Going a week without playing a game turned out to be just what Batavia needed to win one.
Bulldogs coach Lori Trippi-Payne used the time to work on a few things that had been giving her team troubles. Batavia put it all together in the third set Thursday of a 26-24, 21-25, 25-12 nonconference victory over Glenbard South.
"It was a big, big win for us," Trippi-Payne said. "That's the advantage of playing only one match a week, we have worked all week on stuff. My practices have been long and challenging and tough."
Junior outside Heather Meyer was one of the players who benefitted from the work. She came out more aggressive with a team-high 12 kills and also topped Batavia (14-12) with 16 digs.
"I came out a little more," Meyer said. "I had been struggling a little and hadn't been getting many kills. We were all really pumped tonight and ready to come at them hard."
"We've been working on approach patterns and she did put down a lot of balls tonight, finding some things a little bit better," Trippi-Payne said.
Glenbard South (17-9), which lost for the fourth time in its last six games, led 23-20 in Game 1 before the Bulldogs charged. Batavia fought off two game points on kills by Anysa Ocon and Meyer, and closed the game on consecutive Raiders passing and hitting errors.
The Raiders rebounded in Game 2 behind Tarah Valdez who blasted 8 of her game-high 16 kills. The teams battled through 8 ties and 6 lead changes before the Raiders went ahead to stay 18-17 on one of Batavia's 4 hitting errors.
"She's our go-to hitter on the outside and Jane (Trzaska) too," Glenbard South coach Chad Grant said. "We had a strong match offensively to the point the errors started to come. We have some good firepower."
After two opening sets that could not have been much closer, Batavia rode Meyer's 9-point service run to build an 11-2 lead on its way to blowing the Raiders out in the third set.
From there the outcome was never in doubt with Batavia ending the match when setter Audrey Faulhaber's serve dropped for an ace just in front of the back line -- Batavia's only ace of the night.
"It's tough to come from behind when the hole is that big," Grant said. "We made way too many errors, they were aggressive errors, that was our game plan to be aggressive because you can't tip against a team like Batavia. They are so strong defensively they are going to pick that stuff up. It got out of hand in a hurry."
Trzaska added 8 kills and 11 digs, Laura Quinlivan 5 blocks and Nicole Schutte 30 assists while Colleen Cooney earned praise from Trippi-Payne for her 12 digs.
"We've been struggling lately after a very fast start," Grant said. "We're trying to get back on track."
Batavia is hoping it is back on track after the good week of practice and Thursday's win.
"We've been training for awhile and we knew it was going to be a tough match," Meyer said. "Our defense got a lot better, our blocking stepped up."
Shea Stanley followed Meyer with 10 kills, Kristen Koncelik had 6 blocks, Shea Thayer 5 blocks, Ocon 4 blocks and Jessica Hartmann 8 digs while Faulhaber tied a career-high with 30 assists and had 4 blocks.
"I thought she (Faulhaber) did a really nice job of moving it around. She made a lot of good decisions," Trippi-Payne said.
"We were blocking a lot of those balls (in the third set). We were moving the ball all over the place and their defense was picking up a lot of stuff. We did what we needed to do, and I was really proud of the way they battled back."