Girls Volleyball: Lyons holds off Fenwick

Updated: October 23, 2012 9:20PM

It has been 12 years since Kathleen O’Laughlin last coached Fenwick’s girls volleyball team in the playoffs, but O’Laughlin will have to wait another year before picking up a postseason win.

Fenwick gave Lyons a scare Tuesday night in its own Class 4A regional opener with a three-point lead late in the second set, but the Friars could not close out the victory as Lyons rallied for a 25-14, 27-25 win at Fenwick.

Seventh-seeded Lyons (20-15), which was coming off a second place finish in its own invitational Saturday, will play second-seeded St. Ignatius (27-9) at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Fenwick Regional final.

The Friars took advantage of a struggling Lyons serve-receive to score seven consecutive points in the second set for a 20-17 lead. Fenwick (11-20) even led 25-24, but Lyons scored three consecutive points to end the match. Alyssa Keeve (two aces) , Lyons’ only senior starter, had six of her match-high eight kills in the second set and was responsible for scoring the last three points in the match.

Keeve had a kill, an ace off the top of the net and another kill down the middle of the court to end the match.

“I definitely had goose bumps,” Keeve said. “I knew we were in the playoffs. When we started two years ago, we won state.”

Catherine King had seven kills for Lyons while setter Hannah Juley finished with 12 assists, four kills and three blocks.

The Friars were led by senior Hannah Sophie’s six kills and four kills by senior Olivia Soja. Sophie, Soja, Maggie Reilly (18 assists) and libero Nicole Kovak were the seniors to start their final matches for Fenwick.

“The team we had this year was great because we were so close,” Sophie said. “I’ll never forget this game.”

O’Laughlin completed the first year of her second stint at Fenwick after leaving the program when her husband took a job out of town. The former Immaculate Conception star and Division I setter at Illinois and Cal State-Northridge worked closely with Reilly, who also competes in basketball and soccer for the Friars.

“I loved working with Maggie,” O’Laughlin said. “She was such a fun setter to work with. She is so athletic and she is so willing to learn the game. This whole group; it was an incredible senior group to work with.”

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