Benet's Stephanie Sinnappan spells relief at Wheaton Classic
09/21/2013, 9:30pm CDT By Phil Brozynski
Benet setter Stephanie Sinnappan dispelled some pre-game nausea and then went to work on Plainfield North, totaling six aces and 20 assists as the Redwings won 25-9, 25-18 to take the Wheaton Classic title on Saturday.
Benet setter Stephanie Sinnappan ran off the court moments before her team was to take on Plainfield North in the championship of the Wheaton Classic on Saturday.
“I was nauseous,” the 6-foot senior said. “I think some food went down the wrong way. Maybe dehydration. I have to drink more water. Before we started I said I needed to get this out of my system so I could play because I feel so nauseous right now.
“But after a few moments, I was able to shake it off and said ‘Yes, I’m ready to go,’” she added. “It was a sigh of relief.”
Six aces and 20 assists later, there was no relief for Plainfield North.
Sinnappan led Benet (14-1) to its third consecutive Wheaton Classic title with a 25-9, 25-18 victory over Plainfield North. It was Benet’s 11th straight regular-season tournament title since losing to Joliet Catholic in the finals of the Mizuno Scholastic Cup tournament in 2010.
The Redwings got eight kills from Whitney Battoe, six kills from Ashley Hitchcock, five kills from Rachael Fara and nine digs from Caroline Wolf and a gutsy – literally – effort from their setter, who strung together five aces during an 8-0 service run in Game One.
“I've only seen it twice, and both times [when] somebody's thrown up, they played great,” Benet coach Brad Baker said. “Didn't Michael [Jordan] do it, too? But once the match got going, she [Sinnappan] was able to focus on the match, which was good to see.”
“We were able to take [Plainfield North] out of system, and you get any high school team out of system and it becomes easier,” he added. “Your blockers can focus on one half of the court. They don't have three hitters to defend. It makes things a lot easier, and that's part of our goal defensively.”
Trailing 14-5 in Game Two, Plainfield North (18-2) was able to put together runs of 4-0 and 5-0 to close within 18-15. But Benet regained the momentum behind back-to-back kills by Battoe and two net violations by the Tigers before Hitchcock put the match away with a winner from the left side.
“Our passing completely shut down, and our communication went soon after that,” Plainfield North coach Tracey Marshall said. “We completely unraveled. It wasn't anything that Benet did, we did it to ourselves. We weren't competing like we did all weekend. That was not us out there.”
Kate Federico had nine assists, three kills and an ace to lead the Tigers, who also got four kills form Dakota Santore.