Joliet Catholic outlasts Providence

Providence Catholic's Liza Ellingson (center) and Katie Compagno (right) go up to block a spike from Joliet Catholic's Madeline Grimm in Joliet on Thursday Oct. 23, 2014. | Mike Mantucca / For Sun-Times Media

Providence Catholic’s Liza Ellingson (center) and Katie Compagno (right) go up to block a spike from Joliet Catholic’s Madeline Grimm in Joliet on Thursday Oct. 23, 2014. | Mike Mantucca / For Sun-Times Media

Madeline Grimm was seeing just fine during Joliet Catholic’s 21-25, 25-15, 25-15 East Suburban Catholic Conference South win Thursday over visiting Providence.

Her 12 kills led the way as the Angels gained revenge for a three-game loss Oct. 7 to the Celtics.

At one point in the match, though, she and her teammates were seeing red. That was after the Celtics tripped them in Game 1 with a late surge.

“Oh, my gosh,” the Angels’ Mary Murphy said. “We went out in the second game and it was like the first game never even happened. I’ve never seen us more determined and more focused.

“That loss (Oct. 7) was definitely the hardest loss, just because they’re our crosstown rivals almost. We always want to have a good game against them. It was nice to step on the floor the second time around and show them what (Joliet Catholic) volleyball is all about.”

Murphy added seven kills and 17 assists, Maddie Naal seven kills and three blocks, Megan Cladis 11 digs and Meghan Harrison eight digs for Joliet Catholic (19-16, 4-6).

Providence (21-14, 5-5) was led by Anna Smagala (6 kills), Katie Compagno (6 kills), Mary Poulos (6 kills), Cory Griffith (15 digs), Liza Ellingson (14 assists, 2 blocks) and Kaitlyn Peil (2 blocks).

Some vision problems earlier in the season necessitated a move for Grimm from the outside to right-side hitter. She returned to her natural role a few matches back, however, and Thursday the 5-9 senior was swinging freely and successfully.

Grimm had three kills during a Game 2 run that turned a 6-all tie into a 12-7 lead. It sent a shot of adrenaline into the Angels they for the most part maintained the rest of the match.

“It’s our Senior Night,” Grimm said. “There are nine of us, and we wanted to win on Senior Night. Of course you do as a senior.”

Providence went into the match without starting setter Rachel Alles, who suffered a broken nose Tuesday in a collision with a teammate during a match against Marian Catholic. Her availability won’t be known until after Monday, according to coach Rachel Ellingson.

In Alles’ stead, the Celtics came out with a spirited effort. They were trailing 15-11 in the first game when Compagno used a tip off the block to ignite a 6-0 rally during which Smagala had three kills and a block assist. Peil put the hammer down at the finish for the Celtics with a block assist and a game-clinching kill.

It didn’t go as well for the Celtics after that. Of Joliet Catholic’s first 14 points in Game 3, seven of them came via Providence unforced errors.

“We had one day to prepare for this,” Rachel Ellingson said, regarding the loss of Alles. “We didn’t execute as well (at the end) as we did in that first game. (Joliet Catholic) has great fans, and it’s a tough court to play on. But we’ll move on.”

Published in the Southtown Star/Sun-Times Media by Tony Baranek on October 23, 2014. 

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