Volleyball: Andrean holds off Hanover for sectional title
By Terry Turner Post-Tribune correspondent October 20, 2012 11:34PM
Updated: November 22, 2012 6:58AM
KNOX — Going into the Class 3A Knox Sectional championship, Andrean, after a real battle against Knox in the morning, looked to be the favorite.
But watch out for Hanover Central. The Wildcats had momentum, stunning and out-playing the 59ers with tips and a slowdown offense to push the final to fifth game.
Then stepped up the 59ers’ Lauren Stazinski. And before she was through, with an amazing run of kills, Andrean was on the road to hosting its own regional after a 25-11, 22-25, 25-18, 20-25, 15-10 victory.
“Six (Stazinski) was our only returning starter,” 59ers coach Julie Wiejak said. “She knew exactly what to do (when we needed a leader). She was a side player last year, and has never really emerged.
“She had never been like that, seven (kills), or something like that, in a row. She stepped it up, singlehandedly almost stuffed the life out of Hanover Central.”
The 59ers were tied with Hanover, 3-3, in that fifth and decisive game, after a Marija Nicksic kill, as they were struggling to hold back a tremendous Wildcats effort.
By the time her rally finally went side out, Stazinski had spurred the 59ers to a 10-5 lead. Though Hanover would get as close as 11-9, a kill by Stazinski, kills by Kellie Wojciecow, Grace Cooper and Marija Nicksic, and a final ace by Cooper gave the 59ers the title.
Hanover Central had so many heroes in testing and almost breaking the favored 59ers.
“It was awesome playing against a team like Andrean,” said Wildcats junior Kristen Roper. “This was a great game, one of the greatest games of my life. All the girls stepped up, everybody fought.”
Hanover coach Shelly Evers added: “This has been a phenomenal group of girls. We’ve been doing this all season. They gave it all.”
In the semifinals, Andrean fought off an aggressive Knox in four games, and Hanover had an easy time with Calumet.
Wiejak said her girls were ready for the regional.
“We’re road tested — we’ve played 14 games in the (last few days).”