Girls Volleyball: Benet advances past St Charles EastBenet's Gabby Pethokoukis (left) goes up for the kill against St. Charles East's Nicole Lambert (10) and Erienne Barry (11) on Friday in Normal. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 11, 2011 9:48PM
NORMAL – Benet’s Jenna Jendryk said she’s always had bragging rights at home. Friday just gave her a little more cause for bravado.
Jendryk, whose sister Jessica was a member of the 2008 team that lost to St. Charles East in the state championship game, and her Benet teammates moved one step closer to erasing the memory of that stunning loss in Friday’s IHSA Class 4A semifinal at Redbird Arena.
Sophomore Maddie Haggerty had 11 kills and three blocks, Meghan Haggerty added eight kills and two blocks and Jendryk threw down seven kills as Benet (38-3) defeated St. Charles East for the fourth time this season, 25-20, 22-25, 25-19, to advance to Saturday’s championship match at 8:55 p.m.
“We wanted to get revenge for that match (in 2008),” Jendryk said. “Especially since it was the state championship match. This time, it got us to the championship match.”
While the fourth time wasn’t a charm for St. Charles East (34-7), the Saints made it interesting by taking Game 2 off the Redwings after losing the previous seven games. Nicole Lambert (eight kills) and Kathleen Dailey (seven kills) led the way, helping St. Charles East build a 19-12 lead in the second set.
But Benet was relentless, closing Game 2 on a 10-6 run and opening Game 3 with a 16-9 burst. St. Charles East did get within 21-17 in the third set on a pair of service aces by Maisey Mulvey, but a kill and an ace from Meghan Haggerty and Maddie Haggerty’s 11th kill ended the match.
“You’re here and everybody scouts,” Benet coach Brad Baker said. “That makes it more difficult to score points. But we continue to play our brand of volleyball and hope the other team can’t stay with us. Even if the match goes an hour-and-a-half, if you can play that strong you deserve to beat us.”
Hannah Kaminsky had 28 assists for Benet and Sheila Doyle added 15 digs.
“There were so many long rallies,” Kaminsky said. “Both teams played such great volleyball. All my hitters are playing hard trying to put the ball down for the team.”
Erienne Barry had 21 assists for St. Charles East, which also got four kills and 15 digs from Meghan Niski.
“It’s hard to beat a team four times,” St. Charles East coach Jenni Kull. “We know that. And obviously you want to win. But they have so many weapons. They’re hard to contain. I think our kids did the best that they could.”