Three-peat falls short for Angels
Updated: March 22, 2011 5:04PM
NORMAL, Ill. - A slick floor and an unfortunate hitting error ended Joliet Catholic's bid to become just the fourth school in Illinois history to win three consecutive state titles.
Mater Dei (41-1), which lost to Joliet Catholic in the 2009 Class 3A state title match, fought off match point down 24-23 in Game 3 to defeat the Angels 15-25, 25-18, 26-24 in the IHSA Class 3A championship Saturday at Illinois State's Redbird Arena.
After Breese tied Game 3 at 24-24 on a kill by Ashley Rakers, Joliet Catholic's Jordan Huston slipped trying to reach a service dig by Jill Hickey. With Breese leading 25-24, the two teams rallied briefly when a get-me-over ball by Angels' sophomore Morgan Reardon failed to clear the net.
"I haven't talk to Jordan to find out what happened," Joliet Catholic coach Chris Scheibe said. "We had match point, but things just didn't go our way. Everybody was saying that they would breeze to the title. I definitely think we gave them a run for their money."
Six-foot-2 senior middle hitter Lainey Wyman, who had been part of two state championship teams, tried to find a positive while looking back at the Angels' recent history.
"I don't like losing, but most girls maybe only get the opportunity to play for a state title once," she said. "I was able to play in three championship matches. Sure it's frustrating, but it was such an amazing season. It was still fun."
The Angels (34-8) had a lot of fun during a 17-6 rally in Game 1 that turned an early 6-3 deficit into a 20-12 lead. But Mater Dei opened Game 2 on a 10-1 run and were able to hold on after the Angels closed to within 22-17.
"In between Games 1 and 2, I told the girls that they would come out fighting," Scheibe said. "That 10-1 run was huge. We were able to negate it a little bit at the end of the game."
Mater Dei grabbed an early 13-8 advantage in Game 3, but Joliet Catholic caught the Knights at 20-20 on a kill by Lauren Robertson. Kelly Feigh's kill gave the Angels a 23-22 lead and a hitting error by the Knights' Brooke Schulte brought Joliet Catholic to within a point of history.
"I just have to say it wasn't meant to be," Scheibe said.
Reardon led the Angels with 10 kills and six digs and Feigh and Wyman each had seven kills. Schulte had 10 kills for Mater Dei.
In the third-place match, Marian Central (36-5) defeated (Chicago) Payton 25-15, 25-19 for the best finish in its history. Abby Gilleland had 16 assists and Emma Hussey had six kills for the Hurricanes. Michelle Schultz had four kills and six assists for Payton (32-10).