Pavich gets her chance for Benet
Updated: September 14, 2011 9:23PM
You never know when you are going to get your chance.
Benet’s 6-foot-2 sophomore Brittany Pavich began the season as the Redwings’ No. 4 middle hitter, virtually guaranteeing her a spot on the bench behind seniors Gabby Pethokoukis and McKenzie Kuhn. But injuries to the two veterans thrust the young sophomore into the starting rotation.
Pavich has been steady, if not spectacular, playing opposite 6-1 Wisconsin recruit Meghan Haggerty, and Benet has not missed a beat.
Wednesday at Wheaton North, Jenna Jendryk had eight kills, Meghan Haggerty added five kills and three blocks and Hannah Kaminsky had 14 assists as No. 1 Benet (12-1) defeated Libertyville 25-15, 25-18 to advance to the Gold division of the Wheaton Classic.
Pavich barely made a scratch in the scorebook, but her steady play and contributions as a blocker have not gone unnoticed.
“She’s a sophomore, but if you didn’t know one of our middles was hurt, you would never know,” Benet coach Brad Baker said. “Or if you hadn’t seen us play before. Brittany stepped right in. Her and Hannah played together last year, so there’s still that rapport that they have going for them. It’s been working.”
Pavich said the veterans on the team have taken her under their wing, making the transition from a backup’s backup to a starter on a team that has postseason aspirations an easy one.
“They’ve all been so nice, so supportive,” Pavich said. “They’re always helping me out, telling me what to fix and what I did well. I’m lucky. These are the senior girls, but they made me feel comfortable the first time I started. We connect well as a team.”
Libertyville (5-4) got five kills and two blocks from 5-10 senior Ali Gattone and four kills from 6-foot junior Taylor Zant. Junior setter Cindy Zhou had 12 assists and libero Rachel Webb was credited with 10 digs.
“We started slow this season, but the last couple of matches have been better,” Libertyville coach Greg Loika said. “I think we played OK. We gave away a ton of points to obviously an incredibly talented team. That hurt us.
“But playing the No. 1 team in the tournament, I’m happy with what we did,” he added. “We’ve got to minimize the mistakes. We’re looking for our confidence, trying to find our legs and were getting there. We’re making our way to figuring out exactly what works. We’re close.”
Also at Wheaton North in pool play, Prairie Ridge (5-6) upset top eight seed Neuqua Valley 25-18, 26-24, although the Wolves nearly squandered an 18-8 lead in Game 2.
“We played well last night, too,” Prairie Ridge coach Stephanie Otto said. “We jelled. Everybody played a solid game. It’s not like we had one weak link like we’ve had where some people did not step up.
“We were able to distribute the ball pretty evenly and mix it up,” she added. “That helped us a lot, and our ball control is getting better and so is our serving. I think we’re getting stronger because of that.”