Most people are aware of Crystal Lake South's dynamic trio of hitters -- Carly Nolan, Nicole Slimko and Avalon Nero.
One of the reasons Nolan, Slimko and Nero are so successful is the precise setting of junior Cassy Sivesand.
With 25 assists, Sivesand helped propel the Gators to a hard-fought 29-27, 25-17 win over Cary-Grove in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division girls volleyball action in Cary Tuesday night.
"With the hitters we have I can throw the ball anywhere and they will get the kill," said Sivesand. "I don't need to be perfect. I have played with all of these girls a long time. I know where they want the ball and I try to get the ball in the best place possible. Cary-Grove plays good defense and plays tough at the net. I really have to read where their defense is and where is the best place to put the ball."
Nolan and Nero were the recipients of Sivesand's sets with 12 kills apiece while Slimko had 7.
"Cassy and the hitters really work well together," said South coach Jorie Fontana. "She had another good night setting the ball."
The Gators (24-2, 9-0) needed every ounce of energy to stave off the upset-minded Trojans (13-13, 5-4) in Game 1.
South looked to be in good shape to win the initial game after a Slimko kill gave the visitors a 20-15 lead. But the pesky Trojans didn't waver and tied the game at 25 on an ace by Delaney Bayer.
With the score tied at 27, the Gators won the game on a pair of kills from Nolan.
In Game 2, there were 6 lead changes and 5 ties before the Gators grabbed the lead for good, 16-15, on a kill by Slimko.
Ending the game on a 10-2 run, the Gators won the game and the match on a kill from Nero.
"We have a target on our backs in this conference," said Fontana. "We get everybody's best shot. Cary-Grove is a much better team than we played the first time. To be successful you have to win on the road and Cary-Grove is always a tough place to play."
Abby Schebel led the Trojans with 7 kills while Kayli Trausch contributed 5 kills with 4 blocks. Morgan Lee collected 3 aces.
"They (the Gators) have so many weapons and they are so strong in the middle," said Trojans coach Patty Langanis. "We are making strides in the right direction."