Kaneland coach Todd Weimer has a simple formula for winning volleyball -- long runs -- and the Knights used them in both games of their 25-17, 25-17 victory over Burlington Central Tuesday night in Maple Park.
"Love it," Weimer said. "That's how you win matches. Get a long run, 4, 5, 6, 7 points. It just takes one long run."
Kaneland (4-2) had two such runs, the first to come from behind in Game 1 and the second to take control early in Game 2.
With Burlington Central (1-1) leading 15-13 in the first game, the Knights scored the next seven points to go up 20-15. Libero Shayna Tucek served six of the points aided by a trio of Rockets hitting errors, a tip kill from Lyndi Scholl and her own ace.
The Knights finished the game on Scholl's seventh kill on a perfect set from Jenny Lubic. Scholl, a three-year varsity player, led the Knights with 10 kills.
"Lyndi was on fire," Weimer said. "I thought she did a really nice job of banging balls and using the block. I know she's been working very hard."
Kaneland came out fast in Game 2. Already up 4-1, Ashley Prost served six straight for a 10-1 lead. Burlington Central didn't get closer than 7 points the rest of the way.
"They got on a couple runs," Rockets coach Marv Leavitt said. "I just give them credit. When they got on their run they had a lot of confidence and really played well. They were setting, playing really good defense and when they get confident they hit really well. You have to get them off the net."
Weimer is working on a new lineup that at times has three players with experience at setter -- Lubic, Prost and Meredith McCaffrey -- on the court together. He also liked what sophomore Ellie Dunn, playing right-side for the first time, brought to the lineup. Dunn put away five kills in Game 2.
"We went out there and were just excited about everything and wanted to win our first home game," Dunn said. "We were all a little nervous but we wanted to win so it drove us to get there. We just have to go out and play our game like we can and like we do in practice."
Up 21-10 at one point in Game 2, Weimer went deep to his bench. The match ended on a Rockets serving error -- their only one of the night.
"It was kind of nice to get those girls in and see what they can do," Weimer said. "I'm really very excited about what I saw tonight. I think the girls said we're better than this in the second game and came with the 'ball won't hit the floor' attitude."
Burlington Central played again without one of its captains, senior Hannah Yoder, who is out for a month with a high ankle sprain suffered in warm-ups before the Rockets' first game. The Rockets spread their kills around to eight players Tuesday with nobody having more than three.
"She's (Yoder) one of our big outsides but there's no excuses," Leavitt said. "We're a pretty short team. We're going to be challenged a lot. I was really pleased that even though it wasn't our night we tried to fight back and make it a game."