, led Saturday night by Emily Workman and Maggie Kamp, advanced to the girls volleyball state tournament for the third year in a row as the Knights beat Timothy Christian 21-25, 25-14, 25-21 in the Class 2A Lisle Supersectional.
Workman, a sophomore, went to state with the Knights’ volleyball team last year, and she already went to state this fall as a member of the cross country team.
"It was rough at first, but we pushed hard,” Workman said of Saturday night’s victory. “To go to state again this year is amazing for me because I really didn't know what to expect last year. Doing it again this year is awesome.”
Workman did a bit of everything for the Knights (22-18) on Saturday, posting 22 assists, six service aces, three kills and two blocks.
"In the offseason, she played club and was a right-side hitter,” Knights head coach James Garcia said. “We moved her over to setter, and she just tries to move over and get to the ball."
Kamp, a senior, had nine key kills.
"We needed to fight for every point and just execute and make sure balls hit the floor,” Kamp said. “Then we picked it up in games two and three. You have to find a place where they aren't, and I resorted to the tip, and it worked.”
"Kamp decided to bowl in the spring, so there were a lot of questions about her passing, but she's been great for us," Garcia said.
In game one, the Knights started out flat and the Trojans (35-4-1) rocketed to a 10-3 lead. Garcia was forced to use his timeout.
"They know when they play down, I get frustrated because I know how good they are,” Garcia said. “They tend to play down to the competition's level, but this club is good enough to pick it up and dictate the tempo of the game.”
After that timeout, the Knights were able to rally and tie the first game at 16-all, aided by three of Workman's aces, and they even took a 17-16 lead before Timothy Christian closed out the 25-21 win.
Despite the loss in the first game, the rally seemed to give the Knights momentum. They cruised to a 25-14 victory in game two to force a deciding third game.
With a trip to state on the line, both teams emptied their fuel tanks. The deciding game was tied only six times, as the Knights took a 12-11 lead and never looked back. Workman had two kills late in the game to help the Knights to a 25-21 victory and their third Class 2A Supersectional championship in as many years.
The Knights will play Breese Central on Friday at about 1:30 p.m. in the state semi-final at Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal.