Girls volleyball: Benet tops Prairie Ridge for third at state

  • Benet Academy's Redwings celebrate a two-set victory over Prairie Ridge in the third-place game of the Class 4A state finals in girls volleyball on Saturday night at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University.

      Benet Academy's Redwings celebrate a two-set victory over Prairie Ridge in the third-place game of the Class 4A state finals in girls volleyball on Saturday night at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Benet Academy's Redwings watch the flag during the national anthem before the third-place game of the Class 4A state finals in girls volleyball on Saturday night at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University.

      Benet Academy's Redwings watch the flag during the national anthem before the third-place game of the Class 4A state finals in girls volleyball on Saturday night at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Benet Academy's Kyla Kenney passes the ball in the third-place game of the Class 4A state finals in girls volleyball on Saturday night at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University.

      Benet Academy's Kyla Kenney passes the ball in the third-place game of the Class 4A state finals in girls volleyball on Saturday night at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Prairie Ridge's Olivia Jost returns a serve against Benet Academy in the third-place game of the Class 4A state finals in girls volleyball on Saturday night at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University.

      Prairie Ridge's Olivia Jost returns a serve against Benet Academy in the third-place game of the Class 4A state finals in girls volleyball on Saturday night at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Benet Academy's Redwings celebrate a two-set victory over Prairie Ridge in the third-place game of the Class 4A state finals in girls volleyball on Saturday night at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University. At center is Hattie Monson and at right is Caroline Gard.

      Benet Academy's Redwings celebrate a two-set victory over Prairie Ridge in the third-place game of the Class 4A state finals in girls volleyball on Saturday night at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University. At center is Hattie Monson and at right is Caroline Gard. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Benet Academy's Redwings celebrate a win over Prairie Ridge in the third-place game of the Class 4A state finals in girls volleyball on Saturday night at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University. At right is Caroline Gard and at left is Sophie Gregus.

      Benet Academy's Redwings celebrate a win over Prairie Ridge in the third-place game of the Class 4A state finals in girls volleyball on Saturday night at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University. At right is Caroline Gard and at left is Sophie Gregus. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Benet Academy's Annie Sobolewski passes the ball in the third-place game of the Class 4A state finals in girls volleyball on Saturday night at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University.

      Benet Academy's Annie Sobolewski passes the ball in the third-place game of the Class 4A state finals in girls volleyball on Saturday night at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

 
By Kevin McGavin
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/10/2018 10:29 PM

NORMAL -- The consolation final is typically a matter of fortitude.

The Benet girls volleyball team met the test Saturday night at Illinois State University in the Class 4A third-place match.

 

Prairie Ridge had overcome a match-long deficit to tie the Redwings at 21-21 in the second set. But the Wolves could not salvage a third match point moments later, succumbing to the Redwings on a violation in the process.

Benet claimed third place with its 25-20, 25-23 victory.

"There's only two teams in Class 4A who end with a victory," Benet coach Brad Baker said. "There are so many great moments from this season."

The Redwings ended the season with a 36-6 record.

The Redwings' season-long offensive leaders were once again at the forefront. Sophomore Kyla Kenney and senior Val Tabares had 8 and 5 kills, respectively.

"We just had to take the game," Tabares said. "We had to show what Benet volleyball is all about."

There were all of 2 ties in the match as Benet scored 10 of the first 13 points in the opening set.

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Ally Van Eekeren has been a cornerstone of the program.

"I got really emotional at the end," the Creighton-bound senior setter said. "I am definitely going to miss this group."

In the opening set Tabares had a kill to give Benet its largest lead of the night at 18-8.

Tabares, an uncommitted senior, later had another kill for point No. 23 for Benet in the first set.

But the Redwings' Caitlin McKee had her only kill of the match for the first-set winner.

In the climatic set Kenney and Tabares had kills in boosting the Redwings to a 14-10 cushion.

With the score in the second set tied at 21, Tabares provided Benet with a lead never to be vanquished with her final kill of the night.

"We had a steady mindset and pushed through," Baker said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Following Tabares' last kill, the Redwings' Caroline Gard had an ace for a 2-point lead.

"We believe in each other," Tabares said.

"Playing for your school is a different feeling," Penn State recruit Rachel Muisenga said of the school year versus the ultracompetitive club season.

Benet had match point moments later after a Prairie Ridge hitting error.

Prairie Ridge was gallant to the end in staving back-to-back match points before a final net violation ended the match.

"We played a lot better tonight than we did (Friday) night (in a loss to Downers Grove North)," said Stephanie Otto, the only coach in the 22-year history of Prairie Ridge. "We made a couple of adjustments along the way."

Ann Marie Remmes had the only block of the match for Benet.

The schools finished with 24 total kills each.

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