Girls volleyball: Young Timothy Christian sees season end in supersectional
Entering postseason play with a losing record, Timothy Christian, with only one senior, won a regional championship along with a sectional title.
Unfortunately for the Trojans, a quest for a spot in the 2019 Class 2A semifinals fell short.
Rockford Lutheran squashed Timothy's hopes with a 25-22, 25-23 victory over the youthful Trojans at the Johnsburg supersectional Friday night.
Timothy Christian ends its season 17-22 while the Crusaders (35-5) advance to the state finals to play Decatur St. Teresa at Redbird Arena at Illinois State University at 1 p.m. Friday. St. Teresa defeated Orion at the Farmington supersectional 19-25, 25-19, 25-14.
"Hopefully, our players will remember this feeling next season and won't want to repeat it," said Trojans coach Scott Piersma. "Our core is juniors and we had a very young team this season and it showed at times. We should have won the second set and played a third set.
"Kudos to Rockford Lutheran, they kept chipping away in the second set. We played a tough regular-season schedule filled with 3A and 4A schools. We weren't worried about the record. We wanted to gear up for the postseason with a tough schedule."
In the second set the Trojans seemed primed to play a third game leading the Crusaders by 20-13 after a kill by Greta Hoogstra.
But the Crusaders rallied to end the game and match on a 12-3 run.
Katie Wilhelmi collected 3 kills, Kayla Spangler and Jaycie Sheehan had 2 kills apiece and Remmington Vincent served 2 aces, including the match-winner.
"Our goal at the beginning of the season was to win a regional for the first time in 14 years," said Rockford Lutheran coach Jordan Haverly. "We were playing a lot of talented freshmen and sophomores and we thought winning a regional would be a reasonable goal.
"These kids have certainly exceeded expectations and then some. We are in uncharted waters. For such a young team we kept our poise in the second set and made a great rally to win the match. We had no interest in playing a third set. This group has really come together as a team."
In the first game there were 6 lead changes before Rockford Lutheran took the lead for good at 22-21 on a kill by Kylie Wilhelmi.
A block kill by Lauren Spangler gave the Crusaders a 1-0 lead in the match.
Hoogstra paced the Trojans with 8 kills and 3 aces, and Annie Taylor and Sadie Orange deposited 5 kills apiece.
Katie Wilhelmi paced the Crusaders with 9 kills. Lauren Spangler contributed 6 kills.