It was a victory the Schaumburg girls volleyball team will not soon forget -- and a night Conant coach Peggy Scholten will never forget.
In a tense Mid-Suburban West match, the host Saxons outlasted the Cougars 25-22, 23-25, 26-24.
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For Scholten, the festivities began even before the match as the Saxons honored the retiring coach for her 37 years of service to the league and the area.
After the public address announcer reeled off Scholten's Hall of Fame career highlights, Saxons coach Jeanette Pancratz presented her fellow coach a bouquet of flowers.
"She's (Pancratz) such a good friend and I was very humbled and appreciative," said Scholten, who has coached against Pancratz at Schaumburg for the last 25 seasons. Pancratz was also the head coach at Resurrection for seven years prior to that.
"Jeanette is first class," Scholten said. "I thank her and Schaumburg for all the wonderful words."
And it was a wonderful match that Scholten called one of the most incredible in her coaching career.
Saxons senior Kiana Lewis put down a career-high 25 kills, followed by Oyinkan Akinola (10), Abbie Rahn (8) and Jada Blackwell (8). Blackwell also had 40 assists while Megan Hayes added 8. Sarah Stuehm collected 28 digs for the Saxons.
Jenn Donnell led Conant (4-6, 1-1) with 16 kills, followed by DeeDee Durr (6 kills) and Sarah Manczko (4),
Daniele Sortino chipped in 3 kills and 3 blocks.
"She (Sortino) came in and helped turn the tide in the second game," said Scholten, whose team also showed tenacity in the third game coming back from 8-1 and 20-16 deficits.
Sarah Mazurek and Elisa Ambrose set the offense while Drea Catalano and Kari Thomsen helped spark the defense. Alissa Wachal also chipped in 3 kills.
"The girls kept battling," Scholten said. "I could not ask for anything more from them. And Jeanette's team was tremendous, too.
"How can you lose but still say it was a great night? But it was. To come here after playing a sluggish match the night before (loss to Mundelein), this is very gratifying. These girls are a great group to coach. They just soaked everything in."
Schaumburg improved to 7-2 and 2-0.
"Both teams battled like the true Schaumburg-Conant rivalry it is," Scholten added. "I was truly honored."
Barrington d. Palatine: Sarah Berggren (9 kills), Christy Roney (8) and Megan Talbot (7) led the attack for host Barrington (3-7, 2-0) in a 25-19, 24-26, 25-19 MSL West victory.
Setter Claire Waliczek handed out 23 assists while Katie Clement collected 3 blocks and Emily Casaletto 18
digs. Ellie Lauderback served 2 aces.
Elk Grove d. Buffalo Grove: Junior Amber Lindfors collected 7 kills and 6 blocks as visiting Elk Grove (6-7, 1-1) won 18-25, 25-22, 25-21 in the MSL East. Taylor Brown added 4 kills while Becca Maher had 8 digs.
Celina Wlodarski and Kelsey Conley each had aces while Kerry Souder directed the Grens' attack with 13 assists.
Alaina Murphy led BG (4-6, 1-1) with 15 kills followed by Sarah Rivera with 12. Marie Georgoulis handed out 27 assists while Lea Masciopinto and Alaina Murphy each had 15 digs.
Fremd d. Hoffman Estates: Fremd senior Lane Hindenburg put down 9 kills and teammate Hope Schroeder added 3 as the host Vikings (5-5, 1-1) posted a 25-15, 25-19 victory.
Jackie Mursuli handed out 9 assists and Carly Roberts 14 while directing the 6-2 offense that also received a kill from Roberts.
Fremd's Sarah Roberts was 14-of-15 passing with a pair of digs while Aubrey Stegish was 9-of-11.
Clare Shaffer was 11-of-15 with 5 kills for Hoffman (1-8, 0-2) while Jenny Avila served 2 aces and collected 9 assists. Renee Clemment handed out 7 assists and Sarah Wille collected 5 digs.
Prospect d. Wheeling: Catherine Sherwood (5 kills), Michelle Haaning (4) and Carly Thompson (4) led the attack for visiting Prospect (1-3, 1-1) which received 16 digs from Sarah Cutaia and 4 apiece from Josie Sajbel and Maggie Chuipek.
Chuipek (12 assists) and Haaning (8) set the Knights' attack. Sajbel and Cutaiai each served 3 aces.
Wheeling (2-9, 0-2) was led on attack by Brittany Roman (3 kills) and Elizabeth Smith (2) while Sabrina Semeria (7 assists) and Deanna Kuzmanic (2) set the attack. Kuzmanic led the Wildcats defense with 10 digs.
Christian Liberty d. Alden Hebron: The host Chargers posted a 25-15, 25-11 victory as Vivi Barclay (9 kills), Cassie Swiderek (6) and Megan Sullivan (6) led the attack.
Maine West d. Highland Park: Host Maine West (7-2, 1-0) won its Central Suburban North opener 25-16, 25-19 as Allison Grzebien (6 kills), Julia Huinker (4), Kassidy Riportella (4), Brittany Collins (3) and Alyssa Suriano (2) led the attack set by Riportella (16 assists).
"I'm happy with the determination and focus the girls showed," said Warriors coach Randy Tiller. "Grzebien had another outstanding performance (six of the team's 20 kills and three of the 6 team aces). Riportella showed her usual court leadership. Brittany (Collins) had a fine match and Huinker came off an injury to get back into the hitting role we need her to fill."
Leyden d. Morton: Sophomore outside hitter Emily Steininger had 10 kills and 2 aces for the visiting Eagles in a 25-20, 25-11 triumph.