Midway through the opening game, St. Charles North's girls volleyball team found itself clinging to a 14-13 lead over visiting Addison Trail Tuesday night.
A few minutes later, the North Stars (8-0) closed out Game 1 with an 11-2 surge en route to a 25-15 triumph, and carried their momentum into the second game where they downed the Blazers (0-3) by a score of 25-9.
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Anchored by Northern Illinois University-bound senior outside hitter Taylor Krage (8 kills, 3 blocks), the North Stars ran their season-long winning streak to 8 on the heels of last weekend's title-winning performance at the Plainfield North Invitational.
"We were really excited last weekend because it's our first tournament title with "Hawk" since she's been coaching," Krage said of North Stars coach Lindsey Hawkins.
Krage delivered 3 kills and teammate Taryn DalDegan (7 assists) added an ace as the North Stars opened a 10-4 lead.
But the Blazers answered with a 9-4 run of their own, fueled by senior Juliana Selvaggi (3 kills, 2 aces), to pull within 1 at 14-13.
Corrinne Sullivan (3 kills) began the 11-2 run with a tip kill, and Emily Carroll (2 kills) added 1 of her team-leading 4 blocks before Claire Anderson (6 kills, 2 blocks) closed out the first game with back-to-back kills.
"We talk all the time about how you can't really worry about what's going on at the other side of the court -- we need to clean up our side of the court and play our game," said Hawkins. "I think it does have something to with the fact that it was our first home game and they (the girls) really wanted to show people how hard they've been working.
"It also had everything to do with the fact that Addison Trail was playing scrappy defense and serving us aggressively, and we just weren't passing well out of serve receive in the first set."
In Game 2, Taylor Krage added 3 kills and a pair of blocks to help the North Stars build a 12-3 advantage.
"We started communicating better," said Krage, who received additional support from senior setter Sydney Wohlert (8 assists), libero Alex Seavey (5 digs), Sam Lappin (4 digs, 1 ace), junior Frankie Neari (4 digs), and Daley Krage (2 kills).
The North Stars will try to extend their winning streak to 9 when they host South Elgin Thursday night.
"It's very exciting (8-0 record) but we have got a target on our heads now," said Hawkins. "People are going to come after us. We know that we every day in the gym we have to get better.
"I can't say enough to them how they can't get complacent. We have to strive for excellence."
Taylor Krage and Wohlert were named to the all-tournament team last weekend at Plainfield North.
Nina Capuani added a pair of kills for Addison Trail.