The clock finally struck midnight for Cinderella at the Class 4A West Aurora girls volleyball sectional championship game.
No. 9 (23-16) could not find the magic it had during an improbable run to the sectional final, dropping a 25-17, 25-14 decision to No. 1 Benet Academy (36-3) Thursday in Aurora.
The Redwings’ height and play at the net proved to be too much for the Wildcats, who had beaten the Nos. 3, 6 and 7 seeds to reach their first sectional final in 23 years.
“They had so much heart to even get to this point,” Plainfield Central coach Jessica Clark said. “We upset three teams to get here, so I couldn’t be prouder of this team for making it this far.”
“Our team has no regrets,” Plainfield Central senior captain and setter Taryn Trubich said. “We haven’t been this far since 1988. To come this far is an amazing moment and I’m so proud of everyone.”
“We came into this game thinking, ‘Oh my gosh! We get to face Benet,'" said Erin Hyland, Central's senior captain and outside hitter. “That in itself was an accomplishment. We wanted it, we fought for it and Benet is an amazing team. They are No. 1 in the state for a reason.”
A rare hitting error by Benet gave upstart Plainfield Central an 11-10 lead in game 1, but the team surged to a 17-12 lead before the Wildcats called time out.
“Plainfield Central, obviously, to get here they had to be playing well and at the start of the match, they played well,” Benet coach Brad Baker said.
Meghan Haggerty’s kill gave the favorites a 20-14 lead. The first game ended on three straight serve errors, two by the Wildcats.
Game 2 belonged to the Redwings, which won the program’s third sectional title.
Haggerty, a 6-foot-3 senior who is headed to Wisconsin, led the winners with 11 kills.
Hyland posted seven kills, Trubich dished out 10 assists and Vicky Swigart and Dana Peterson had seven digs each. Peterson, one of seven seniors on the Wildcats’ roster, also had 21 serves received.