JOLIET – The passing of Kelly Feigh. The hitting of Morgan Reardon and Hailey Pennington.
The Joliet Catholic Academy girls volleyball team put that combination together Tuesday, downing East Suburban Catholic Conference rival Nazareth 25-16, 25-21 as the hosts of a Class 3A sectional semifinal.
In a raucous Student Activity Center, JCA (32-6) received 8 kills and 2 block kills from Reardon, the junior outside hitter and Loyola University recruit, and 7 kills from Pennington (Plainfield), a senior middle.
A senior outside hitter also headed to Loyola, Feigh (Plainfield) added 6 kills, 8 points and 12 digs as the Angels advanced into the sectional championship match for the seventh straight season, once again against Wheaton St. Francis (32-6). The Spartans eliminated Morris 25-10, 25-17.
“Feigh passed very well so we were able to run the offense and get the ball to Reardon for kills,” JCA coach Christine Scheibe said. “The girls came out very strong in Game 1 and carried the momentum.”
The Angels were all business at the start of that Game 1, gaining a 9-2 lead. Even though Nazareth whittled that down to 12-9, JCA went on another 8-2 run for a 20-11 lead that effectively ended it.
However, Game 2 was a different matter. The Angels came out flat, the Roadrunners were fired up, and JCA faced deficits of 6-0, 7-1 and 8-2 before getting within 10-8. There were six ties, the last at 18-18.
Passes by Feigh and senior libero Jill Hickey (Oswego), who finished with 7 digs, set up swings by Reardon and Pennington to clinch.
Senior setters Emily Schoenstedt (Plainfield) and Lauren Robertson (Wilmington), the Evansville recruit, delivered 11 and 9 assists, respectively. Senior defensive specialist Meggie Fahrner (Plainfield) led with 9 service points.
“The girls showed a lot of poise and composure by coming back from an 8-2 deficit in Game 2,” said Scheibe, whose Angels will play for the sectional title on Thursday at 7. “We’re ready for the next step.”
NOTES: It is the seventh straight season JCA and St. Francis will meet in the postseason … The Angels have beaten St. Francis four straight times, including three wins in either sectional or supersectional play. All of those matches have gone three games … JCA will be seeking its seventh consecutive appearance in the Elite Eight … The supersectional will be held at Lincoln-Way West on Saturday afternoon at 2 … Senior middle Gianna Lincoln (99) and Robertson (93) are close to giving the Angels five different players with 100 kills or more. Reardon tops the team with 305 … Did you know? JCA has won 30 or more matches in seven consecutive seasons and in eight of the last nine years. In that period, the Angels have won three state titles, were the 3A runnersup last year and have earned six state trophies.