Benet drops Nazareth in ESCC volleyball opener
Nazareth Academy's Emma Saunders (left) and Benet Academy's Hannah Kaminsky battle at the net during their volleyball game at Nazareth. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 20, 2012 4:50PM
LA GRANGE PARK — Coming off its biggest win of the season, defending Class 4A state champion Benet would have been forgiven for a slow start Tuesday night at Nazareth.
But the Redwings showed no signs of letting up in the second set as No. 2 Benet beat the Roadrunners 25-22, 25-12 in the East Suburban Conference opener for both teams.
Benet (15-0) jumped out to a 22-9 lead in the second set behind Cara Mattaliano’s match-high 15 kills and Hannah Kaminsky’s 29 assists. Kaminsky was named the MVP Saturday at the Wheaton Classic as the Redwings beat the Sun-Times’ preseason No. 1 Marist for the tournament title.
“In our first game, everything was on the line, but we were not as smooth,” Mattaliano said. “In our second game, we got it together.”
The Kaminsky-to-Mattaliano combination proved potent in the second set when Mattaliano had seven kills, three of them from back row attacks.
Reserve Nicki Barnes added eight kills for Benet while Rachael Fara had three kills and three blocks. Fara outblocked Nazareth’s entire team, 4-1.
Samantha Brown had 10 kills and two aces for Nazareth (8-2), which travels to Marist (6-3) at 6 p.m. Thursday to finish back-to-back matches against two of the Chicago area’s best.
Celine Jones had four kills and Emma Saunders and Mariah Rouse had three kills each for the Roadrunners. Saunders’ kill off a tip tied the first set at 20, but the Redwings scored four of the next five points, including two Mattaliano kills and a block by Fara.