AURORA – Although it was “Wacky Day” at Rosary High School on Wednesday, the Royals’ girls volleyball team was all business as it defeated archrival Aurora Central Catholic, 25-19, 25-23, in a Suburban Christian Conference Blue match.
The day was part of Spirit Week at the school, which is celebrating its 50th birthday.
Rosary remained calm as ACC continually threatened to take the lead in both games.
“We have been in a lot of close games this season and it hasn’t really fallen in our favor,” Rosary coach Rachel Hartmann said. “So for it to get tight and for the girls to stay calm to pull out a win in two games, it’s really big for them.”
The Royals (5-13, 1-3) appeared to have the first game in hand as they built a 14-10 lead.
The Chargers, though, started clawing their way back into the contest. A Kendall Iverson kill brought ACC (6-17, 0-5 ) within a point, 16-15. The squad was not able to tie the contest but continued to keep the gap at only one point. Another Iverson kill put the score at 20-19.
Rosary then went on a five-point run to close the game.
ACC continued dogging Rosary in the second game.
“We built it into our mentality that we can win any game regardless of who it is,” Chargers coach Jeanne Czipri said. “They go into every game, every match focused.”
Again, the Royals jumped out to a healthy lead in Game 2. A Genevieve Talbot ace gave Rosary a 17-11 advantage.
The Chargers mounted a comeback and pulled within one on another Iverson kill. Hartmann, though, regrouped her team.
“I told them it’s OK if they get a point but you got to fight back to get a point and not let them get the second or the third,” Hartmann said.
The Royals did not get rattled as ACC tied the game at 19 on a Rosary hitting error. The Royals immediately retook the lead, 20-19, on a net violation.
After that, ACC was only able again to pull within one point, 22-21, on a Lauren San Diego kill.
Junior Nina Valaitis, who led Rosary with 10 kills, scored the winning tally.
“It was with the help of my team. It wasn’t just me,” Valaitis said. ”We had some great defense today.”
Libero Martha Konovodoff had 17 digs for the Royals.
Czipri was pleased with the way her Chargers came together despite the disappointing outcome.
“We achieved one of our goals tonight regardless of the [loss],” the coach said. “Tonight our big focus was play as a team and. I saw that.”