Fremd and Palatine have been leading the Mid-Suburban West all season but Schaumburg continues to lurk just off the pace.
And it sure was a change of pace when the Saxons met visiting Barrington on Thursday night.
Contact information ( * required )
After falling in two sets to the Fillies on Sept. 4, Schaumburg turned the tables with its own two-set win.
Junior outside hitter Kiana Lewis put down 11 kills and senior outside hitter Kelly Koutnik added 7 as the Saxons posted a 25-22, 25-21 triumph.
The 5-foot-11 Koutnik was also 5-of-5 serving and 2 blocks as the Saxons raised their record to 12-7 and 5-2 in the West, just one match behind Palatine and Fremd, who are 6-1.
"It felt good," said Koutnik about the win that avenged a 25-17, 25-23 loss at Barrington. "We were more fired up and just wanted to win more. We came together as a team. We hit smarter shots and just played much better than the last time we met them."
Except when sophomore Jada Blackwell's 2 service points gave Schaumburg a 10-7 lead, neither team led in the first set by more than 2 points until the final point.
It was tied at 21 when 2 hitting errors by Barrington gave Schaumburg a 23-21 lead.
A kill by the Fillies' Christa Roney made it 23-22 before Lewis registered back-to-back kills on sets from senior Marisa Christy to give Schaumburg the set.
Christy and Blackwell each had 9 assists while directing the Saxons' offense.
"We practiced a faster offense and defense," said Koutnik, the Saxons' captain. "And we worked on our block. I thought we kept better focus this match. Even if we messed up, we trusted each there and knew everyone would step up and do the job."
Handling the job on defense were Sarah Stuehm (9-of-10 passing, 9 digs), Christy (7-of-7 passing), Blackwell (6-of-6 passing, Lewis (6-of-6 passing, 6 digs) and Koutnik (6 digs).
"We work every day at practice to make steps forward," said Saxons coach Jeanette Pancratz. "We talked about discipline for our game plan this match and the girls executed it well.
"Barrington is certainly a solid team and I am proud of the discipline and focus we showed."
The Saxons came out sharp in Set 2, grabbing a 5-1 lead on an ace by Stuehm.
But Barrington showed its heart and rallied back for a 6-5 lead behind 4 straight service points from Emily Watkins (team-high 16 digs and 1 ace).
The Fillies (12-9, 3-4) led 10-7 and 18-15 before Schaumburg tied it at 18 on a service point by Stuehm.
The set was tied at 19, 20 and 21 before 5-10 senior middle blocker Laura Desautels (7-of-7) served out the match.
Desautels recorded a back row kill, then served an ace before 5-11 senior middle Deanna Murphy ended the match with a block.
"We are looking for a little something extra now," said Barrington coach Rob Ridenour. "We made some drastic lineup changes that really didn't work out. That's my fault.
"But I'm really proud of the girls and how they fought through some adversity and gave a really good effort in both sets."
Julia Thompson (8 kills), Lauren Schectman (4 kills, 2 aces) and Megan Talbot (4 kills, 2 blocks) paced Barrington's attack which was set by junior Emily Casaletto (20 assists), who has spent most of the season as the Fillies' libero.
"Emily really had a good match playing a new position," Ridenour said. "It was the first time she was really having fun and was vocal. I've been trying to get that personality out of her all season, and it was there this match."