Amazing. That was the word Joliet Catholic Academy coach Christine Scheibe used to describe the defensive effort Thursday night of senior libero Jill Hickey.
Amazing was the way the Angels played as a team as well. Hickey led with 14 digs as JCA opened the East Suburban Catholic Conference season with a resounding 25-11, 25-9 victory over host Nazareth.
Loyola-bound senior outside Kelly Feigh delivered 7 kills, 13 points and 9 digs for JCA (11-0, 1-0). Senior middle Hailey Pennington had 6 kills and 3 block kills, while senior setter Emily Schoenstedt contributed 9 assists and 3 block kills.
Senior middle Gianna Lincoln and Loyola-bound junior outside Morgan Reardon each tallied 4 kills, with Reardon and junior setter Mallory Mangun notching 7 service points apiece.
“This was the most complete game that the girls have played to date,” Scheibe said. “I can’t point to one aspect of the game where we were lacking.”
In Game 1, JCA faced only one tie at 1-1. Two aces by Feigh fired the Angels out to a 5-1 lead, which expanded to 11-4 and 17-9. Aces by Hickey and Feigh and a pair of Pennington block kills clinched.
Another ace by Feigh, one of four in the match, and her back-row kill jumped JCA in front 7-2 in Game 2. Two aces by Mangun increased it to 15-7 and Schoenstedt’s solo block gave the oomph to a 20-8 rout.
Throughout the match, however, the constant was the excellent defensive dandies from Hickey.
“Jill just played amazing defense tonight — amazing,” Scheibe said. “And Kelly Feigh had a great night serving and hitting. Our captains have shown great leadership and this match was no exception.”
GIRLS TENNIS: Alexis Bauer and Elaine Skoff won at first doubles for JCA, which dropped a 4-1 East Suburban Catholic Conference decision to Marian Catholic.
UPCOMING EVENTS: The boys and girls cross country teams are running at Notre Dame on Saturday, while the boys soccer team travels to Nazareth for a conference game.