Girls Volleyball: Benet breezes past Oswego, Plainfield Central tops Lockport
Updated: November 1, 2011 9:05PM
Benet had one goal Tuesday night – get to 25 as quickly as possible, twice.
“It doesn’t matter who is on the other side of the net,” said Benet coach Brad Baker. “We want to play hard and continue to work throughout the whole match. We need to get 25 two times as quickly as we possibly can. That was our goal tonight.
“We just want to keep the foot on the gas and go as hard as we can,” he added.
Oswego (19-18), which upset Waubonsie Valley in the regional final, was not exactly roadkill in the path of Benet’s 85-mile-per-hour 18-wheeler, but the Panthers came close, falling 25-13, 25-16 in a 35-minute Class 4A sectional semifinal Tuesday at Aurora West.
Benet (35-3) built a 16-8 lead in Game 1 and never looked back, finishing the game with 17 kills to Oswego’s three. Meghan Haggerty led the Redwings with five kills in Game 1 and sophomore sister Maddie added four. Oswego never strung together more than two points in a row.
“You can never let the other team get on any runs,” Baker said. “You want to continue to sideout at a high percentage and not let them get any momentum. That steamrolls into more confidence for our team.”
Oswego took its only lead of the match at 1-0 in Game 2, but Benet countered with a 9-1 run behind three kills from Jenna Jendryk, who finished with seven kills. Oswego never got closer than seven points the rest of the way.
“As long as our side plays well, and we understand what’s going on the other side, things should come out,” Jendryk said.
Hannah Kaminsky had 28 assists for Benet, Meghan Haggerty had 11 kills, Maddie Haggerty added six, Nora Young added four kills and two aces and Gaby Pethokoukis tossed in three kills.
“Things have been going really well,” said the 6-3 Pethokoukis, who missed most of the regular season with an injury. “At first, it took me a little bit of time at practice. Definitely it was hard being off. Now I just want to keep playing as many matches as I can.”
Brittany Maertzig led Oswego with five kills and Shelby Ritsema added three. Destiny Stuersel had 10 assists.
“I thought we had some good moments, some good rallies at times,” Oswego coach Erica Lorenz said. “It was definitely not the outcome I was expecting. Recently, we haven’t had to worry about our serve receive. But at times it kind of took us out of our game.”
Plainfield Central d. Lockport 25-22, 13-25, 27-25
Lockport was not going to let Julia Hudson go off into retirement without a fight Tuesday at the Class 4A sectional at Aurora West.
Plainfield Central, however, was not ready to go quietly, either.
The Wildcats (23-15) fought back from a 20-15 deficit in Game 3 to defeat Lockport 25-22, 13-25, 27-25 and advance to Thursday’s sectional championship match against Benet.
A Lockport service error at 25-24 seemed to give Plainfield Central new life. The Wildcats’ 6-2 junior Shannon Hagen put her team up 26-25 with an ace, and Erin Hyland’s tip over the outstretched hands of three Lockport defenders sent the Wildcats into a wild celebration.
“They were tipping on us the whole game,” Hyland said. “That what they were doing the whole game. I just told myself that we can tip, too, and it worked for us. That, and a whole lotta hope and it finally worked.”
Hyland, a four-year varsity standout, led Plainfield Central with 10 kills.
“We finally started picking up the tips,” Plainfield Central coach Jessica Clark said. “That was the biggest thing. They were so smart and they knew what was working for them. That’s why they destroyed us the second game, because we didn’t know how to pick up the tips.
“In the third game, we adjusted the defense and moved the libero around, which helped us,” the coach added. “We started swinging hard and tried to build up their confidence and tell them we made it this far for a reason, and they need to go out there and show what that reason is.”
Taryn Trubich added 20 assists and 10 digs, and Elizabeth Hyland and Hagen each added eight kills for the Wildcats.
“I told the girls from the very first game that they have to earn every point because there was no way Lockport is just going to hand it to you,” Clark said. “They (Lockport) just played a great game.”
Lockport (26-12) got 10 kills from Aubrey Ficek, seven kills from Anna Bryniarski, and 24 assists and three kills from Christina Wilson.
The loss ended Hudson’s stellar career after 33 years including 32 as head coach.
“It’s been great, really has,” Hudson said. “The relationships you get with coaches, with players. There are some things I won’t miss, but I will miss the relationships and the players.”