Girls volleyball: Friends square off in IC Catholic, Timothy Christian matchup

Club sports teammates often times find themselves facing off against each other during the high school season.

But for Ava Falduto and Abby Vander Wal, Wednesday night's Class 2A girls volleyball sectional championship match at Genoa-Kingston will likely feel a bit different from the normal club teammate vs. club teammate contest.

Falduto, IC Catholic Prep's senior do-everything standout, and Vander Wal, Timothy Christian's hard-hitting junior, will lead their respective teams into battle with a spot in Friday's Timothy Christian supersectional on the line.

They played together all summer ­- not on a club team,- but on the USA Volleyball U-19 squad that won a gold medal in Croatia, and on the USA Volleyball U-21 team that finished in sixth place at the World Championships in Mexico.

"I can't wait for the game," said Vander Wal, who is committed to Texas. "It's a really big rivalry between our two schools so the students and parents will definitely be into it. I've played with or against Ava a lot but have never beat her during high school season. It's such a fun cross-town rivalry game that everyone looks forward to every year. This should be a fun one.

"Ava and I are such great friends, and I have known a lot of the other girls on the(ir) team for a while now too."

Timothy (28-6) reached Wednesday's final with a 25-23, 25-16 win over Rockford Christian in Monday's semifinals. Vander Wal had 12 kills, 3 aces and 7 digs to lead the Trojans.

IC Catholic (33-3) then took down host G-K, 25-14, 25-19, handing the Cogs just their second loss of the season, and avenging last year's loss in the state championship match. Falduto had 14 kills, 9 digs 1 ace, 2 assists, and 2 blocks to lead the Knights on Monday.

"I am really excited about this crosstown matchup on Wednesday," said Falduto, who will play at Penn State next year. "I think this match is going to be really competitive and a battle for the sectional title."

ICCP defeated Timothy on Sept. 2, 25-18, 25-7. The Knights also downed the Trojans in last year's sectional title match 20-25, 25-12, 25-16.

"We are fully expecting another great match against a talented Timothy team," said Knights coach Nancy Kerrigan.

Wednesday's winner stays in Elmhurst on Friday to play the winner of the Cristo Rey Jesuit sectional final between Cristo Rey Jesuit and Chicago Latin, with a spot in next weekend's Final Four on the line.

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