Girls Volleyball: St Francis takes down Joliet Catholic to advance

Story Image Joliet Catholic (6) Dana Nowaczyk and (14) Katelyn Seeman play at the net against St Francis. St. Francis plays Joliet Catholic Academy in the 3A sectional final Volleyball semifinal hosted by Glenbrook South HS at 23W200 Butterfield Road, Glenn Ellyn, IL on Tuesday night 11-1-12.St. Francis won in 3 sets.|Judy Fidkowski~For Sun-Times Media
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Updated: November 1, 2012 9:46PM

With certain rivalries, the records, the talent, the previous meetings, they can all be thrown out the window.

St. Francis versus Joliet Catholic certainly qualifies.

The two powers met up in the playoffs Thursday for the seventh straight season.

“Sometimes when teams play, it doesn’t matter who has better talent or who’s playing well,” St. Francis coach Peg Kopec said. “All bets are off, and it’s competitive like this.”

Playing for the Class 3A Glenbard South Sectional title, it was St. Francis prevailing in the end over Joliet Catholic Thursday, winning a 25-15, 24-26, 30-28 slugfest. The Spartans advance to play host Chicago Christian in the Supersectional round.

Molly Haggerty was a force for St. Francis (34-5), finishing with 18 kills while her sister Maddie had 11 kills with Becca Shearer (8 kills) and McKenna Kelsay (34 assists) contributing.

Morgan Reardon (14 kills, 9 digs), Mallory Mangun (29 assists, 8 digs) and Julia Shemaitis (10 kills) led Joliet Catholic (32-7).

It was the Spartans who were dominant early, winning thanks to a set-closing 15-6 run. Joliet Catholic counter-punched, holding off a late St. Francis charge in the second.

Serving 23-21 in the third set, the Angels had their chances. A service error long gave the ball back to St. Francis, and the back-and-forth battle continued.

Down the stretch, St. Francis faced two match points to come back while Joliet Catholic faced two of its own. Off a tie at 28, Maddie Haggerty’s 11th kill gave the Spartans the advantage.

With match point on the line, Kristin Acciavatti’s deep hit was dug out by the Angels. After Shemaitis’ dig off a second hit, Reardon’s dig from well behind the service line hit the ceiling on the way over, giving St. Francis the match.

“It could have gone either way in the end,” Joliet Catholic coach Christine Scheibe said. “After game one, we played about as well as we could. We didn’t have anyone size-wise to match up with their size.”

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