Published 12:00 am Friday, September 19, 2008


Sports Editor

Riverside seniors  Shaney Borne and Heidi Garcich walked into the Rebels’ gym on Tuesday with the knowledge that they were about to face cross-town rival St. Charles Catholic for the very last time in their Rebel volleyball careers.

And those seniors, along with their Rebel teammates, made the last time count.

Garcich racked up 18 kills and 26 digs and Borne notched five blocks as Riverside swept the Comets in three games, 25-18, 25-20, and 25-18.

“We were really pumped to be playing them for the last time,” said Borne. “We wanted to come out and show how excited we were in how we played.”

Added Garcich: “It feels good to end it with a win. Not that it ends the season, but to (beat St. Charles) as a senior, since we won’t get to play them again.”

The win in three games was a rarity in the RA/SCC series, as the two teams typically play to four or five games.

“I don’t know the last time that it happened,” said Riverside Coach Mandy Luminais. “We always go to five against St. Charles. It’s almost like both teams want it to go the distance.”

St. Charles Coach Brandy Ryan said that the Comets have to work on getting off to a better start in their matches.

“We expected to have five good games against Riverside like we always do,” said Ryan. “(Last) Thursday, we came out intimidated against John Curtis. Today, we come out flat against our rival.”

Kaitlyn Millet had 17 assists and two aces, leading Riverside (2-0) in both categories.

Brooke Becker led St. Charles with eight kills. Courtney Western added 16 assists. Taylor Duhe tallied 12 digs.

Riverside got off to a fast start in the first game, as Millet recorded aces on two of Riverside’s first four points, the first four scores of the match.

(See RIVALRY, Page 13A)

St. Charles rallied, and the teams traded points until the Comets followed a Borne kill with a score of their own to make it Riverside 14, St. Charles 13. RA scored each of the next five points, and never led by less than three again.

Duhe recorded SCC’s last point on a kill to make it 22-18, but the Rebels scored the final three points to close the game.

The next game was back and forth until it’s late stages. The Comets scored three consecutive points to tie after Riverside went ahead 18-15. But RA scored seven of the next nine points, including a Borne kill that iced the 25th and winning point.

In the third and final game, St. Charles took a 14-11 lead after an ace by Courtney Western. But the Rebels scored six of the game’s next seven points to go ahead 17-15, and wouldn’t relinquish control again. An ace by Kristy Milioto closed the game and the win out for the Rebels.

“It’s like all we’ve been working so hard for fell into place for us today,” said Borne.

Said Garcich: “We did what we had to do in practice to get ready for this. We really came together as a team.”

Luminais said that she could see in the Rebels’ effort just how determined they were to earn the win.

“That was the hardest I’ve ever seen them play,” she said. “Their hearts were really in it all night.”

It was the first of three victories on the week for Riverside. The second  came Wednesday in another cross-town matchup as the Rebels defeated the host East St. John Wildcats in three games, 25-14, 25-16, and 25-23.

Millet led Riverside (3-0) with six kills and 27 digs. Shea LaFountain had six aces. Aimee Williamson tallied seven assists.

Luminais said the team didn’t come out with as much energy as it did the previous night.

“It took a little bit more to get us going,” she said. “But you’re always happy with a win any way you can get it. East St. John’s got a pretty good team, you can’t underestimate them at all.”

East St. John Coach Monica Hebert said the Wildcats (2-1) weren’t moving their feet or communicating enough in the first two games, but that she saw vast improvement in the third.

“We stepped it up a level,” she said. “It was back and forth, and we had the lead at one point. We just fell short.”

Riverside added one last win on Thursday, traveling to face host St. Thomas Aquinas. The Rebels had not lost even a single game before Thursday, but saw that snapped when STA captured the first of the match. But Riverside recovered to win the next three, posting a 23-25, 25-10, 25-20, 25-12 victory to move to 4-0.

Millet had 10 kills and 35 digs. Garcich added eight aces. Williamson had 10 assists and Milioto tallied four blocks.

“We knew they’d be a tough match. But our girls played very hard. It was similar to our play Tuesday,” Luminais said. “That was our motivation. We wanted a repeat of that effort, and we got it.”