It was the final home match of Rachel Minarick's stellar high school years, so there really wasn't any way she would let South Elgin spoil it.
The Michigan State-bound setter/right side hitter guided a new senior night starting lineup to a 25-21 win in the opener and then helped the Warriors dominate the Storm in the second game 25-11 to complete the sweep. Minarick did a little of everything on the floor and left South Elgin coach Adam Plach quite impressed.
"She's the best player I've seen so far this season," said Plach, who skippered South Elgin (20-12, 3-3) on Tuesday in place of his wife, Joni, an expectant mother. "They have a lot of good players on that team, and then (Minarick) just gets kills whenever she can."
Minarick had 9 kills, 3 blocks and also tallied 7 assists in the Warriors' 5-2 attack, in which fellow setter Lauren Hiller added 7 assists. But she also made a couple spectacular diving saves to extend points and help see to it that the 27-7 squad snapped a little losing streak that had grown to three matches with Monday's setback to St. Charles East.
"It's emotional for all of us," Minarick said about her final match in the Aurora gymnasium. "We've been playing together here for four years. It was a big game for us."
The opener was tight throughout as the Storm tied things up at 9-9 following a kill by Ashley Oandasan, then trailed just 17-15 and 23-20 before Minarick set up Taylor Dunwell for a game-clinching kill with a nice backward pass.
Then with a precarious lead of 13-10 in Game 2, Minarick dominated play and her teammates followed suit as the hosts pulled away. Minarick had a pair of thunderous slams to the floor and then a block kill that followed an ace from Courtney Smith. Some tough serving by Katie Campbell followed and before the Storm knew it, that three-point deficit had ballooned into an insurmountable 24-10 Warriors lead.
"It's always good on senior night when you can play all of your seniors and still feel confident they're going to get the job done," said Waubonsie Valley coach Kristen Stuart, whose squad plays Batavia this week to close the regular season before heading to next week's Class 4A Bolingbrook regional. "I feel we have a very skilled team this year and I can really put anyone in to help us out."
Senior middle Angela Lee came up big with a match-high 8 blocks against South Elgin, while senior libero Stephanie Tang had 14 digs. Junior outside Becky Breuer added 5 kills and Dunwell and Brooke Burling had 4 kills apiece for the Warriors, who finished out the Valley portion of their conference slate at 5-1.
Renee Rush paced the Storm with 5 kills and Oandasan had 8 digs.