Chicago Suntimes By Phil Brozynski
Benet squandered a 23-21 lead in the second game of its Class 4A sectional semifinal against Waubonsie Valley Tuesday at Plainfield South. There would be no such difficulties in Game 3.
Dana Griffin had nine kills, middle hitters Marija Cyvas and Rachael Fara each had eight and Stephanie Sinnappan added 26 assists, six kills and three blocks as Benet opened a 17-8 lead in Game 3 on its way to a 25-21, 24-26, 25-13 victory over the Warriors.
The Redwings (33-5) advance to Thursday’s championship match against either Naperville North or Plainfield North at 7 p.m.
Benet libero Caroline Wolf, who was credited with 25 digs, chalked up the second game as a learning experience.
“Not every game is going to be easy,” said the Wake Forest-bound senior. “We have to control what we can. In the second game, I think we let it slip away from us. We didn’t control as many things as we usually do. It was a good reminder that we can’t take any one lightly and any game lightly.”
Waubonsie Valley certainly did not take Fara lightly, but the Warriors were repeatedly stung by Cyvas, the Redwings’ 6-foot-1 junior middle. Her eight kills, many on tips over the block, were a career high.
“We had some tape on them and we saw that their libero played deep,” Cyvas said. “The coaches told us to tip until they start picking it up. I was tipping and I was swinging. We beat them either way.”
Rachel Minarick had 13 kills and 16 assists to lead Waubonsie Valley (30-8). Junior Becky Breuer and sophomore Brooke Burling each had nine kills and junior setter Lauren Hiller added 10 assists.
“You can come back from a two-point or maybe a four-point deficit against teams like Benet, but you can’t come back from an eight-point deficit,” Waubonsie Valley coach Kristen Stuart. “We definitely got ourselves in a bad position with serve-receive and we got a little tentative on attack.
“We won Game 2 because we were aggressive on our attack throughout,” she added. “I wish we had fought a little harder in Game 3 and been a little more determined.”