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Girls Volleyball: West Aurora, Waubonsie Valley advance

West Aurorplayers celebrate after defeating MeteValley regional match. | Mike Mantucc~ For Sun-Times Media

West Aurora players celebrate after defeating Metea Valley in a regional match. | Mike Mantucca ~ For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: October 23, 2012 10:03PM

Waubonsie Valley appeared destined to have to play a decisive third game against Rosary during Tuesday’s Class 4A Waubonsie Valley Regional semifinals.

Trailing 16-13 in the second game, Rosary rapidly came across major serving errors, sending three consecutive into the net to give the Warriors three quick and easy points via unforced mistakes. The Warriors took advantage and rallied for a 25-23 victory after winning the first game, 25-22.

Waubonsie Valley advances to Thursday’s 6 p.m. regional championship against top-seed West Aurora, which had to hold off a tough Metea Valley squad in the evening’s opening match. The Blackhawks prevailed 25-23, 25-19.

“They missed three serves right there and that’s tough because the momentum shifted back to us,” Waubonsie Valley coach Kristen Stuart said. “I think we did a good job of limiting our errors in the second game. It wasn’t perfect, but we knew it wouldn’t be.”

The teams found themselves deadlocked 14-14 in Game 1 before the Warriors took control by tallying four straight points to pull ahead 18-14.

Rosary (23-13) fought back to ultimately cut the deficit to 22-21 but Rachel Minarick (11 assists, 9 kills) finished them off with a game-ending kill.

The second game could’ve went either way as the team’s shared 12 ties before Rosary’s mistakes proved to be too much to overcome. On the flip side, the Warriors prohibited Rosary from going on any lengthy scoring runs and were able to stay within striking distance.

“We were playing pretty close and were even up for a little bit,” Rosary coach Rachel Hartmann said. “If we didn’t miss those (serves), I think it would’ve been a whole different game and I think that’s what’s the frustrating part.”

Waubonsie Valley (20-16) went ahead 23-22 in Game 2 on a Minarick kill that never would’ve happened if not for a magnificent dig by Kelly Skotnicki (8 digs). The Warriors finished off the Royals when Katie Campbell easily spanked down the game winner on a Rosary hitting error.

“I had a couple earlier that I didn’t time right so I made sure I got that one,” Campbell said. “We knew we couldn’t afford to lose the momentum and have to go into a third game, because that can be stressful and nerve-wracking.”

Next up for the Warriors will be West Aurora (31-5) which edged upset-minded Metea Valley.

Metea Valley (18-13) kept pace with the Blackhawks for most of Game 1, but encountered its own set of problems with the serving game.

“I really think it could’ve gone either way,” Metea Valley coach Janine Wange said. “We played great defense and missed some swings and if we didn’t miss some of those serves I think we could’ve won it.”

The pesky Mustangs wouldn’t go away in Game 2 though. Finally, West Aurora standout Lauren Carlini helped the Blackhawks turn a 10-all tie into a 19-11 lead via her serves. But, even with that the Mustangs wouldn’t go easily, closing to within 22-18, but not getting any closer.

“I think we had some jitters playing our first (postseason) game and we’ll have to clean that up by Thursday,” Carlini said. “I think once our serving cleaned up we were able to control the second game better and hopefully we can continue to do that.”

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