Girls Volleyball: St Edward bows out in sectional finalTimothy Christian players celebrate with their Winnebago Class 2A Volleyball Sectional championship plaque. | John Konstantaras~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 3, 2011 10:06PM
Timothy Christian’s volleyball players have been winning for so long it seems they’ve forgotten what losing is.
The Trojans on Thursday fought off a first set challenge from St. Edward to take the Winnebago Class 2A Sectional title, 25-23, 25-18 and extend their unbeaten string to 35.
“Whenever you have a win streak going it provides momentum that you can’t create for your team any other way,” Timothy Christian coach Lindsey Van Schepen said.
The Trojans had six kills each from freshman middle hitter Kacie Stoll and senior right side hitter Linnea Venhousen, and five from sophomore Mackenzie Bone in running their winning streak to 32.
“We just didn’t come out with enough energy,” said Stoll. “We had to get warmed up, I felt. We didn’t go out and play our best in the first game.”
St. Edward rallied from a 10-5 deficit to go point for point with the Trojans in a first set that included eight lead changes. Stoll’s kill and then an ace by Jordan Smits that probably would have gone out of bounds, if not touched, provided the final two points.
“For a while there we were just battling back and forth,” Van Schepen said. “The first set was just a matter of who could get those last two points.”
The second set started the same way with senior hitter Sarah Norman registering a kill and a palming violation tying the score for the last time at 7-7. Then Timothy Christian took control with a 9-0 run that crushed St. Edward’s hopes.
The Trojans started the run off Green Wave mistakes. A wide serve and two aces by Smits that were basic communication errors by St. Edward started the run.
“It was not one of our better serve receive rotations, and we lost all confidence in our passing and we just couldn’t bounce back from that,” St. Edward coach Jaime Dovichi said after the Green Wave finished 22-14.
The run included one more ace and two kills by Stoll. St. Edward never drew closer than five after that, at 22-17. Two kills by Venhousen and a stuff block for kill by junior hitter Bridgitt Buikema ended St. Edward’s season and gave Timothy Christian a berth in Saturday’s Lisle Supersectional against Chicago Christian.
“Every game in postseason play has been against solid teams for us, like Aurora Central Catholic, Immaculate Conception and now St. Edward,” Van Schepen said. “We’ve gotten used to that, to long volleys and if you hit it hard they might pick it up and you have to hit it as hard as the first time.”
St. Edward had 10 kills from sophomore Katie Swanson, six from senior Sarah Norman and five from senior Callie Johnson. Junior Rena Ranallo made 10 digs and senior setter Katie Ayello 20 assists.
“We played awesome,” Dovichi said. “I couldn’t have asked for them to play any harder.
“It was the little mistakes that we made that just really got them down. I wish we could have bounced back a couple more times after some of those mistakes. But that’s the young side of our team that takes it too personal after an error and weren’t able to bounce back.”