Chicago Christian escapes upstart Queen of Peace

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Queen of Peace was like the little engine that could Thursday against Chicago Christian, one of the most productive programs in the Southland.

After being smoked by 12 points in the Game 1 of its Class 3A sectional final, which Chicago Christian hosted, Queen of Peace (10-28) roared back with a convincing Game 2 victory, but ultimately fell 25-13, 19-25, 25-23.

In Game 3, the squads went back and forth until a pair of kills by Chicago Christian’s Anna Kamp broke a 22-all tie. The Knights would derail Queen of Peace two points later, breathing a collective sigh of relief as they claimed their seventh sectional title in as many years.

“We were very surprised Queen of Peace came out with such a fire,” said Chicago Christan’s Jessica Kyrgsheld, who had 13 kills and six digs. “We weren’t expecting that, but it was a great match to play against them. They were very good.”

Chicago Christian (28-11) advances to play St. Francis 1 p.m. Saturday at the Joliet Catholic Supersectional. The Knights will look for redemption against the team that ousted them in last year’s supersectional.

Kamp added 13 kills and eight digs for the Knights, while setter Emily Workman did a little bit of everything, notching 20 assists, nine digs and three kills.

Michelle Frederick stood out for Queen of Peace with nine kills and nine digs. Sam Stirn had eight kills, Becka Huerta added 13 digs and Colleen Corbett contributed 11 assists and four aces, three of which spurred the Pride in their second-set victory.

“I’m really proud,” Frederick said. “We’ve worked so hard all season. I feel that was a win for us because that was the first game that everything was put together. We played our hearts out.”

Chicago Christian looked like it might storm away in Game 3 after a kill by Kamp made it 16-11, but Stirn notched three kills in four points and Frederick tied the game at 22-all with her fifth kill of the set.

“Total turnaround from the team we saw at the beginning of the season until now,” Chicago Christian coach James Garcia said. “They were pumped up. They wanted it as bad as we did. You’ve got to give them credit, they played very well.”

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