WHEATFIELD | If the remaining teams in the Class 3A Kankakee Valley Sectional are going to knock off prohibitive favorite Knox, they're going to have to bring it on Saturday.
Griffith (14-15) couldn't knock off defending champion Redskins (29-4) in Thursday's opener. Knox made quick work of the Panthers 25-8, 25-12 and 25-9 and will face Kankakee Valley, who won the battle of Jasper County with a 25-16, 25-19, 25-10 victory over Rensselaer.
"When you've got that much talent on the other side of the net, it's hard to stop," Griffith coach Cathy Dilbeck said. "It's total domination every single rotation."
Griffith made a run in the second game, getting to 14-9 on two kills by Kelsey Bonewits but could get no closer. Knox's 6-foot-3 middle blocker Caitlan Farus had two kills down the stretch and finished with 10 for the match.
"She's playing volleyball 12 months out of the year and is going Division I," Dilbeck said. "Yeah, she's going to give any team problems."
Knox coach Jake Skelly said his team had a hard time holding its enthusiasm at school during the day and is prepared to defend its title.
"This is what we've been working so hard for," he said. "We got a taste what it was like to win a sectional last year, and they're hungry for more."
K.V. (14-20) didn't let a lull in game two affect the outcome.
"It was a good win," said coach Rick Ashmore, who notched his 800th career victory in the process. He knows it's going to take a super effort against Knox before Calumet faces Andrean.
"Knox is real good," he said. "They've beaten us three times, two were on neutral courts, but they've all been close. Now we get to play them here."
Hailey Ruesken had 12 kills and 2.5 blocks to lead the Kougars' attack.
"We're going to have to bring a lot of energy, a lot of hitting and blocking," said Ruesken on Knox. "We're going to have to come together as a team."
Rensselaer (13-17) coach Linda Kaufman thought the momentum from game two might spark her squad.
"I thought it might carry over into game three and four and five," she said. "We just couldn't keep it rolling."