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updated: 9/8/2012 8:37 PM

New Trier tops St. Charles E. for Prairie Ridge title

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By Dave Hess
Daily Herald Correspondent

Over the last 3 years, losing hasn't been in the vocabulary of the Cary-Grove girls volleyball team.

With two second place finishes in the state tournament along with a 2009 state championship, Cary-Grove has proved to one of the top programs in the state.

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At Saturday's Prairie Ridge Invitational, The Trojans had one of those days to forget.

With only a win against Crystal Lake Central in the opening match of the tournament, the Trojans absorbed losses in their final four matches -- to St. Charles East, Prairie Ridge, New Trier and Barrington.

In the final match against the Fillies, the Trojans (7-6) had the lead in both games before Barrington rallied for a 25-21, 25-22 win.

In Game 1, the Trojans held a 5-point 15-10 lead after an ace by Alex Larsen. Barrington rallied and tied the game at 17 on a kill by Nicole Amato. With the score tied at 21, the Fillies scored the final 4 points with the game-winner coming on an ace by Lauren Shechtman.

In Game 2, Barrington started fast with a 9-3 lead. Barrington grabbed an early 6-point lead on an ace by Julia Thompson. Cary-Grove battled back and tied the game at 20-20 on an ace by Jess Bartczyszn. But the Trojans couldn't get the lead as Barrington won the game and match on an ace by Thompson.

Amato led Barrington (6-5) with 10 kills. Larsen paced the Trojans with 10 kills and 3 aces.

"Today we lacked ball control and our serving was inconsistent," said Cary-Grove coach Patty Langanis. "We are still juggling our lineup and looking for the right combinations. We don't have the killer instinct and the mentality to finish games and matches. "

Barrington finished the tournament with a 3-2 mark with wins over Cary-Grove, St. Charles East and Crystal Lake Central and losses to New Trier and Prairie Ridge.

"Overall we took strides in the right direction today," said Barrington coach Rob Ridenour. "Our defense and serving were both pretty good."

St. Charles East (9-7), 3-2 in the tournament, would have won the tourney with a win in the finale against New Trier.

But the Trevians (12-0) over powered the Saints 25-22, 25-15 to win the tournament with a perfect 5-0 record.

New Trier's mammoth front line of Brittani Steinberg (11 kills), Savannah Hubly (9 kills) Haley Fauntelroy (8 kills) were too much for the Saints to handle.

Nicole Woods led the Saints with 11 kills.

"I was very pleased with the way we played today," said St. Charles East coach Jennie Kull. "We made huge strides as a team. We just ran out of gas in the last match against New Trier."

New Trier coach Hannah Hsieh was pleased with the tournament championship.

"We struggled losing some first games, but overall we came ready to play and had a great tournament against five quality teams," said Hsieh. "We have some young players and have things we need to get better on. But overall I like the way we played this early in the season."

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