Girls Volleyball: Chicago Christian topples Illiana ChristianJessica Krygsheld, of Chicago Christian, tries to dig out a shot against Illiana Christian for the Rich East girls volleyball class 3A regional title, Thursday, November 1st, 2012 in Park Forest, IL. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
During her first three years at Chicago Christian, Emily Lindemulder never lost a sectional final.
After Thursday night’s win over Illiana Christian, she never will.
The Chicago Christian senior smashed seven kills and delivered an array of nasty serves to usher her team to a 25-16, 25-20 victory for the Class 3A Rich East Sectional crown.
“This year more than ever, it’s nice to go out there and play with all you’ve got,” Lindemulder said. “There’s nothing else you can give because it’s your last season here. That’s all you can do.”
Chicago Christian (24-15) will host Wheaton St. Francis (34-5) in the supersectional at 6 p.m. Saturday.
“This was uncharted territory for us,” Chicago Christian coach James Garcia said. “Though we’ve been here in the sectional final the last couple of years, this is 3A.”
With the Knights nursing a 13-11 lead in the second set, Lindemulder went to the service line and delivered five consecutive points, pushing Chicago Christian to a comfortable 18-11 advantage and forcing Illiana to call a pair of timeouts.
“With the first game, I was a little too excited,” Lindemulder said. “I calmed down in the second and focused on each serve. (Illiana) really left their zone-one open in the corner, so I focused on pushing the ball there every time.”
“Emily Lindemulder, my jump-server, has been doing that all season,” Garcia said. “She’s been letting serves rip and some kids can’t handle it and some kids can.”
Leah Kamp (7 kills), Jessica Krygsheld (7 kills), Sami Bruinius (3 aces, 6 digs) and Emily Workman (21 assists) all contributed for the Knights.
“We prayed a lot and we were all really nervous,” said Megan Kamp, who added a momentum-changing stuff block in the first set. “We knew we had to have energy because we saw them play on Tuesday. We had our fans come out today and we felt their energy. That helped a lot.”
For Illiana Christian (21-17), the loss marks the second straight year being knocked from the sectional finals. In 2011 the Vikings were ousted by Marian Catholic.
“We just couldn’t get a block on the ball,” Illiana coach Nikki Van Dyke said. “We only had one block on the night. When you have one block against very strong hitters, you have to play incredible defense.
Kylie Van Roekel (4 kills), Sydnee Van Beek (4 kills) and Hannah Wegner (10 assists) led Illiana Christian.
“I’m really proud of the team,” Van Dyke said. “This is one of my best working groups. People didn’t think we’d win regionals, and here we are in the sectional championship game. People looked past us.”