Girls Volleyball: Joliet Catholic knocks off ProvidenceJCA's Angela Vera and Providence's Haley Lahey try to control the ball. | John Patsch~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 2, 2012 8:44PM
Navigating through the loaded Asics Challenge and then facing Providence, defending Class 4A state champ Benet and Marist over two weeks might wear out most teams.
But for Julia Shemaitis and her Joliet Catholic teammates, they welcome the challenge.
Coming off a fifth-place showing at Asics over the weekend, the Angels started a brutal run in the East Suburban Catholic Conference by beating host Providence 25-20, 25-15 on Tuesday.
“I can say 100 percent that we are having so much fun,” Shemaitis said. “This is the most fun I’ve had playing volleyball. The girls have been amazing.”
Shemaitis and Morgan Reardon (three aces, 10 digs) had eight kills apiece for Joliet Catholic (19-2, 5-0), with Sarah Adler (11 digs), Mallory Mangun (20 assists) and Katelyn Seeman (five blocks) also chipping in.
Reardon’s offensive showing helped the Angels pull away in the first set, as the outside hitter slammed five kills during a 13-7 game-closing run that Shemaitis punctuated with a service ace.
Joliet Catholic’s momentum rolled over into the second set while Providence did itself in with errors. In falling behind 15-6, the Celtics committed nine errors. The Angels capitalized, going up as high as 24-13 after an Adler block.
“We got into a rhythm,” Shemaitis said. “Once we win that first game we usually take charge in that second game and try to get things over with fast.”
Providence (18-7, 1-3) was led by Krista Brakauskas (nine assists, five kills), Allie Marthaler (12 digs), Annie Cummings (five kills) and Alyssa Maloney (six kills, four blocks).
“I have six hitters (on the court) who can hit the ball, and I have diggers who can dig the ball,” Providence coach Rachel Ellingson said. “For some reason, the serve-receive isn’t there, and Joliet Catholic passed better than us.”