After suffering a loss in a Mid-Suburban East match for the first time since 2007, on Tuesday at Elk Grove, Hersey's girls volleyball team was eager to get back on the floor Thursday night.
"Coach (Nancy Lill) told us we controlled our own destiny," said Huskies sophomore junior Liz Fuerst. "We thought that was important because we wanted to come out and show that we are still the team we've always been."
The Huskies (9-9, 3-1) showed that and more in a 25-21, 25-15 victory at Buffalo Grove.
BG (5-7, 2-2) showed its heart in Game 1, rallying from a 12-3 deficit for 17-17 and 18-18 ties.
But with Fuerst putting down 4 of her team-high 7 kills, the Huskies finished strong for the win.
During that streak, Fuerst put down 2 kills from the left side, then moments added another from the right side.
"From playing right side last year, it helps knowing that position, too," Fuerst said. "I moved to that side (after her kills for the 19th and 22nd points) for serve receive. And it's great to have Caity (Strozewski) on right side all the time where she can set or hit if need be."
The defending MSL champs were even stronger in Game 2, racing to a 14-2 lead.
Huskies junior middle hitter Gabri Olhava (5 kills, 2 blocks) took a quick set from Strozewski and out it to the floor for a 19-8 lead. Four points later, it was Strozewski taking a set from Courtney Stedman and putting down her own kill to make it 22-9.
"We have a little different lineup now where we use people in different positions and it's hard to tell who's coming from where," Lill said.
Stedman (6 assists), Carly Pisano (3) and Strozewski (3) all saw time setting.
"It's the first time I've ever used three setters," Lill said of the new lineup. "Coming into the match we told the girls everyone is even in the conference (four teams were tied at 2-1). We said the season started with this match. BG was step one."
Katie Krebs (10 digs), Megan Solans (7) and Stedman (4) paced the Huskies' back row.
Alaina Murphy led BG with 9 kills while Sarah Rivera added 3. Marie Georgoulis collected 16 assists and Leah Masciopinto had 15 digs.
"I thought if we came out with the momentum we had going in Game 1, we'd be fine," said BG coach Matt Priban. "But for whatever reason, we could not get it going. It's more mental things and consistency for us. We know we have the potential to play with anyone."