When Rachel Hartmann was a star player for Rosary, winning regional titles was all she knew. She and her assistant coach, her sister Christine, played during the run of 10 straight regional titles.
When they won their first as coaches Thursday, former coach Lisa Kasper was on hand to pass on the hardware.
The Royals cruised to the Class 3A Rosary Regional title with a dominant 25-10, 25-8 win over rival Aurora Central Catholic. Rosary heads to the Class 3A Rochelle Sectional semifinals Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. against Marian Central, which beat Belvidere 25-12, 25-18 Thursday.
“I’m really excited,” Rachel Hartmann said. “My sister and I were talking about it. As players we won it every year. It was hard not to get it the past two years (as the coach). My first year coming in, we knew it wasn’t going to be handed to us as a program.
“I’m just proud of them for believing in what we’re doing and working hard every day. I’m just very happy for the team.”
Hartmann stressed to the Royals (20-16) that even after a dominant first game, she wanted to see the team play even better in the second. Unfortunately for ACC (11-26), they did just that.
The Royals raced out to a 6-0 lead thanks to four aces from sophomore libero Martha Konovodoff. She finished with six aces. Freshman Abigail Lieser also had a serving run of nine straight points in the second game.
“We kept the momentum we had in the first game and kept building off of that,” said sophomore outside hitter Erin Burke, who led Rosary with eight kills. “We just got stronger and stronger. At the end, it was just domination.”
ACC coach Dan Drye said that serve receive was a problem early in the year, but the team had improved as the season moved along. Thursday, the problem crept back up again and kept the Chargers from making a run at their rivals.
“We just couldn’t pass at all,” Drye said. “We passed pretty well the other night against Plano, [which is] obviously not in the same class as Rosary. They were just nervous as all get out. You could tell that they were wound up tight as can be.”
Sophomore Molly Curley had five kills and six digs for Rosary, while junior setter Brooke Martner dished out 20 assists.
The Royals now set their sights on going out west and bringing home the second sectional title in program history.
“It means a lot because we’ve been working really hard this season and it wasn’t working out in the beginning,” Burke said. “It’s just coming out really well right now. To win it with my best friends is awesome.”