Huntley shakes off Cary-Grove
The Huntley girls volleyball team didn't blink when 5 points were taken off the scoreboard due to a rotation error early in the match at Cary-Grove on Tuesday.
The Red Raiders simply accepted the officials' decision, went back to work and rebuilt their big lead on the way to a 25-11, 25-22 sweep of the Trojans in a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division matchup.
"We always do drills like that in practice where we (lose points) and go down, so to be put in that (position) in a game situation was like practice brought to life," Huntley setter Kelsey DeWulf said. "We just put our heads to it. We knew as a team we just had to pull together and play our positions and we'd get right back up there."
Huntley had initially taken a 5-2 lead in the first set when libero Rachel Shores stepped to the service line. Shores was serving out of order due to a lineup card error, however, the mistake wasn't caught until the senior had served 5 straight points and the Red Raiders had taken a 10-2 lead.
After a five-minute delay to sort things out, the officials discarded the 5 Huntley points won on Shores' serve and awarded a point and a side out to Cary-Grove, which then trailed 5-3.
"I take the blame for that. It was a rotation error," Huntley coach Karen Liss said. "I'm very proud of the girls for not letting that change the momentum of the game. They did a great job of staying focused and coming out ahead."
The youthful lineup for Cary-Grove (8-7, 2-1) had trouble handling the up-tempo offense of senior-laden Huntley (9-2, 3-0). DeWulf (18 assists) interspersed sets to senior outside hitters Erin Lyman (6 kills) and Emily Westermeyer (3 kills) with assists to left-handed senior right-side hitter Rachael Kisten (6 kills) and sophomore middle Erin Erb (3 kills).
"They are fast. They have a good middle attack," Cary-Grove coach Patty Langanis said. "They were serving us really aggressive and we weren't ready to go. We were having a hard time with our ball control and then we couldn't get any offense started because of that in Game 1."
The Trojans mounted a better challenge in the second set. Huntley scored 5 straight points to take a 20-14 lead, a surge keyed by Kisten's stuff block for a point, but the Trojans answered by winning 8 of the next 10 points to forge a 22-22 tie. Sophomore outside hitter Sarah Graham registered consecutive aces to pull the Trojans within a point, and a Huntley hitting error left the teams tied.
"We just tried to pull them out of their game and serving is one of the things we tried to use against them," Graham said. "It tended to break them a little bit, but they still pulled through for the win."
Westermeyer led the Red Raiders with consecutive kills to put her team on the precipice of victory and senior Brittney Gundlach sealed match point with a tip kill.
"Our serve receive broke down a little in Game 2, but we were still able to get the ball to Kelsey, she delivered the ball where it needed to be and we were able to execute off of it," Liss said.
Senior Kayli Trausch and junior Abby Schebel had 3 kills apiece, junior Bree Coffey finished with 7 digs and senior setter Meghan Seymour posted 11 assists for Cary-Grove, which plays Thursday at Jacobs.
Shores had 11 digs and senior defensive specialist Eilish Reagan posted 10 digs for Huntley. The Red Raiders play Thursday at Dundee-Crown.
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