Now there will be no snickering. Nothing about Dorothy and her pal, Toto, either.
Stevenson senior, Kara Maleski, is delighted with her choice of Wichita State to play her volleyball next year in college. And Wichita is a place she doesn't mind seeing for the foreseeable future.
"The coaches are amazing,'' Maleski said. "And the girls are such great people."
Of course, Wichita State is drawn to Maleski. It certainly helps her cause to stand 6-foot-5.
On Tuesday night, Maleski and Stevenson invited in Barrington for a nonconference match between two talented squads. And it took some time for momentum to show its face.
Stevenson (2-0) made 17 errors in the first set alone yet still outlasted Barrington 28-26, 25-20.
"It's one of the first games of the season,'' Maleski explained. "We are still getting used to playing with each other. But this will be a fun year for us. We have 10 seniors. And I've played with the older sisters of some of our younger players. This team has a high ceiling."
Both sets were tightly contested. Neither team could pull away in either set.
"We seemed to have the momentum at the end of both games,'' said Stevenson coach Tim Crow. "But give Barrington some credit. Their libero (Emily Casaletto) is outstanding. And they have a great setter (Claire Waliczek). It was kind of sloppy out there but it was good to grind it out and get a
Barrington's biggest lead in set one was 16-14 after a soft shot from senior Emily Watkins found the floor. Stevenson's hard-hitting senior, Khaila Donaldson, answered back for the Patriots. She used a Maleski kill and a net serve to forge a 22-21 lead. Setter Alexa Bykowski finally served the game-winning point in set one.
"I liked our defense tonight,'' said Barrington coach Rob Ridenour. "It was pretty much back and fourth for both teams tonight. We are going to have to depend on our great defensive players and count on some younger kids. We can be a really good team."
Set two was a little more open. Setter Bykowski opened the second set with three straight serving points. Maleski had two of those points on attack.
Casaletto answered back with 3 points of her own for the Fillies. Again, the second set was tightly contested. Stevenson finally was able to put Barrington away late in the second set. Libero Nikki Zarytsky had a 4-point run at the serving line and got help from a kill from Jen Kapov.
Donaldson led a balanced Stevenson attack with 6 kills. Maleski and Kapov each had 4 kills. Setter Bykowski checked in with 21 assists. Libero Nikki Zarytsky led the defense with 12 digs. Donaldson added 9 digs.
Watkins led Barrington with 6 kills. Waliczek had 15 assists from her setting position. Casaletto helped the Barrington defense with 12 digs.