Girls Volleyball: Benet drops Joliet Catholic
By Phil Brozynski For Sun-Times Media October 10, 2013 10:52PM
Updated: November 12, 2013 6:28AM
Benet’s Brittany Pavich has tried everything short of faith healers and witch doctors to get ready for a drive to another state title.
Whatever she’s doing, it’s working.
Pavich had five kills and two blocks as two-time defending state champion Benet raced past Joliet Catholic 25-11, 25-17 Thursday in Lisle. She put a punctuation on the East Suburban Catholic victory with a loud kill on match point.
“The last one felt good, of course now that the game is over,” said Pavich, a 6-foot-2 senior middle hitter who made just her fifth appearance of the season. “It’s going to take lots of repetitions and working with (setter) Stephanie (Sinnappan). It’s going pretty well.”
Pavich has turned to a combination of acupuncture, physical therapy, attention from the team trainer and lots of ice before and after every appearance to get into game shape for the Redwings (19-2, 3-1).
“I’m trying everything possible to get my shoulder better,” she said. “I think the acupuncture is helping. I’m trying everything I can to make sure it’s 100 percent. I do physical therapy about once or twice a week and then I do acupuncture a couple of times a week.
“I’m just trying to play the best I can right now.”
Pavich’s running mate in the middle, Rachael Fara, added six kills and two blocks including four kills in Set 1 as Benet opened with a 7-0 burst and never was threatened. Whitney Battoe had three of her four kills in Game 2 to help the Redwings rally from an early 10-8 deficit.
“She’s getting better,” Benet coach Brad Baker said of Pavich. “The more she plays, the better she gets. Our goal is to peak at the end of the year. It’s got a be a marathon, not a sprint. We’re going to be patient, take our time and make sure she’s not overdoing it.
“We’ve been lucky to have two good middles who work hard and are extremely effective hitting multiple shots. You try to defend one shot, and they can hit another one. They’re not one-trick ponies. That makes them effective. That makes our team more effective.”
Joliet Catholic (14-8, 1-3) got seven kills from Julia Shemaitis and 11 assists and eight digs from Mary Murphy. But inconsistent passing from the back row continues to plague the Angels.
“We work on passing and work on passing and work on passing, and it just doesn’t seem to be coming,” coach Chris Scheibe said. “One person who’s passing pretty well is Meghan Harrison. She’s probably our most consistent passer right now. But she’s a sophomore. We can’t be putting so much pressure on her. The other girls have to step up and make plays and make things happen, too.”
Meanwhile, Pavich and her teammates would like nothing more than to put more pressure on their opponents, and that comes with a healthy dose of middle attacks.
“This team has real close chemistry, which is really nice to see,” she said. “Everyone is working really hard. I’m excited to see how we do at the end of the season. Everyone is playing outstanding. It’s very fun as a middle to have great passes.”