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updated: 9/8/2012 7:40 PM

Burlington Central's Leavitt gets 600th win

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  • Burlington Central coach Marvin Leavitt talks with his team during a timeout in the 2008 Class 3A state championship match against Joliet Catholic Academy. Leavitt won his 600th career match on Saturday at the DeKalb tournament.

       Burlington Central coach Marvin Leavitt talks with his team during a timeout in the 2008 Class 3A state championship match against Joliet Catholic Academy. Leavitt won his 600th career match on Saturday at the DeKalb tournament.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
 

One could say it's been a good weekend for Burlington Central girls volleyball coach Marv Leavitt.

On Friday night Leavitt's daughter, Haley, gave birth to son Hank, the first grandchild for Leavitt and his wife, Patty.

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Then on Saturday, Leavitt's BC volleyball team went out and won 4 of 5 matches at the DeKalb tournament, earning their eighth-year coach his 600th career win in the process. The Rockets lost to DeKalb in the championship match.

Only 20 other coaches in IHSA history have 600 wins.

"I feel so fortunate to be able to have worked with some great student-athletes and some great coaches," said Leavitt while on the way to see his new grandson Saturday night. "You look back on things and feel good, but I have been very fortunate to have had some pretty good volleyball players over the years."

Leavitt, who has been a head coach for 23 years at three different schools, was first an assistant to Shirley Fasbender in 1985 and 1986 at St. Charles High School when the Saints finished second and fourth at the state finals, respectively. He then became the head coach at St. Charles for 10 years, where he went 267-76, won the Upstate Eight title eight times, won eight regionals and four sectionals. A longtime counselor at Schaumburg High School, Leavitt, who has sent well over 20 players onto Division I programs, stepped away from coaching in 1996 but returned as St. Edward's head coach in 1999. In five years leading the Green Wave he was 146-50 with five regional title and two sectionals. After another two years off, he took the Burlington Central job in 2005 and, in 2008, made his first and so far only trip to state as a head coach, guiding the Rockets to second place in the Class 3A state tournament.

"We've always tried to build a little family wherever I've been," said Leavitt, who lauded his relationship with longtime assistant coach Jim Reed, as well as PJ McKinney among others. "We teach them that it's a team game and we try to make it fun."

The Rockets had some fun for Leavitt Saturday. They beat Belvidere North, DeKalb's JV team, Hampshire and McHenry all in straight sets before losing to the host Barbs in the title match 25-27, 25-15, 25-18.

"The kids played really well," said Leavitt, "even in the loss in the championship game. I'm real pleased with the way they're progressing. We didn't have a player on the floor today taller than 5-9. I'm extremely proud of them."

All-tournament selections Allie O'Reilly (72 digs, 10 aces), Lexie Bouza (15 kills, 4 aces) and Lauren Wiltsie (41 kills, 5 aces, 32 digs) led BC (9-5) on the day. Jess Emrich dished out 104 assists, while Karrington Bell (37 digs, 4 aces), Lauren Pettonen (15 blocks, 12 kills) and Tori Settani (23 blocks, 14 kills) also contributed. The Rockets served 32 aces in the five matches.

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