Girls volleyball: St Francis downs RosarySt. Francis' Maddie Haggerty spikes the ball past Rosary's Michaela Ping (23) and Kate Stefanski at Rosary High School in Aurora, Ill., on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. | Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 3, 2012 9:22PM
Rosary knew it would have to be at its absolute best if it was going to upset St. Francis in Wednesday’s Suburban Christian Conference volleyball match in Aurora.
The Royals weren’t at their best, letting an early 8-8 tie in Game 1 deteriorate into a 25-13 loss. They battled back in Game 2 but ultimately fell 25-22 as St. Francis remained perfect in conference play.
“We’ve lost five matches so far and all of them have been three sets,” St. Francis coach Peg Kopec said. “We were able to put them away in the first game, which was fine, but the second wasn’t so much.”
Rosary (17-9, 4-3) alternated points with the Spartans in the first game but was outscored 17-5 after a tie a third of the way through the loss.
“We actually started pretty strong,” Rosary coach Rachel Hartmann said. “They (St. Francis) picked it up a notch and we didn’t respond well.”
Brianna Flagg paced the Royals with nine kills.
“She always gets her points,” Hartmann said. “But tonight I felt her presence and that’s what I’m most excited about. You could tell she wanted to get those points for us and wanted to win. I’m looking for her to have that drive and that extra little effort. I’m really pleased with her.”
Erin Bowe added five kills and four digs for the Royals, while Kati Baki led the squad with 11 digs. Joanna Wedge contributed nine assists while Tori Tassos chipped in with eight assists.
“Some of the things we’ve been doing well we didn’t focus on until the last few points of the game,” Hartmann said. “Our blocking came alive, but we needed it in the first game. They realized we weren’t blocking that well and they took advantage.”
St. Francis (26-5, 9-0) received a huge effort from Maddie Haggerty who dominated net play with 12 kills. Mary Boken added five kills, McKenna Kelsay had six digs and 24 assists, as well as a pair of blocks, and Sam Dubiel added five digs.
“We put it into the next gear and took off,” Kopec said about blowing Game 1 open. “Our blocking was OK tonight. We played pretty well defensively. We missed a few serves in a row, which is not what you want to do against a team like that, but overall I’m pleased.”