, announced her intentions to play collegiately at Providence.

Doyle, who plays club for 1st Alliance, was a starter on Benet's Class 4A state championship team last fall. Her club team finished 10th in the 17 Open level at the AAU National Championships this summer. Doyle was also recently named to the Defense Dandies list recognizing the best defenders in the nation.

"Sheila is young in terms of how many years she has been playing volleyball," Benet coach Brad Baker said, "but she already plays defense and serve receives at an elite level. Her upside and potential is extremely high."

"I am thrilled for the opportunity to attend North Carolina," Doyle said. "The excellent academic reputation provides the perfect setting for my college career."

In her first two years at Benet, Rurka has emerged as perhaps the best third baseman in the Chicago area. The two-time Daily Herald All-Area selection hit .555 with 10 doubles, 4 homers, 47 runs scored and 55 RBI as a sophomomore this past spring for the 32-5 Redwings. She was named First Team All-American by the National Fastpitch Softball Association.

As a freshman in 2011 Rurka hit .493 with 22 doubles, 5 homers and 41 RBI in helping lead Benet to its first state softball appearance.

"Nobody brings the combination of hitting and defense that this kid does at third base," Benet coach Jerry Schilf said. "The exciting thing is I got two more years with this kid. It kind of amazes me that after her sophomore year of high school she knows where she wants to go to college and has worked hard enough for them to offer."

Indeed, Providence was the school Rurka has targeted as her preferred destination for some time. She has made two visits there and also attended a camp. Loyola was the only other college to offer at this point.

"I really liked the area and it seemed like a good fit," Rurka said. "I'm so lucky. I know some girls have a first and second choice, and they don't get to the point where they can go to that school. I'm fortunate that the opportunity was handed to me."

Follow Joshua's high school sports reports on Twitter@jwelge96.

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