IN THE SPOTLIGHT
A reigning Co-member of the Month at Orangetheory Fitness in Bannockburn knows a thing or two about playing volleyball for the Blue and White at Highland Park High School.
Miranda Mottlowitz is her name, and she is a 5-foot-10 senior outside hitter for the Giants, who went 2-3 at the Summer’s End Tournament at New Trier last weekend and own a 4-5 overall record.
The other Co-member of the Month at Orangetheory Fitness (OF) in Bannockburn?
None other than Mottlowitz’s mother, Lori.
“I started working out there six months ago,” Miranda says of OF, which offers group personal workouts based on high-intensity interval training for those looking for a regimen that is part cardiovascular, part strength-centric.
“It’s great,” she adds. “There’s rowing, lifting. It’s about improving your power and strength and endurance.”
One of HP’s three returning all-Central Suburban League North selectees (with junior outside hitter Ireland Hieb and junior setter Allyson Gordon), Mottlowitz, a third-year varsity member, serves as a reliable front-row presence for Giants coach Beth Peterson’s crew.
A versatile one, too.
Peterson shifted Mottlowitz from outside hitter to right-side hitter after a season-opening, three-set loss to Niles West (a Class 4A Final Four team in 2016) on Aug. 22.
“She’s willing to do whatever it takes to better the team,” Peterson says of Mottlowitz, who finished with 154 kills, 66 digs and 27 aces for a squad that went 18-14 (6-4 in the CSL North) last fall. “Very positive. She keeps her teammates upbeat with her personality and her supportive, encouraging style of leadership.
“I also like her high court IQ.”
The tri-captain (with Gordon and senior outside hitter Dana Pulfer) and Adversity club member looked up to her sister, Maxie, when Maxie played varsity ball at HPHS. Big sis is a 6-foot outside hitter, captain and communication/digital media design major at Lake Forest College these days.
“I loved watching her play when she was in high school,” says Mottlowitz, whose father, Kevin, was a standout wrestler at the University of Illinois and married his Glenbrook South sweetheart. “Always positive, always moving, always on the go. Kept everybody on their toes.”
Mottlowitz ranks third among Giants in kills (48) after nine matches this fall, behind Hieb (72) and junior outside hitter Olivia Carter (57). She struck a combined seven kills in Summer’s End Tournament wins over Argo and Vernon Hills last weekend. Earlier, in a 25-21, 23-25, 25-11 defeat of Niles North on Aug. 29, Mottlowitz smacked a team-high five aces.
“Miranda is consistent and a great teammate,” Pulfer says. “The biggest thing with her — she’s always positive. If someone is feeling down, she’s there with a smile and the willingness to provide energy and a good vibe. You’re never going to see her frown.
“One of my best friends. She’s cool, like a sister to me. She has a shy side, and I see that side off the court. On the court, she’s not shy at all. She’s, ‘My ball, my ball,’ then … boom.”
Mottlowitz’s attack stat (2 kills) was modest in a 29-27, 25-20 home loss to Lake Zurich High School on Aug. 24, but she kept 10 other balls in play and made only one error during a match in which the Giants nearly overcame a 24-19 deficit in the first set.
“Bring energy, no matter where I’m playing,” Mottlowitz, a former club member of Crystal Lake-based Sky High Volleyball, says of her primary role on the 2017 crew. “I like to make sure we’re all together and see to it that my teammates make the right choices.”
A question for her teammates: “Orange” you glad Miranda Mottlowitz is a Giants spiker?
Notable: Highland Park junior outside hitter Ireland Hieb blasted a team-high 14 kills in a 25-19, 25-19 defeat of Argo at the Summer’s End Tournament at New Trier on Sept. 2. Classmate and setter Allyson Gordon lofted 21 assists and had four digs. In opening day action a day earlier, HP thumped Vernon Hills 25-13, 25-13 behind a balanced attack. Ireland, senior Miranda Mottlowitz, junior Olivia Carter and sophomore Georgia Sullivan each finished with three kills. Hieb added three aces, and junior Ella Weil provided plenty of stability from her defensive-specialist spot. … Weil contributed 12 digs and three aces in HP’s 25-15, 17-25, 25-17 win over Antioch High School on Aug. 31. Carter hammered 12 kills, and Gordon amassed 33 assists. … HP got 13 more kills from Hieb and 28 assists and 11 digs from Gordon in a three-set Central Suburban League North victory over Niles North on Aug. 29.