Rachel Minarick knows all about Senior Night.
Minarick and 4 of her Waubonsie Valley volleyball teammates celebrated Senior Night with a convincing victory over South Elgin earlier this week.
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On Thursday, the Warriors (28-7) put a damper on Batavia's Senior Night festivities with a 25-12, 25-14 Upstate Eight Conference crossover road triumph.
"That's something we talked about before the match," said Minarick. "We knew they were going to be emotional so we wanted to jump right on them."
Waubonsie Valley did just that, grabbing early 10-4 leads in both games.
In Game 1, Batavia (19-16) trimmed the deficit to 11-8 as outside hitter Laura Lyons delivered all 3 of her kills during the midgame rally.
But the comeback was a brief one, as the Warriors went on an 8-1 run to open an insurmountable 19-9 lead.
The Michigan State-bound Minarick fueled the surge with 8 kills in the opening game, while sophomores Taylor Dunwell and Brooke Burling added 4 and 3 kills, respectively.
Outside of the pregame ceremonies honoring their 7 senior players -- Audrey Faulhaber, Heidi Hoffman, Lyons, Heather Meyer, Shea Stanley, Shea Thayer, Lauren Wazio -- and manager Caitlin Cavanaugh, the Bulldogs were unable to make much noise.
Trailing 11-8 in Game 1, Batavia didn't string back-to-back points together again until falling behind 19-9 in Game 2.
"We've had Senior Night before," said Batavia coach Lori Trippi-Payne. "We beat a good Metea Valley team last year and we played tough against Neuqua Valley (in 2011).
"You've got to be able to go out and play after Senior Night," added the coach. "You're playing the last time on your home floor -- you certainly don't want to play like that."
Meanwhile, Waubonsie Valley turned in a near-flawless performance in all facets of the game.
While Minarick recorded a match-high 14 kills, she received plenty of support from teammates Dunwell (6 kills), Burling (5 kills, 3 aces), Becky Breuer (5 kills), and Katie Campbell (2 aces).
"I just feel like our passing and our defense was very on tonight and that helped us stay in system," said Warriors coach Kristen Stuart. "And we have a lot of aggressive servers who are able to place the ball well and hit the zones that we call out."
"I think this is a great lead into the postseason," said Minarick, whose team opens regional action Tuesday against either Bolingbrook or Joliet Central.
Stanley had 6 kills for the Bulldogs, while Faulhaber added 14 assists.
"I thought Audrey played a great match tonight," Trippi-Payne said of her team's setter.
The way her team played left the Bulldogs' veteran coach a bit befuddled.
"It's just kind of disappointing because we're trying to get ready for the playoffs," said Trippi-Payne, whose fifth-seeded team will face either Elk Grove or Elgin Tuesday at Addison Trail. "This is not the way to go into the playoffs.
"We've got to play a lot better than this," she added. "Hopefully we can regroup, get ready for our match on Tuesday and play like we've been playing all year."
The home floor was not a friendly place for the Bulldogs this season.
"We've struggled at home all year," said Trippi-Payne. "I don't know what it is but we won just two home matches. We're a pretty good road team and we're a tournament team -- and obviously the playoffs are a tournament."