Joliet Catholic hangs on to top RosaryRosary's Amelia Wegman blocks the tip attempt of Joliet Catholic's Emily Schoenstedt. Jeff Cagle / For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 27, 2011 8:38PM
Joliet Catholic girls volleyball coach Christine Scheibe has been at the helm for over a decade, and in that time, her decorated program has never been allowed to host a sectional.
Scheibe said that thanks to a snafu in which the IHSA was unaware that the Angels have been playing in a new gym since 2004, thus conforming to IHSA standards for hosting a sectional, the Angels have always been on the road for sectionals.
This year, the Angels will be hosting a sectional, next Tuesday and Thursday. And by defeating Rosary in the Class 3A Yorkville Regional finals, 25-21, 25-20 Thursday, Joliet Catholic will get the chance to be an active host. It was the 11th consecutive regional championship for the Angels.
“Now that we finally get the chance (to host a sectional), it’s our senior year, it’s our last chance to play on our home court, and we wanted to use that,” JCA senior Hailey Pennington said. “We’re so excited right now.”
In both games Thursday, the Angels (31-7 overall) built large leads, forcing Rosary (25-13) to play from behind all night. After dropping the first point of the opening game, JCA never trailed again, leading by as many as six (15-9). A pair of errors cut the lead to 23-21, but Pennington’s kill forced a sideout and Morgan Reardon put down a big block kill to end it.
In the second, despite five serving errors, the Angels jumped out to a 19-11 advantage. Again, Rosary put together a little run; cutting the lead to 21-18 at one point, but it was just too much to overcome against top-seeded JCA.
“We were talking about when you do get the lead on them, you have to put the hammer down and keep them down,” Scheibe said. “I think that’s something that we can continue to work on in our next couple of practices before heading into next week.”
The Angels used their height advantage early and often. Their tallest player, Pennington (6-foot), led the way with nine kills. Lauren Robertson added seven kills and 5-foot-11 Kelly Feigh chipped in five kills. Pennington also had four blocks.
“We did got at the middle because we felt that we had a little better leaping advantage over them in the middle and maybe we were a little bit faster than them in the middle,” Scheibe said. “That was our game plan. I’m glad that the girls executed the game plan, because that’s what we worked on.”