Mustangs headed to stateBobby Gallagher of St. Rita tries to hit the ball through the Riverside-Brookfield defense. l Gary Middendorf~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 31, 2011 10:32PM
The final moments of St. Rita’s thrilling 25-23, 29-27 victory over Riverside-Brookfield in the Reavis Sectional final had the feel of Patrick Kane’s winning goal in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final.
Mustangs senior Joe Fashingbauer went up for the serve and sent a rocket whistling down the left line. The ball landed and then... nothing.
Was it in? Out?
The two officials and two line judges looked at each other for about five seconds before the line judge who had the best view put two hands down.
“I was pretty scared, but I saw him point that it was in,” Fashingbauer said, looking at teammate Joe Biros. “So I knew we won.”
The Mustangs (22-17), making their first trip to the Elite Eight since 2002, is to meet Glenbard West in a quarterfinal match Friday (5 p.m.) at Hoffman Estates High School.
Fashingbrauer finished with seven kills and two aces. Biros added 10 kill, Bobby Gallagher eight kills and Tommy Bart two blocks.
Gordon Fieseler had 11 kills and Alex Dziagwa five for Riverside-Brookfield (28-11).
Fashingbauer’s final ace brought an end to an intense Game 2 in which the Mustangs rallied from a 22-16 deficit. Part of the deficit was created by their own mistakes – notably serving errors.
“I probably had four myself,” Fashingbauer said. “But I was going all the way.”
All the way, with a confidence that St. Rita coach Kathleen Mixan said she’s been looking for all season.