Fenwick, Nazareth will meet for 4th time in regional final

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LAGRANGE PARK — With an easy win in the Friars’ Class 3A regional opener, Fenwick coach Kathleen O’Laughlin has the rematch she expected for the Nazareth Regional final at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The sixth-seeded Friars cruised to a 25-7, 25-3 victory over 10th-seeded Noble/Rauner Tuesday night. Fenwick will play second-seeded Nazareth for the fourth time this season in the regional final.

Behind six kills each from Julia Saunders and Karli Chambers, Nazareth beat 15th-seeded Hancock (7-6) 25-6, 25-3 in the second regional semifinal Tuesday.

Nazareth has won all three previous meetings with the Friars, who returned only one starting senior. The second-seeded Roadrunners (27-9) were the tri-champions in the East Suburban Catholic Conference. Fenwick ends its affiliation with the ESCC after this season and will join the GCAC Red next year.

“I feel like we’re young, but getting better,” O’Laughlin said. “We have a young group of kids. Every time we’re in the gym, we’re getting better.”

O’Laughlin played nearly her entire lineup against Rauner (12-5), which had one kill in the match. Junior Emily Smith led Fenwick with six kills, while Kerry Best and Akasia Brown had four kills each.

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