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updated: 10/29/2013 10:01 PM

York eliminates Larkin

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By Bill Stone
Daily Herald Correspondent

Larkin senior standout Olivia Kofie only needed a few kills to surpass 300 this volleyball season, but reaching the mark appeared in jeopardy for a while Tuesday.

The Western Michigan-bound Kofie and the Royals then regrouped in the second game, but it couldn't prevent a 25-11, 25-23 loss to York in the Class 4A York regional semifinals.

The Dukes (23-11) meet St. Charles East (30-6) for the regional title at 6 p.m. Thursday.

"Definitely the first game is usually a warm-up because we start off slow," Kofie said. "Then by the second game, we really get more into it, push harder and keep it close."

Kofie had all of her team-best 7 kills in the second game for the Royals (17-19), giving her 305 after 254 in 2012. Senior Division I recruit Brianna Stewart and Alexis Price each had 5 kills with Stewart collecting 252 this season.

Kofie passed 300 with 4 kills over 5 Larkin points for an 11-9 lead in the second game.

"I'm happy I got 300. (But) I never keep track," Kofie said.

Back-to-back kills by Kofie tied the game 19-19, and a dump kill from setter Alyssa McGhee (12 assists) tied it 20-20, but the Royals never regained the lead.

York scored 3 straight points and later received a key block from Molly Schlecht and Sarah Milkowski for match point at 24-22. The match ended on a Larkin service error.

"We've had hit or miss (matches) like that before," Larkin coach Henry Graack said. "I'm glad we were able to start the second game out better and fight for our last game of the season at least."

Larkin had just 4 kills in the first game, but 16 in the second.

"We knew (Kofie) would hit better because she's one of their best hitters. She played well. (And Stewart) played well the whole match," York coach Patty Iverson said. "Usually we have to worry about us more than anybody else. If we execute, we're a really, really nice team."

York senior Amy Nosek had 14 kills, libero Halle Truett had 14 digs and Schlecht had 2 solo blocks and 3 block assists to lead 8 blocks for points. Sarah Rose had 3 aces and 10 service points.

In the first game, York zipped to a 5-0 lead. A 7-point serving streak by Rose opened a 14-5 lead and Rachel Iverson's 6-point run created game point at 24-9.

"We've been getting a lot better throughout the season so we were expecting to win this one," Nosek said. "We came out and played how we should."

Kofie, a tri-captain and one of seven Larkin seniors, said her favorite memory was Senior Night Oct. 21.

"Having the whole celebration and everything and playing and winning (over Zion-Benton) definitely helped," Kofie said.

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