Outside hitter John Coen had 17 kills to lead St. Patrick to its first sectional championship and a trip to the state quarterfinals with a 26-24 sweep of Oak Park at St. Ignatius on Tuesday night.
The Shamrocks (29-5) will face Morton in the Elite Eight at 2 p.m. Friday at Hoffman Estates. Oak Park finished at 27-12.
"It's amazing, we've been working the whole year for this win," Coen said. "It was a rough start (to the season) and we came on strong at the end."
That the Shamrocks advanced by defeating the school that won the same sectional last year made it even sweeter.
"It feels great to get this huge burden off of our shoulders," Coen said. "We knew Oak Park was a great team. It came down to who wanted it more and we came out super today. We knew that they're used to this. So we had to come out there and take it from them."
St. Patrick trailed 18-15 in Game 1 before calling time and going on a 5-0 run to take a 20-18 lead. After Oak Park rallied to knot it at 24-24, the Shamrocks scored the last two points to win the game.
"After that time out, it was huge," Coen said. "We kept telling our team to get one more point, and we just kept getting them, one after another. It was awesome."
In the second game, the Shamrocks trailed 20-19 but tallied six of the last eight points. Setter Tammer Shehadeh, who had a match-high 27 assists, set up Ryan Fischer for a kill that made it 24-22. Then he blocked a Huskies' shot for the game- and match-winner.
Oak Park (27-12) was led by outside hitter Mark Brady's 11 kills and setter Tim Schmidt's 25 assists. Adam Klauss contributed nine digs for the Shamrocks.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun