Performance: Notre Dame Prep's Maddy Chinn

September 14, 2017

Maddy Chinn
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep  junior - Volleyball

Notre Dame Prep, one of the elite programs in Michigan with two Class B titles over the last decade, is ranked No. 1 again with a record of 24-2-2. The Fighting Irish have played 12 state-ranked teams – 10 ranked in Class A – and Saturday downed Class A No. 7 Temperance Bedford in the semifinal and then reigning Class C champion and top-ranked Bronson in the final to win the Battle Creek Lakeview Invitational. Chinn had 14 kills in the two-set semifinal and 21 in the three-set championship match to earn the first Michigan Army National Guard “Performance of the Week” of the 2017-18 school year.

The 6-foot-3 outside hitter has been on varsity since freshman year, participating in three rotations starting out, five last season and now all six. She made the Class B all-state second team as a freshman and the first team last season – and this fall she’s averaging 4.3 kills per game with a .339 hitting percentage and .453 kill percentage. But she contributes all over the floor, serving for 105 points and 36 aces in 63 games so far, with 48 blocks and 167 digs as well. Her 682 kills as a sophomore qualified for the MHSAA record book for a single season, and her 1,484 career kills through Wednesday already make that list as well although she has the better part of two seasons to play. Chinn should finish as one of the most celebrated players to take the court for longtime coach Betty Wroubel, the third-winningest volleyball coach in MHSAA history. 

Chinn has earned national recognition as well and committed to sign next year with Purdue University, currently ranked No. 15 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. She carries a 4.0 grade-point average and plans to major in dentistry when that time comes; in the meantime, she’ll try to lead Notre Dame Prep to its first MHSAA title since 2013 and after the Irish fell in a Regional Semifinal last season to eventual champion North Branch.

Coach Betty Wroubel said: “Yes, being 6-3 helps in volleyball, but height alone isn’t going to get it done. She’s a student of the game, she works hard in the game, and it’s so much more than stats. Her leadership on and off the court is exemplary, up there with the top kids I’ve worked with. And it’s not just hitting; she wants to be the best defender, she wants to be the best server, she wants to do it all. She has a high volleyball IQ, and her biggest improvement has been her ability to read what the other team is doing offensively, what they’re trying to do to stop her … for someone so young to be able to see that, it’s pretty special.”

Performance Point: “In practice, we've been putting a lot of work in, not just calling the ball, but letting each other know what spots are open and analyzing the other side of the net to find and expose the other team's weaknesses,” Chinn said. “We've been working really hard on that, and I thought that came together a lot to help us be in the finals. My (biggest contribution is) communication, to deliver the information that I see to each individual teammate in a unique way which is best for them … I want to be someone they can look to for calmness and confidence in us as a team, especially in pressure situations. The Bronson game, I think we mentally and physically prepared ourselves to play them. I thought we just really performed well and were in sync.”

Time to lead: “As my role has expanded on the court, I’d say my vocalization on the court has expanded too. The more I’ve been on the court, the more I can express to my teammates some shots they can hit, what we can be reading, and I feel like the more I’m on the court, the more I can help my teammates – which is really important to me. Being a good teammate, I think, includes putting them in the most successful position they can be in.”

Another year wiser: “The game is slowing down even when we play high-level competition. For example, the Mercy game I saw things I wouldn’t have seen a year ago, like reading their shoulders and their arms and where they’re facing and their hips and anticipating what’s going to happen next. And being there before they even know where they’re going to put the ball.”

Learning from a legend: “Honestly, it's an honor to be an athlete and to have (Wroubel) as my coach. I've learned so much over the three years already I've been here. I can't say I go a day without learning something new or adjusting something that will help me now and in the future.”

Paging Dr. Chinn: “I’m going to major in dentistry. I think it would be really interesting, and I could do some good things in that area. I’ve always been into the medical field, and I think being an orthodontist – I’m really into math and sciences – I think that would be a great place for me.”

Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2017-18 school year, Second Half and the Michigan Army National Guard will recognize a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.

The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom or protect lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster. 

PHOTOS: (Top) Pontiac Notre Dame Prep's Maddy Chinn receives the ball during a match this fall. (Middle) Chinn rises to begin her swing on a kill attempt. (Photos by Kim Bucchi.)

2023 WISL Award Honoree Glass Continuing to Create Leaders On Court & Off

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

March 2, 2023

Hailing from one of Michigan’s smallest communities, Laurie Glass has made an impact that continues to connect all over Michigan.

But her impact on women’s athletics began long before a career that has seen the longtime Leland volleyball coach become one of the winningest in her sport in state history.

As a high school junior in 1976, she recruited seven classmates and a coach to form Leland’s first girls sports team – for basketball – and the same group then played volleyball that winter. She was a senior and major contributor when, during their second season, the Comets won the 1978 Class D volleyball championship.

More than four decades later, Glass is a Michigan legend in that sport – a winner of 1,218 matches with Leland and Traverse City Central and three Finals championships with the Comets. She’s also a nationally-recognized voice in volleyball and women’s athletics as a whole – and this year’s MHSAA Women in Sports Leadership honoree for those many and continuing contributions.

“Because I’m a teacher and coach, that’s my desire to help the youth be the best they could be. And if I can impact a coach or impact another district or program, that means I’m affecting more youth in a positive way,” Glass said. “So for me, it’s just the ripple effect; it gets a lot bigger when I’m starting little drops in other places. So I can affect the hundreds of kids that I’ve seen go through Leland, or I can impact the larger audience by impacting coaches or impacting kids in other places that can then impact other people. It allows me a wider audience for wanting to help young women to be their best young woman self in however way I can make that happen.”

Each year, the Representative Council considers the achievements of women coaches, officials and athletic administrators affiliated with the MHSAA who show exemplary leadership capabilities and positive contributions to athletics.

Leland finished 49-13 this past season and reached the Division 4 Quarterfinals. Glass has a record of 1,218-393-122 over more than three decades as a varsity volleyball coach, having led the Comets for a combined 29 seasons over three tenures, the first beginning with the 1989-90 winter season and later picking up with her most recent return for Fall 2010. She also coached Traverse City Central for four seasons beginning in 1991-92.

Glass passes the championship trophy to her team after the Comets won the 2015 Class D title.Glass led Leland to Class D Finals championships in 2002, 2006 and 2015, and runner-up finishes in Class D in 2014 and Division 4 in 2018 and 2019. She was named to the Michigan Interscholastic Volleyball Coaches Association (MIVCA) Hall of Fame in 2006, and selected as national Coach of the Year in volleyball in 2014 by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association. She’s a three-time MIVCA Coach of the Year and was named Michigan High School Coaches Association (MHSCA) Coach of the Year for volleyball in 2015. She also was a finalist for National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) national Coach of the Year in 2014. 

Glass has spoken multiple times at the MHSAA Women In Sports Leadership Conference and several times at the MIVCA Coaches Clinic, and among various other engagements was the featured speaker at the Nebraska Athletic Association Coaches Clinic. She will receive the Women In Sports Leadership Award during the MHSAA Division 1 Girls Basketball Final on March 18 at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center.

“Laurie Glass is recognized most on the statewide level for leading one of the most successful volleyball programs in state history. But she is known among her peers most for the way she teaches not only volleyball but life skills to her athletes,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “Her leadership creates more leaders, be they the athletes who have the opportunity to play for her or the coaches who learn from her and receive her mentorship.”   

Glass’ roots are in one of the most accomplished athletic families in Michigan high school history.

Her father Larry Glass coached Northwestern University’s men’s basketball program from 1963-69, and later took over the Leland girls basketball program and led the Comets to a 388-110 record and three straight Class D Finals championships (1980-82) over two tenures from 1977-91 and 2000-05. Laurie’s sister Rebecca McKee played basketball at Leland and Michigan State University, and her brother Michael Glass played basketball at Lansing Community College before also becoming a high school and college coach.

Laurie also coached and parented arguably the most accomplished volleyball player – and perhaps top female athlete across all sports – in Michigan high school history. Her daughter Alisha Glass-Childress graduated from Leland in 2006 with national records for career kills, aces and blocks, and the first two still top those respective lists. Alisha, also an all-state basketball player, went on to star on the volleyball court at Penn State and as the U.S. Olympic team setter in 2016 in helping that team to the bronze medal.

Larry Glass’ lessons still ring true as Laurie passes them on to another generation. One of her favorite sayings from her father was “you can’t take money out of the bank until you put money in” – in essence, a coach can’t expect athletes to accept criticism or a hard ask if that coach first hasn’t invested in them. Another of her dad’s themes involved making sure players learned fundamentals at young ages and improved on them at all levels, whether they won games or not during those early years. As one of his middle school coaches, that stuck with her, and it remains a basic component of her coaching.

“I’ve always said that we compete with teams that are way more athletic, have all the things on paper that should beat us. And the fact that we know how to be a really good team is what allows us to beat people who on paper should be better than us,” Laurie Glass said. “I’ve always valued the time spent on culture and team because that’s the advantage we hold. We’re never going to be the tallest or most talented – Alisha being the anomaly, of course.”

Laurie Glass has served on the MIVCA Executive Board, including as president, and is a member of the MHSCA and American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Locally, her program annually hosts the Forever Dig Abby match in honor of former player Abby Gross, who died after a fight against cancer in 2015. Proceeds most years go to benefit another community member battling the disease, and this past season went to a fund for efforts related to ovarian cancer.  

Glass has served nearly 35 years in education and retired from her duties as a behavior intervention specialist and special education teacher in the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District in 2019. She has returned to the school setting, however, and is in her second year as a behavior intervention specialist at Leland.

Glass earned a bachelor’s degree in special education with an endorsement in emotional impairment from Western Michigan University in 1988, and has done master-level coursework in education administration and technology. She also is a certified instructor for the Crisis Prevention Institute. Glass first attended Grand Valley State University and played a season of volleyball before transferring. (NOTE: Glass also coached the Kalamazoo Central varsity for two seasons during the mid-1980s. Those records are unavailable currently but will be added to her overall record when research is complete.)

Past Women In Sports Leadership Award Winners

1990 – Carol Seavoy, L’Anse 
1991 – Diane Laffey, Harper Woods
1992 – Patricia Ashby, Scotts
1993 – Jo Lake, Grosse Pointe
1994 – Brenda Gatlin, Detroit
1995 – Jane Bennett, Ann Arbor
1996 – Cheryl Amos-Helmicki, Huntington Woods
1997 – Delores L. Elswick, Detroit
1998 – Karen S. Leinaar, Delton
1999 – Kathy McGee, Flint 
2000 – Pat Richardson, Grass Lake
2001 – Suzanne Martin, East Lansing
2002 – Susan Barthold, Kentwood
2003 – Nancy Clark, Flint
2004 – Kathy Vruggink Westdorp, Grand Rapids 
2005 – Barbara Redding, Capac
2006 – Melanie Miller, Lansing
2007 – Jan Sander, Warren Woods
2008 – Jane Bos, Grand Rapids
2009 – Gail Ganakas, Flint; Deb VanKuiken, Holly
2010 – Gina Mazzolini, Lansing
2011 – Ellen Pugh, West Branch; Patti Tibaldi, Traverse City
2012 – Janet Gillette, Comstock Park
2013 – Barbara Beckett, Traverse City
2014 – Teri Reyburn, DeWitt
2015 – Jean LaClair, Bronson
2016 – Betty Wroubel, Pontiac
2017 – Dottie Davis, Ann Arbor
2018 – Meg Seng, Ann Arbor
2019 – Kris Isom, Adrian
2020 – Nikki Norris, East Lansing
2021 – Dorene Ingalls, St. Ignace
2022 – Lori Hyman, Livonia

PHOTOS (Top) Leland coach Laurie Glass confers with one of her players during the 2019 Division 4 Final at Kellogg Arena. (Middle) Glass passes the championship trophy to her team after the Comets won the 2015 Class D title.