Girls Volleyball: St Francis denies Joliet Cathlolic’s effortsWheaton St. Francis we won in 2 games over Joliet Catholic Academy at the IHSA Class 3A Joliet Catholic Sectional Finals held at JCA on Thursday, November 03, 2011. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 3, 2011 9:58PM
When Joliet Catholic’s Lauren Robertson, Emily Schoenstedt and Hailey Pennington lined up at the net with Kelly Feigh, Jillian Hickey and Morgan Reardon along the back to start the second game Thursday night, the Angels faced the same situation as last year: needing to win twice to claim another sectional title.
This time it didn’t happen.
Despite rallying from a 10-3 deficit to gain a 12-all tie in Game 2, Joliet Catholic saw its season end with a 25-23, 25-19 loss to St. Francis in the Angels’ Class 3A sectional championship match.
The defeat stopped a streak of six straight sectional titles for Joliet Catholic (32-7), which had played for a state championship the past three seasons, winning twice.
“You don’t want to end your senior year like that,’’ said a teary-eyed Feigh, the Loyola University-bound outside hitter who led the Angels on Thursday with 12 kills and 12 digs. “But we all played our hearts out. I love each and every one of those girls.’’
“They (St. Francis) had a goal in mind all season long to come into our gym and beat us,’’ Joliet Catholic coach Christine Scheibe said. “We put ourselves in a couple of good positions. We just couldn’t execute when it came down to it.’’
St. Francis (33-6) will face Metamora at Saturday’s Lincoln-Way West Supersectional with a berth in the state semifinals going to the winner.
“They came to play, that’s all it came down to,’’ Feigh said.
“I give credit to St. Francis, they worked hard tonight,’’ Scheibe said. “They played well and they didn’t make a lot of mistakes. They deserved it.’’
Joliet Catholic had an 18-13 advantage in Game 1 and led 21-19 after a kill by Feigh. But three straight errors put the Angels behind.
“We didn’t put it away,’’ Scheibe said of the first game. “We let them back in, we let them have momentum. We just were too inconsistent with what we were doing tonight. We couldn’t make it happen.’’
Joliet Catholic rallied from the early 10-3 hole in Game 2, but a 4-0 run put St. Francis ahead for good at 16-12.
“When you get yourself down like that, it’s really hard to come back,’’ Feigh said. “But we fought, we tried.’’
St. Francis was led by Carly Warner (5 kills, 11 assists, 7 digs), Haley Gable (8 kills), Grace Churney (9 digs) and McKenna Kelsay (11 assists).
“It’s very exciting, very, very exciting,’’ St. Francis coach Peg Kopec said. “We’ve got another game. We act like we’re downstate. We’re not downstate.’’
Joliet Catholic also had key contributions from Reardon (20 digs, 6 kills) and Robertson (12 assists).
“We’ve been telling them all along, ‘It doesn’t just happen,’ ’’ Scheibe said of playing for a state title. “You have to earn getting down there. They kind of got caught up in it this year that ‘Hey, we just go downstate.’ Hopefully, that’s a lesson for our juniors to learn that it’s got to be earned.’’