RENSSELAER | Kankakee Valley will play Knox for the third time this season Saturday in the semifinals of the Class 3A Rensselaer Sectional after they advanced with easy wins Thursday night.
K.V. ( 20-4) made quick work of Calumet, 25-11, 25-10 and 25-14, after Knox eliminated Hanover Central.
Knox and K.V. will battle before Andrean faces Rensselaer.
"We're really excited to play (Knox)," said K.V. senior Hailey Ruesken, who finished with nine kills. "We know it's going to be a tough match, and we're going to have to have one of our best games."
K.V. and Knox split their two earlier matches with the first meeting going to the Kougars in five sets.
"It should be a solid final four on Saturday," K.V. coach Rick Ashmore said. "Obviously, Andrean and Knox are excellent teams. We have some things to work on and get ready for, but we managed to keep our composure the whole match."
The Kougars jumped out to big leads in each game and were able to put away the scrappy Warriors.
"I thought Calumet played very hard," Ashmore. "They didn't give us anything, and they hustled all the way through the entire game."
Calumet held two starters out for the first two sets for disciplinary reasons.
"For the most part, they played consistently all three games, and K.V. is a good team with a great coach," Calumet coach Brianne Cercone said.
In the first match, two-time defending champion Knox dispatched Hanover Central 25-7, 26-24, 25-8.
Hanover (19-10) made a nice run in the second set on the strength of middle hitter Alex Plavsa and outside hitter Kristen Roper, jumping out to a 4-0 lead. Hanover still led 19-17 before Knox eventually tied the set at 23.
The Wildcats never could regain the lead.
"Our passing was a problem all the way around tonight, but the second game we picked that back up," Hanover coach Shelley Evers said. "Then we ended up with 11 missed serves, so that definitely put a dent in our plan.
"We ended up 19-10, and that was huge for us, so we anticipate an even better season next year."