GENOA – The Burlington Central girls volleyball team beat Genoa-Kingston, 25-15, 25-14, in the IHSA Class 3A Genoa-Kingston Regional championship match Thursday to win its first regional title since 2008.
“This is a team that has set some good goals for ourselves, being conference champs, regional champs, and we’re just checking those off right now,” Rockets coach Marv Leavitt said. “We’re getting better. We were focused and ready to play.”
Behind three aces from junior Lauren Wiltsie, the Rockets (26-11) took a 10-4 lead in the first game. Wiltsie also had four kills in the game, and the Cogs couldn’t close the gap to fewer than five.
G-K took a 4-1 lead in the second game, but Central came back with a 15-1 run, including 12 straight points when senior Allie O’Reilly was serving.
The Cogs (19-18) hung with Central point-for-point for the rest of the game, but kills by senior Jenna Schudel and Maddy Barry capped the win.
The Rockets will play Lake Villa on Tuesday in an IHSA Class 3A Burlington Central Sectional semifinal.
“We got on some nice runs, and Wiltsie in the first game was huge,” Leavitt said. “Those just change the matches right there. We got some good play all the way around from everyone. Our defense was really strong tonight.”
IHSA Class 3A Timothy Christian Regional: St. Francis regrouped from a Game 1 loss for the second straight match, rallying past Montini, 21-25, 25-15, 25-18, in the regional final.
Molly Haggerty (15 kills, 17 digs), Sam Dubiel (23 digs) and Mary Boken (16 service points) were among the key components allowing St. Francis (34-3) to win its 24th straight regional title and advance to the Coal City Sectional semifinal Tuesday to face Joliet Catholic.
“Montini is a fine team,” St. Francis coach Peg Kopec said. “They played with a lot of heart. It was a very intense match tonight.”
• Anthony Zilis contributed to this report.