A young team could easily have folded after falling behind by 7 points in a deciding third game.
The St. Edward girls volleyball team did not Monday night.
The Green Wave rallied from a 9-2 deficit in Game 3 to defeat Aurora Christian, 25-20, 23-25, 25-22, in Suburban Christian Conference action in Elgin.
"They buckled down," said St. Edward coach Jaime Dovichi, whose team has only two seniors. "We chipped away little by little and let them make mistakes."
The Eagles (2-8, 0-2) took big lead in the final game thanks to 5 St. Edward errors, 3 kills and an ace. But Aurora Christian started making miscues of its own and the Green Wave (7-7, 2-0) started passing better to get into their offense.
A Danielle Huseman kill gave the Eagles an 11-7 lead. St. Edward scored the next 7 points, 6 coming on senior Rena Ranallo's serve, to take a 14-11 lead. Katie Swanson had 3 kills during the run.
Aurora Christian took 1-point leads twice, 17-16 and 18-17, but St. Edward's Shannon Igielski had a kill each time to tie the game. The game was tied 22-22 before Ranallo gave the Green Wave a 23-22 on a cross-court kill. Swanson followed with her seventh kill to earn match point. An Eagles error gave St. Edward the victory.
"We pulled together. Sometimes we get a little shaky," said Igielski, a sophomore who finished with 7 kills.
The Green Wave used a 7-0 run in the opening game to take a 17-12 lead. St. Edward earned the Game 1 victory on a Igielski kill.
Game 2 went back and forth. An Aurora Christian net violation gave the Green Wave a 23-20 lead. Two St. Edward errors made it a 1-point game. The Eagles' Faith Montalbano, who finished with 18 kills, tied the game at 23-23. The Green Wave couldn't get the ball back over after a Montalbano block for a 24-23 Aurora Christian lead. Another St. Edward error gave the Eagles the game.
"We saw a lot of improvement, especially with our blocking and our desire to win," Aurora Christian coach Allison Kingsbury said. "We have a couple of things to tighten up."
Montalbano finished with 15 digs, 3 blocks and 2 aces. Jamie Gebauer added 7 kills for the Eagles. Taylor Knauf had 22 assists and Makayla Beebe added 15 digs.
Ranallo led the Green Wave with 9 kills and added 11 assists. Mallory Gross had 28 assists. Allison Kruk added 11 digs.
Burlington Central d. Genoa-Kingston: Sophomore Lauren Wiltsie had 10 kills, 3 aces and 5 digs and senior Lexi Bouza added 8 kills, 11 digs, 2 blocks and 3 aces as the Rockets (10-5, 2-0) won in the Big Northern East. Allie O'Reilly had 14 digs and was 14-for-14 on serve receive and Jess Emrich dished out 23 assists with 8 digs for BC.