With the recent success of the St. Edward girls volleyball team in the Class 2A playoffs, the Green Wave gets to test its abilities in Class 3A this season.
St. Edward showed Monday it can play with the bigger schools, at least for one night, as well.
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The fifth-seeded Green Wave beat No. 4 seed Genoa-Kingston, 25-20. 25-16, in the Class 3A Hampshire regional quarterfinals.
"We had nothing to lose. We were coming in as the underdogs, the smallest school here," St. Edward coach Jaime Dovichi said. "That kind of lit a fire under us. We just needed to prove that we can win no matter where they put us."
The Green Wave (15-17) will play No. 1 seed Kaneland (21-2) at 6 p.m. today in the first regional semifinal. No. 3 Sycamore (24-13), which beat Hampshire 25-16, 25-11 in Monday's other quarterfinal, faces No. 2 Burlington Central (25-10) in the other semifinal.
Genoa-Kingston (19-17) led 11-8 in the first game against St. Edward, which responded with a 7-0 run to take a 15-11 lead. The Cogs then went on a 5-0 run of their own to take a 16-15 lead. A Katie Swanson kill ended the Cogs' run and sparked a 5-0 run for St. Edward. Cory Kelly and Swanson had back-to-back kills to give the Green Wave the 25-20 opening-game victory.
"We knew that we needed to step up our game," said Swanson, a junior who finished with a match-high 10 kills. "I'm really proud of my team."
The Cogs led 4-2 in Game 2 before mistakes started costing Genoa-Kingston. The Cogs made 3 errors during a St. Edward 5-0 run that gave the Green Wave a 7-4 lead. Three consecutive errors by the Cogs allowed St. Edward to take an 11-5 lead. The lead grew to 10, 22-12, after another Swanson kill.
Rena Ranallo put down her sixth kill on match point for the Green Wave.
Shannon Igielski added 5 kills for St. Edward. Casey Gredzieleski had 21 assists.
In the second quarterfinal, No. 6 seed Hampshire led for just 1 point -- after the first point on a Sycamore error. The Spartans scored the next 5 points, including getting 2 aces from Christina Dailey. Sycamore led by as many as 11, 19-8, in the opening game. The Whip-Purs (11-24) went on a 4-0 run, including getting back-to-back aces from Jen Dumoulin, to get within 7, 19-12. Hampshire wouldn't get any closer and a Whip-Purs service error gave Sycamore the opening game victory.
"They started serving very aggressively. We struggled with consistency in our passing," Hampshire coach Andrew Lindley said. "It's kind of a problem we've had all season."
Sycamore scored the first 5 points and 11 of the first 12 points in the second game and cruised the victory. Now the Spartans will face Central today.
"I have lots of film on them. I have a scouting report on them," Spartans coach Debbie Klock said of the Rockets, being careful not to reveal too much. "We definitely didn't show everything (Monday). We kept it to simple volleyball."
Arianna Rominski and Dumoulin each had 7 kills to lead the Whip-Purs. Julianna Gass had 15 digs.
Hannah Knox led Sycamore with 10 kills and 10 digs. Brittany Huber added 7 kills.