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Girls Volleyball: Chicago Christian falls to St. Francis

Chicago Christian's Emily Workman (2) Leah Kamp (10) defend as St. Francis's Mary Boken hits. | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

Chicago Christian's Emily Workman (2) and Leah Kamp (10) defend as St. Francis's Mary Boken hits. | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 11, 2013 6:49AM



The reigning state champs are at it again.

Lifted by a stellar performance from Sam Dubiel, St. Francis ousted Chicago Christian 25-10, 25-15 Saturday for its third straight trip to the Class 3A state semifinals.

“It’s a big accomplishment,” Dubiel said. “I feel like sometimes people think that since we’re expected to go to state, it’s not as big of a deal. But we’re so excited. Every year is a new year and it’s never going to get old.”

Dubiel, a senior libero, was all over the back row in recording 15 digs as she spurred the Spartans attack with precise passing.

“We did our best not to serve to (Dubiel),” Chicago Christian coach James Garcia said, “but she’s sliding right in and making those passes.”

Dubiel’s prowess helped set up Molly Haggerty, who put down a match-high nine kills for St. Francis (36-3). Mary Boken added five kills and Daniele Messe and Natalie Murison had nine assists apiece for the Spartans.

“We played them twice in conference, so we were really focused because we weren’t sure how they’d play us the third time,” Haggerty said. “We practiced hard running plays in practice, and I think it showed that we were focused on our side and not on theirs.”

St. Francis advances to Illinois State’s Redbird Arena for a state semifinal match at 6 p.m. Friday.

Meanwhile, it was anguish again for Chicago Christian (28-12), which fell to St. Francis for the third time this year and for the second consecutive season in supersectional play.

St. Francis took a 15-3 first-set lead as Chicago Christian struggled with its passing for the second match in a row after managing to get by Queen of Peace in the sectional finals.

“Our focus wasn’t there for our passing, and we couldn’t run an offense,” Garcia said. “I think we probably had five very good passes, and we were able to execute on offense when we had that.”

The Knights showed fight in the second set behind Leah Kamp (5 kills), but Haggerty took over, notching a kill and two aces in succession to put the match out of reach.

“Against a school like that, everyone on the floor for them is a very good, very skilled player,” Garcia said.

Maggie Cavanaugh had seven digs and Indiana Wesleyan-bound Emily Workman had eight assists, a kill and a block for Chicago Christian.



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