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Rosary volleyball advances, Aurora Central Catholic falls short

AURORA – It didn’t take long for the Rosary girls volleyball team to dispatch IMSA in Monday’s Class 3A Aurora Central Catholic Regional quarterfinal. And that has the Royals feeling good.

Rosary dominated en route to a 25-8, 25-12 sweep to advance to today’s regional semifinal match against Providence.

“I think it gives us a big boost of confidence,” senior Josephine Gallagher said, “especially it being our first regional win. And we’re such a young team, I think it’ll help us play a little more confidently and strong tomorrow.”

Rosary cruised in both games against the regional’s lowest seed, going up, 15-1, in the first game and scoring the first seven points in the second.

“It was nice,” Gallagher said. “It made the game pretty comfortable. We were able to put in some other players. It was exciting.”

The Royals got a big contribution from freshman Erin Burke, who finished with 13 kills in the match. It seemed like a big part of the game plan was to set up Burke, who stood out with a powerful hit nearly every time she swung.

“She had a lot of points for us in the beginning,” coach Rachel Hartmann said. “It’s always good to see when she’s on. She’s a young player, she’s learning the game pretty quickly. So it’s good to see her going.”

“Erin’s a really big part of the team,” Gallagher said. “She’s a big hitter on our team, one of our strongest hitters. She always puts the ball away. It’s an easy play.”

Tinley Park swept host Aurora Central Catholic, 25-21, 25-19, in the night’s opening quarterfinal.

Senior libero Clare Tack led the way for the Chargers with two aces and 10 digs, while juniors Annie Krogulski and Natalie Droeske each chipped in four kills. But, after the loss ended ACC’s season, coach Jeanne Czipri was focused on how her young team could bounce back next season.

“I think that this team has a lot of potential. We’re very young,” Czipri said. “Most of the match, the only senior that was on the court was [Tack]. So I think that leadership plays a big part in that, when you’ve only got one big leader. My other returning player is a sophomore middle, so I think that that plays a big role. … They’re nervous, they haven’t been in this position before.

“I think that we’ve got a lot of promise for the future. It was a challenging season for this group of girls. I don’t think that they tapped into their potential as much as I had hoped for, specifically because I don’t know if they knew and really grasped how good they could’ve been. It’s a matter of hoping that they take advantage of it next year.”

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