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Volleyball wins ESCC, earns top seed in sectional

The Saint Patrick volleyball team won its second of back-to-back East Suburban Catholic Conference championships on May 17, when the Shamrocks (21-8 overall, 7-1 ESCC) defeated Marist to conclude their conference season.

The victory keeps St. Pat’s hot streak alive. The Shamrocks have not lost a conference or non-tournament match since April 19, when they fell to Saint Viator, a co-ESCC champion.

“We’re just finding a groove in the middle of the season,” coach Joel Anderson said. “We always seem to peak in May, and I think that’s due to our extremely tough schedule.”

It’s a good time for the Shamrocks to be playing their best volleyball of the year, as the St. Pat’s will soon begin their quest to return to the state tournament for the first time since the team finished fifth in 2010.

Seeded first in the Guerin Sectional, the Shamrocks will open postseason play at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24, when they host a regional semifinal. If all goes well, St. Pat’s will play for a regional championship on its home court on Wednesday, May 25.

Anderson believes his veteran team, which returned six of seven starters from a year ago, is poised to make a deep postseason run. Seniors Blake Rosenbusch (three-year starter at setter), Marcin Piechocki (outside hitter), Patrick Lis (middle blocker), Tyler Jankiewicz (libero) and Matthew Conrad (defensive specialist) have been leading the way all season, as have sophomore outside hitter Brett Rosenbusch and junior middle blocker John Hogan.

The experience of those players will allow the Shamrocks to enter the 2016 postseason with confidence, Anderson said.

“It’s all building blocks for us. Every match that we play throughout the season leads us to where we expect to be.”

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