With such a young and inexperienced team, veteran Cary-Grove girls volleyball coach Patty Langanis realizes there are going to be nights to forget.
Thursday was one of those nights.
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With superior play at the net, Prairie Ridge powered past the Trojans 25-17, 25-21 in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division play in Crystal Lake.
"We were awful tonight," said Langanis. "We started the match playing passively and we didn't match PR's aggressiveness. They have a lot of firepower. We had no defense for them. Our serving and serve receive were both off. As the match went on we panicked."
PR (11-9, 5-3) had a balanced attack led by Ali Witt and Maddie Drain with 5 kills each. Kennedy McNeil collected 4 kills while Aubree Eggers and Megan Ozga delivered 3 kills apiece.
"I really liked our balance at the net tonight," said Prairie Ridge coach Stefanie Otto. "Our hitting efficiency was outstanding tonight. This was one of our best matches of the season. We played well this past week and our serve receive and our serving is getting better every match."
Senior setter Taylor Otto contributed 18 assists had 11 digs with 2 kills and 2 aces for the winners.
With PR holding an 11-9 lead, the Wolves took control with 7 straight points to extend the lead to 18-9. During the 7-0 run, Drain collected 2 kills while McNeil had 2 kills with an ace. Witt's kill gave the Wolves a 1-0 advantage in the match.
The Trojans (11-9, 4-3) displayed some life and spark to start Game 2. With a kill from junior Abby Schebel, the Trojans grabbed an early 9-6 lead. Like the first game, the Wolves went on a 7-0 pivotal run to take control of the game and match.
Spearheaded by 2 kills each by Otto, Ozga and Drain PR led 13-9. The Trojans climbed to within 2 of the Wolves, 23-21, after a resounding kill from freshman Maddy Katchen off a perfect set from senior Meghan Seymour. That would be the last point the Trojans would score for the night.
Kills by Eggers and Witt provided the game-winning and match-winning points for the Wolves.
For Cary-Grove, Schebel led the offensive attack with 7 kills while sophomore defensive specialist Delaney Bayer paced the defense with 13 digs. Seymour collected 16 assists for the Trojans.