It was a hard scene to watch for Immaculate Conception, as Nazareth hoisted the championship plaque on the Lady Knights’ home court.
IC hosted the Class 3A volleyball regional, but the Roadrunners took control of the tournament, defeating the Knights 25-13, 25-18 in the finals Thursday night.
“We came out really strong; I think this was one of our better games as a team,” senior Emma Saunders said. “We’ve never played (Immaculate Conception) before, so we had no idea how they were. But they’re a very good team, so we really had to work hard and not let up.”
Nazareth jumped quickly to a 15-4 lead in the first game.
The Roadrunners had the height advantage at the net — junior Mariah Rouse posted three blocks in the first set — that caused trouble for the Knights.
Despite a tighter second set, the Roadrunners finally pulled away from a 13-13 score to jump ahead 20-13.
Saunders recorded a block that gave her team match point, and Knights junior Rory Manion had a hitting error that ended her team’s season.
The win was Nazareth’s second-consecutive regional title, and it will face Joliet Catholic, a three-set winner over Providence, in the Glenbard South sectional semifinal on Tuesday.
“I never felt like the game was out of control; I felt like we had control of the game,” Nazareth coach Wayne Saunders said. “There’s a lot of experience out there. Even though we’re a young team, they know what they’re doing.”