Girls Volleyball: Chemistry triggers Joliet Catholic’s successful season

Updated: November 5, 2012 8:11PM



In terms of pure athleticism or on-court skill, Joliet Catholic coach Christine Scheibe has had better teams. In terms of that ever-important intangible chemistry, however, her 2012 Angels squad was hard to beat.

“If you look at us on paper, we’re not an overly talented team,” Scheibe said. “We’ve got a big hitter in Morgan Reardon, and a lot of really nice complimentary players around her. These girls worked well together.”

Joliet Catholic (32-7) gave state-bound St. Francis everything it could handle in a three-game thriller in the Class 3A Glenbard South Sectional final. Struggling through the first game, the Angels trailed 24-23 in the second game but won with a 3-0 run.

In a ridiculously back-and-forth Game 3, each team twice faced match point, but it was St. Francis that came through, winning on a deep hit that was dug out by the Angels defense but the ball hit the ceiling on the way over the net.

After hurting her ankle late in warm-ups, Reardon gutted her way to 14 kills while setter Mallory Mangun calmly orchestrated the offense as she did all year with 29 assists.

Julia Shemaitis, second on the team in kills, is expected to return next year along with fresh arrivals from a strong sophomore team.

“Morgan took the team upon her shoulders this year,” Scheibe said. “Practice every day was a joy because this team came to work. That’s what set us apart this season.”

Minooka falls in semis

Advancing to the sectional for a third straight year, Minooka struggled in the semis, losing 25-16, 26-16 to Normal Community West. The Indians went back and forth early, but a 12-0 run from West proved to be Minooka’s undoing.

“It was like in baseball where a pitcher just doesn’t have it. We didn’t have it,” Minooka coach Chris Hoelscher said. “We had bursts of energy, but we just couldn’t overcome that hole.”

Junior Skyler Day was an offensive force for Minooka this season, finishing with a team-high 347 kills. Tessa Griparis (124 kills) and Kasey Schumacher (336 digs) also were key contributors.

“In the playoffs from match to match, everyone on the team contributed, and everyone played a role,” Hoelscher said.

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