Girls volleyball

Andrean checks girls volleyball sectional title off list of goals

2011-10-22T21:30:00Z 2012-09-08T22:40:23Z Andrean checks girls volleyball sectional title off list of goalsBy Christopher Breach Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
October 22, 2011 9:30 pm  • 

RENSSELAER | Andrean set five goals before the season started under first-year coach Julie Wiejak.

The 59ers are two-fifths of the way there after Saturday's 26-24, 25-21, 25-21 win over Kankakee Valley to capture the Class 3A Rensselaer Sectional.

Wiejak said her 10 seniors stated their goals in the preseason.

"One was to win conference, sectionals, regionals, semistate and go to state," she said. "It's on our docket, and we got two out of the way. They're amazing."

Senior setter Ana Nicksic, who collected 31 assists, said team chemistry has been the key.

"We've been playing together for four years, and we're all best friends out there, too," she said. "We all know we play better when we're happy. It's part of our mentality."

Outside hitter Shelby Stickler is one of five senior starters, and she was the sparkplug on the floor. Whenever Andrean (30-5) needed a clutch point, kill or ace, Stickler delivered. She finished with 19 kills, 10 digs, two blocks and two aces.

"She brought her A game. It was awesome setting her," Nicksic said.

Wiejak said Stickler is the emotional leader as well.

"The rest of the girls feed off of that," she said.

Andrean won its 15th sectional title and first since 2008. It will host Griffith in Tuesday's regional.

"We dreamed about this for so long, and now that it's real, and it's here, it just motivated everyone so much more," Stickler said. "Everything is for the team, and I love them.

"We haven't had it since freshman year, and, as seniors, it means so much, because we've worked so hard for it."

K.V. (21-15) led through most of the first two sets and trailed by no more than four points in the third set, but the Kougars never got over the hump once the score got into the 20s.

"Our Achilles is being able to close it out," said K.V. coach Rick Ashmore. "Some of it is getting stuck in rotations that are our weakest rotations."

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