JOLIET – Providence Catholic’s girls volleyball team viewed Monday’s match at Joliet Catholic Academy as an opportunity to pick up a big win over one of the state’s top programs.
So it was understandable that coach Jean Phelps’ Celtics, with only four seniors on its roster, celebrated like they did after rallying late in both sets to capture a 26-24, 25-23 nonconference win over the Angels.
Providence overcame a 23-21 deficit in the first set and trailed 20-19 in the second set but put things together late in both sets to improve to 6-4 on the season.
Leading the way for Providence was Izabela Gorys (nine kills), Juliana Warfield (seven kills) and Gillian Peterson (six kills). Other top players for the Celtics were Abby Lab (10 assists), Vittoria Conte (15 digs) and Sarah Kerfin (two blocks).
“My girls played exceptionally well,” Phelps said. “We tried a new lineup, and it came together really well. This was one of our strong performances, but we’ve had good performances all season. We have two who are back from injuries and another who will be back this week.”
Things were looking good for the Angels (9-5) in the first set after they had four-straight two-point leads late, with the last coming at 23-21 on a kill by Claire Dow (two block kills). But the Celtics rallied behind two kills from Peterson and one each from Gorys and Warfield to take the advantage.
“We came in ready to fight and weren’t going to let any balls drop,” Gorys said. “We practiced really hard for this and played hard. We’ve played some pretty strong teams and gotten better, and we’re going to continue to practice as hard as we can.”
In the second set, it was pretty tight throughout, but the Celtics tied it at 20 on a kill by Warfield, who then stepped to the service line and got three points, with one ace. Gorys got a block during that run and then a kill to make it 24-23. Then a long hit by the Angels ended the match.
“With a team like JCA, that has some big blockers, we knew we could get around their block if we used our shots as best as we could,” Warfield said. “We wanted this game so bad, and this is what we’ve been working for. It’s just an amazing feeling.”
Leading the way for the Angels were Bella Ray (10 kills), Emily Surin (four kills, seven digs), Kristen Leuszler (two aces) and Ryan Hinshaw (15 assists).
“At this point, we’re just having trouble executing,” Angels coach Christine Scheibe said. “We’re telling the girls things and saying this is what’s coming but they step out on the court and just aren’t able to execute what we we’re asking them to do. There’s just way too many unforced errors, and these are the types of mistakes we weren’t making at the beginning of the year.”