It has been 4 long years since Crystal Lake South's fifth-year coach Jorie Fontana and the Gators have enjoyed a victory on the volleyball court against Cary-Grove.
The Gators finally got to savor a win over the Trojans.
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With Junior Avalon Nero collecting 7 kills and 5 blocks, South cruised past the Trojans 25-22, 25-17 in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division action at South's Gator Alley Tuesday night.
"We really wanted to win and really worked hard in practice," said Nero. "We watched a lot of film and came into the match with a good game plan. We had a good fast offense at the net and the sets were right there. It was exciting to beat a team as good as Cary-Grove."
Junior Nicole Slimko (5 kills, 3 blocks) and sophomore Carly Nolan (5 kills) gave Nero plenty of help at the net.
Senior setter Lindsey Murphy executed perfect sets for the Gator hitters with 16 assists.
"It has been since 2008, my first year as coach since we have beaten Cary-Grove," said Fontana. "Our play at the net was excellent and we did a good job of keeping our composure when they made a run at us. We showed a lot of maturity."
In Game 1, there were 8 lead changes before the Gators (6-2, 1-0) seized the lead for good at 21-20 on a kill by Nero. South took a 1-0 lead in the match as the game ended on a kill by Slimko.
In Game 2, the Gators broke am 8-8 deadlock with 8 straight points to take a 16-8 advantage. During the surge, Nero, Slimko and Nolan collected 2 kills each.
The Trojans (5-2, 0-1) responded to get within 4 of the Gators, 17-13, on a kill by Jess Bartczyszn. But Cary-Grove couldn't get any closer. A kill by Nolan gave the Gators the game and match.
In a losing cause, Alex Larsen had 6 kills while Mallory Wilczynski collected 5 kills with 3 blocks. Bartczyszn collected 16 set assists while Bree Coffey served 2 aces.
"With such an inexperienced group we are going through some growing pains," said Cary-Grove coach Patty Langanis. "When we made a mistake they took advantage of it. They are a very talented team and they have good players up front at the net. We will be a better team by the time we play them next."