Future Crystal Lake South girls volleyball opponents, beware. The Gators are loaded with offensive weapons.
With Carly Nolan and Avalon Nero collecting 8 kills each host South overpowered Libertyville 25-14, 25-18 in nonconference action at Gator Alley Tuesday night.
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Sara Mickow and Bowling Green-bound Nicole Slimko added to the Gators' offensive assault with 5 kills each.
Junior setter Cassie Sivesand collected 17 assists for the winners (6-1).
"This team does a great job of sharing the wealth," said Crystal Lake South coach Jorie Fontana. "We are tough to defend because we have so many good hitters. We are team-oriented. This group just wants to win. We set the tone and came out with a lot of energy."
Revved up by an enthusiastic crowd, the Gators started strong jumping off to a 9-1 lead. Aided by 2 kills each from Mickow, Nero and Slimko, South had an early 8-point advantage.
The Wildcats (2-2) never really threatened the Gators in Game 1. South's biggest lead was 23-11 after a kill by Nolan. Emma Burkle's lone kill of the night gave the Gators a 1-0 lead in the match.
The visiting Wildcats played with much more confidence in Game 2. Led by 3 kills from Jacqui Widmark, Libertyville gained a 7-4 lead to start the second game. But the Wildcats couldn't sustain the momentum for the rest of the game. With Nolan collecting 3 kills, South went on an 11-3 run to take a 15-10 lead.
Nolan ended the match and the game for the Gators with 2 aces.
"This season has been so much fun so far," said Slimko. "We all worked hard this summer and we are playing very well as a team. Nobody cares who gets the points as long as we win. It is a total team effort. We have a very strong rotation and have a lot of players who can contribute. "
Kate Jarecki led Libertyville, a Class 4A state semifinalist last year, with 6 kills. Rhiannon Prentiss contributed 4 kills, Alex Basler had 3 kills and Widmark 2 kills.
"We talked about a lot of things in between the first and second games," said Libertyville coach Greg Loika. "We made a lot of mistakes in the first game, but we played much better in the second game. Crystal Lake (South) is a much bigger and more experienced team than we are. We play good teams in nonconference on purpose. We don't want cupcake wins."