Girls volleyball: Lockport, Plainfield Central ready to play
Updated: October 31, 2011 7:57PM
The Class 4A Aurora West girls volleyball sectional championship will have a Joliet-area feel to it.
No. 7 Lockport (26-11) and No. 9 Plainfield Central (22-15) square off at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the second sectional semifinal opposite No. 1 seed Benet Academy (34-3).
The sectional championship is to be contested at 7 p.m. Thursday at Aurora West.
Plainfield Central stumbled down the stretch, but has posted back-to-back upsets to reach the sectional tournament for the first time in a decade.
“I know they have beat a lot of talented teams, but so have we,” Plainfield Central coach Jessica Clark said of the Porters. “At this point, we need to study their hitters, their tendencies and create those situations in practice. We need to be consistent and play smart. We have to stay calm and play point for point with them.
Plainfield Central’s top hitters are 6-foot Erin Hyland (208 kills), 6-2 Shannon Hagen (164) and 6-0 Vicky Swigart (141). Taryn Trubich has 109 kills and leads the team with 412 assists.
Lockport upset No. 2 Naperville North 25-16, 25-17 to reach the sectional tournament for the first time since 2006. The Porters are coached by Julia Hudson, who is retiring after 33 years as a coach, 32 years as the head coach.
Aubrey Ficek and Anna Bryniarski have been the top hitters for the Porters during their run.
Benet is the lone top six seed alive and faces No. 13 Oswego (19-17) in the other semifinal. The Redwings are ranked No. 1 in the Chicgoland area by every Chicago area news outlet and features eight players 6-feet or taller. The Redwings took second in the state in 2008.
Four of the Redwings have already signed to play with a Division I school next fall in Jenna Jendryk (Virginia Tech), Nora Young (Duquesne), Gabby Pethokoukis (Villanova) and Meghan Haggerty (Wisconsin).
Minooka (28-4) takes on No. 2 Normal (20-16) in a Class 4A Edwardsville sectional semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Normal West. The game was moved to accommodate travel for both teams.
A year ago, Minooka reached the Pekin sectional final before losing to Edwardsville a year ago. Stacey Perinar, who will attend Eastern Michigan University next year, leads the team in kills (381) and aces.
“We have to shut down their middle attack,” Minooka coach Chris Hoelscher said.
Also in Class 4A, Lincoln-Way Central (26-11) is to play Sandburg (31-6) in the second semifinal at the Andrew Sectional. The first match will see a faceoff between Chicago rivals Mother McAuley and Marist.
The Knights are on a roll after shocking Sandburg on Oct. 21, and upsetting Providence on its own floor in a regional final.
“I know beating them last week will probably give them more incentive to play harder against us,” Lincoln-Way Central coach Kathy Sulkowski said. “We know we can do it, but need to continue playing better each time, no matter who is on the other side of the net. It’s going to be another great match.”
No. 1 Joliet Catholic Academy is the No. 1 seed in its own Class 3A Sectional.
The Angels (31-7) are to play in the second semifinal match against Nazareth Academy. Morris (23-12-1) is slated to compete at 6 p.m. in the other semi versus Wheaton-St. Francis.
“I feel like we are heading into a little bit of unknown territory,” Joliet Catholic coach Christine Scheibe said. “In my 12 years at JCA we have never hosted a regional or sectional, so I am not exactly sure what to expect being able to play on our home floor.
“One thing I know is that we will have a good crowd, and hopefully that will play in our favor.”
The Angels defeated Nazareth 25-11, 25-9 on Sept. 15. But Schiebe isn’t looking past the Roadrunners.
“We beat them by similar scores during the regular season last year and they played us extremely tough in our regional final,” Schiebe said. “I know that they will come out ready to play and their height could be an advantage for them.”
In Class 2A, Wilmington is to play Herscher in the second of two semifinals at the Prairie Central Sectional. Watseka and Heyworth are to meet in the first match. Wilmington earned its spot by defeating Coal City 25-9, 26-24 in the Coal City Regional final.