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Risco's Burnett to play volleyball for Shawnee

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Brittany Burnett, a senior at Risco High School, signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Shawnee Community College in Ullin, Ill. on Thursday afternoon. Pictured with Burnett are front row, from left: SCC assistant coach Erin Martin and Burnett. Back row, from left are: her mother Sheila Burnett, father Danny Burnett and Risco volleyball coach as well as aunt, Laura Pavy.
RISCO -- The recent success of Shawnee Community College has caught the attention of numerous local volleyball talent over the recent years.

Brittany Burnett has also taken notice.

Burnett, a senior from Risco High School, signed a letter of intent to join the Saints on Thursday afternoon to help keep Shawnee on that same path.

"I've tried out at a lot of different colleges, but I could tell by their program that they are a huge success," Burnett said. "They're very competitive."

Burnett was the Tri-County Conference Player of the Year just this past season leading her squad in almost every statistical category. As an outside hitter for the Lady Tigers in her senior year, she accumulated 94 kills, 56 aces and 37 assists. Burnett's accuracy was outstanding as both a server and her spikes. She hit 82.6 percent of her serves while converting 81.4 percent of her spikes.

She also led the Lady Tigers to a 8-10-2 record in 2009 but fell to Oran in the first round of the Class 1, District 2 tournament last year. She is believed to hold several, if not all, volleyball school records for Risco High School in a four-year career.

"Every year since I've been a freshman we've picked up speed and we've picked up pace," Burnett said about her career at Risco. "A small town school playing bigger schools around here was a little tough but, we pulled out around half of our games with wins. It was very good for our school."

Burnett has been playing volleyball since she was in fifth grade. Her aunt, Laura Pavy, has been her coach for as long as she could remember. Pavy is the head volleyball coach at Risco.

"She was always willing to do anything we asked of her," Pavy said. "She always encouraged the girls and was very uplifting. She dominated on the serves and spikes but she brought a lot of herself to the team."

Along with being the conference player of the year, Burnett has been named to the first team All-District squad. There were also two other nods to the second team All-Conference team during her sophomore and junior seasons. She has also received a few post-season recognitions in softball as well.

"I started at a young age and I play summer ball every year for different teams and travel all over," said Burnett.

Currently an assistant coach at Shawnee, Erin Martin, who is expected to take over the head coaching position next season, saw a lot of promise in one of her first recruits that will be playing under her direction.

"I think that has got a lot of talent," Martin said. "I liked her size -- we're looking for taller girls this year. She's very athletic and I think she's going to be great.

"I think she will be a tremendous asset to the team."

Shawnee finished with a 31-9 regular season record just past season but, losses to Illinois Central College and Lincoln Land Community College ended the Saints' post-season run. They were an overall 32-11 team.

In the last 14 years, the Saints have had a winning record all but once. Martin was a member of the Saint's squad that started that trend 14 years ago.

Burnett, who would like to major in education at SCC, will be following in the footsteps of many local volleyball standouts from the likes of Bell City, Leopold and Twin Rivers in her first year with the Saints.