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Girls Volleyball: Aurora Central falls to Mt. Assisi

AurorCentral Catholic's Amber Konen makes diving return against Mt. Assisi. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media

Aurora Central Catholic's Amber Konen makes a diving return against Mt. Assisi. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 24, 2012 6:19AM



Going into the Girls Catholic Athletic Conference tournament over the weekend, Mt. Assisi girls volleyball coach Karen Van Assen had some simple instructions for her squad.

“I told them, ‘I don’t care what you do, just play hard and have fun,’” Van Assen said. “That worked on Friday, so I used it again today.”

The simple instructions worked like a charm in Monday’s Class 3A IMSA Regional quarterfinal against fourth-seeded Aurora Central Catholic.

Fifth-seeded Mt. Assisi roared to an 11-1 lead in the first game and never looked back, cruising to a 25-12, 25-22 win to set up a meeting with top-seeded state power St. Francis in Tuesday’s 6 p.m. regional semifinal.

“We went out and wanted to win tonight, and we started off the game strong,” said Mt. Assisi junior Kelly Magliano, who led the team with seven kills and four blocks in the match.

ACC (10-25) put some things together in the second set after dropping the first. Sam Chmielewski had all of her team-high six kills early in the second as the Chargers cut the lead to 21-20. They never could get the lead late in the set, however, as Mt. Assisi (13-20) finished the match off.

“We just didn’t show up to play today,” ACC coach Jeanne Czipri said. “To know that they ended on not their best day is hard. They’re so used to playing their best and eventually coming up short. That motivation to play your best can run out when you don’t get rewarded for those good moments. That can wear on you.”

Mt. Assisi plays against state powers like Mother McAuley and St. Ignatius in conference play, so facing off against the storied program of St. Francis won’t faze the Eagles Tuesday.

“That’s why you play the game,” Van Assen said. “We had some players come in and practice against us to pretend that they were Wheaton St. Francis. They weren’t scared (then) and they shouldn’t be (scared Tuesday).”

In the other quarterfinal, third-seeded Glenbard South had little trouble dispatching the sixth-seeded hosts from IMSA, 25-15, 25-10. After pulling away to win the first set handily, Glenbard South libero Jane Trzaska served four aces as the Raiders (26-10) opened an insurmountable 11-1 lead in the second and cruised to the win.

Glenbard South faces second-seeded Wheaton Academy in the second semifinal Tuesday at 7 p.m.

“We practiced ahead of time for Wheaton Academy,” Glenbard South coach Chad Grant said. “I’ve seen them and they’ve got a couple of big hitters. I think we’ll be ready.”

IMSA finished the season with six wins.

“They had some ups and downs in this game, but overall, they didn’t play their best volleyball,” IMSA coach Allison Miner said. “We played a good team.”



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