QND tabs Carthage’s White to be next girls volleyball coach

Danielle White

Danielle White, who led the Carthage seven and eighth grade volleyball teams to top-three finishes at the IESA state tournament in 2023, will be the next Quincy Notre Dame volleyball coach. | Submitted photo

QUINCY — Danielle White has watched enough of the Quincy Notre Dame volleyball team play from afar to understand the kind of drive and determination the Raiders possess.

“Knowing their talent matches their competitiveness is exciting, so is knowing those kids want to be great and work at it,” White said.

It’s done with one thing in mind.

“Our goal is to be at the state tournament at the end of the year,” White said. “We have to believe we can do that.”

She hopes to show them the way. Thursday morning, White was introduced as the next QND volleyball coach, inheriting a team with four returning starters, a depth of talent and the desire to turn the page.

“Danielle brings great enthusiasm, communication skills and love for the game that will help motivate our young ladies on and off the volleyball court,” QND athletic director Bill Connell said.

This will be White’s first head varsity coaching job, but she’s been in charge of the Carthage Middle School program and served as the junior varsity coach at Illini West, including when the Chargers won a regional title in 2017. In 2023, White guided the Carthage eighth grade team to a second-place IESA state finish and the seventh grade squad to a third-place finish.

She is the director of transportation and technology and an administrative bookkeeper for the Carthage Elementary School District.

“What was most intriguing about the QND job was to be able to have the opportunity to lead a program that is already built,” White said. “When I first started coaching at Carthage at the middle school level, everyone knew Carthage for basketball and the volleyball program was null and void.

“It took five or six years to really start seeing the rewards of all the work we put in. At Notre Dame, their success is next to none. Having the opportunity to be a part of that and continue to build what has already been accomplished was really exciting to me.”

White replaces Courtney Kvitle, who resigned in December after six seasons at the helm to better serve her growing family. She and her husband, Jason, have two kids under the age of 5 and a third on the way. Kvitle compiled a 176-24 record with five 30-win seasons, four regional championships and two sectional championships.

Last season, the Raiders finished 32-5 after losing 25-18, 25-14 to Macomb in the Class 2A regional championship.

In the wake of that loss, some drama unfolded as parents made their way to the immediate vicinity of the locker room entrance while the team and coaching staff were decompressing. The parents claimed they were attempting to remove their daughters from what they believed to be a toxic environment.

The QND administration conducted what it termed a “thorough review” of the situation and said it was creating a code of conduct “in support of our coaches to prevent future incidents.”

The situation was discussed during the interview process.

“That’s been in a lot of the conversations with (Connell) and having an understanding of how that process unfolded,” White said. “The only option for me is I get the opportunity with these athletes to move forward. I don’t have a reason to even dwell on it because I wasn’t a part of that.

“My goal is we’re going to move forward and we’re going to continue to build.”

A Carthage native who was a three-sport standout in high school and played volleyball at John Wood Community College, White inherits a team with a three-year starter at setter in Annie Eaton, plus the return of middle blocker Eva Breckenkamp, libero Kourtney Keck and defensive specialist Ashlyn Peters.

Those four are part of the Club Four 17-Boost squad that recently won the USA Volleyball Mideast Qualifier to earn a spot in the national tournament.

“The level they’re playing at is phenomenal,” White said.

Their success should carry over to the fall.

“There are great opportunities ahead for all of us,” White said.

It all comes back to believing it can happen.

“Understanding the potential and getting the athletes to realize the potential and the idea of , ‘Hey, we can do this,’ is something you start from Day 1,” White said. “Once they start to grasp that concept and latch onto that, anything is possible.

“These girls have been really well coached into believing that. Taking that energy and putting that into our effort leads to reaching our goals.”

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