Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Family Court: Sisters guilty of bein’ good

For sophomore outside hitter Caity DuPont, volleyball is a family game, with both her older sisters also playing the sport.

"Every since I was in fifth grade, volleyball has been a part of our household," Dupont’s oldest sister Julie said in an e-mail. "Caity joined the club volleyball team at a young age, so we were all playing volleyball together for a long time. We basically lived volleyball during the fall when the school leagues were in session and then continued to play through the beginning of the summer when club finished.

"We always supported each other and have great parents who were willing to follow us everywhere."


And according to head coach Pete Waite, DuPont’s upbringing in volleyball has contributed to who she is as a player today.

"Julie DuPont going ahead of her was really instrumental in Caity becoming who she is as a player," Waite said. "[Caity] was probably dragged along to all of Julie’s matches in high school.

"It’s a volleyball family. Alicia DuPont goes to school here at Wisconsin, and she plays on the club volleyball team here. It’s a family who loves the sport, and they have played a lot of it together."

Julie DuPont was a standout volleyball player at the University of Cincinnati from 2001-04. During her four-year career, she accumulated numerous awards including being named to the third team All American following her junior season and back-to-back Conference USA Player of the Year awards in 2003 and 2004. She also became the Bearcats’ all-time kills leader with 2,137 kills, good for a 4.69 kills per game average. "Julie is an amazing player," Caity DuPont said. "When you think of a hard working player, it’s Julie. She was always on top of everything and always a leader from her freshman year on. There was never a lazy moment for her."

Because of the experience Julie gained by starting for four years at Cincinnati, Caity DuPont turns to her sister — currently a volunteer assistant coach at UW-Milwaukee — for advice on her game a lot.

"She helps me when I am frustrated and gives me tips," Caity DuPont said. "She just helps me with my game. I wish she could be here more, but I understand she’s busy."

However, Julie realizes that the two are different players and tries to let DuPont learn on her own as well.

"I have the unique point of view in the family because I have been in the collegiate weight room, in the practice gym at 6 a.m., on the long trips and on the court during the tough matches," Julie DuPont said. "If Caity asks, I tell her what I think about a situation, but I also have learned that she has to have her own experience and learn for herself.

"If my experience taught me anything, it is that those four years go very fast and it is up to you to make the best of it."

Even though the two are different players, Caity DuPont has seemed to copy one area of Julie’s game — her work ethic.

"[DuPont] has got one of the hardest work ethics out of any player out of any sport that I’ve every played in," senior setter Jackie Simpson said. "I think that just shows the team that she really wants to be out there and doing a lot for us."

While Caity DuPont did not start right away as a freshman like her sister did, she did get some significant court time when senior Maria Carlini went down with a foot injury.

"Being thrown in there was a great experience," Caity DuPont said. "It was unfortunate that [Carlini] got hurt, but I jumped at the opportunity. I went in there and played like I had nothing to lose because really I didn’t. It just helped me get some court experience."

During her limited playing time last year, DuPont averaged 1.6 kills per game. However, she had her coming out match against Purdue last year when she put down a career high nine kills while chipping in with three digs.

"She actually came in one match at home against Purdue and tore them up," Waite said. "That was huge for her to gain confidence and to know that she could play against anyone in the Big Ten."

However, Waite sees the time DuPont spent on the bench watching Carlini play to be just as valuable as the court time she received last year.

"Any time you are on the side watching what the upperclassman in that position is doing well, and you can work on as a player yourself," Waite said. "[Carlini] was very good in the backcourt and (with) ball handling. She played all the way around most of the time. [Carlini] was a very good blocker, and [DuPont] is picking up some of the blocking techniques from her.

[DuPont] is her own player, though. She is very aggressive, very intense in the front row and has some great shots."

Now as a sophomore, Caity DuPont is trying to take all the experience she gained last year to earn a starting spot opposite fellow sophomore Brittany Dolgner.

"[DuPont] is a great hitter and has an amazing line shot," Simpson said. "She always has a great attitude, and that is something in a hitter that is pretty neat, just to know that even if they make a mistake you can always go back to them."

So far this season, DuPont is averaging 2.32 kills per game.

However, she is currently battling with freshman Allison Wack for that coveted starting spot. Even though that means DuPont is not starting every game, the competition between her and Wack is helping her to become a better player.

"[It forces me] to not be lazy," DuPont said of the competition with Wack. "If you’re lazy, you’ve lost your opportunity."

Besides focusing on the offensive aspects of her game, DuPont has worked hard this season to improve her defense, which in the long run will help her get more court time.

"She is really working hard on her back row defense," Waite said. "Throughout high school they were putting in defense players coming in off the bench, and that is what they do in high school and club sometimes. Now she is getting reps in practices where she is making good progress and getting more comfortable all the time."

Regardless of if she eventually wins the starting spot, DuPont’s sister is proud of what she has accomplished so far.

"I am proud that she has found a way to continue to play with excitement and passion for the game," Julie DuPont said. "She can be a spark, and it is fun to watch her play."

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