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New look for defending state champ Benet volleyball

Published: Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 4:30 p.m. CDT
Erica Benet's Ashley Hitchcock (left) and Rachael Fara go up for a block against Neuqua Valley during the Invitational held at Benet Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013.

LISLE – What to do for an encore?

As Benet goes for its third straight girls volleyball state title, one thing is certain – the team will have a drastically new look this season. Many of last year’s stat leaders have since graduated, including four of the five leaders in kills, the top three in digs, and the leader in assists (Hannah Kaminsky, 1,031).

But no one needs to start feeling sorry for the Redwings. They don’t feel sorry for themselves.

“With so many people graduating we will have many people doubting that we can be good,” coach Brad Baker said. “This team is very motivated to prove the doubters wrong.”

And the cupboard is far from empty. Racheal Fara and Brittany Pavich, a pair of 6-foot-2 middle hitters, return, as does libero Caroline Wolf. Fara (Northwestern), Pavich (Boston College) and Wold (Wake Forest) will play Division I volleyball, as will Natalie Canulli (Penn State), one of a slew of returners who saw time last year.

The Redwings will be tested against a tough schedule that includes defending ESCC champ Marist, Joliet Catholic, St. Charles East, and an improved Nazareth squad. No matter the players or the foes, the goals never change.

“Our goals and attitude going into this season are the same as every season,” Baker said. “The girls expect to be great and have worked hard to give this team a chance to be just that.”

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