High point for Fuerst, Hersey
Hersey girls volleyball coach Nancy Lill had a feeling.
Sure enough, Liz Fuerst was dealing.
The sophomore outside hitter hit the ceiling with a career-high 14 kills on 19-of-19 hitting as the Huskies avenged their only Mid-Suburban East loss with a 25-16, 25-19 victory over visiting Elk Grove.
"I told her (Fuerst) she was going to have her best match ever," Lill said. "She's been playing real well at a high level. Sometimes when you tell someone that (going to have a big match), it happens.
"Liz is the real deal. She is getting better and better. She can jump over just about anyone. She has improved vastly and it's hard to believe she is only a sophomore."
The modest Fuerst credited the work of her setters. The 3 C's — Courtney Stedman (10 assists), Carly Pisano (12 assists) and Caity Strozewski (6 assists) — combined for 28 assists.
"They all gave me great sets," Fuerst said. "And we just had a really good match."
Fuerst served for the last point of Game 1, a block by Gabri Olhava (3 kills, 4 blocks).
"Gabri is a great hitter but tonight it made sense to go to our other matchups," Lill said. "Gabri did a great job blocking.
"We went pin to pin tonight and that's a luxury when you have six hitters who can all attack."
The Huskies attacked from the right with a kill from Strozewski, then from the left with Fuerst for back-to-back points in Game 2 and a 6-2 lead.
Elk Grove never got closer than 2 (7-5 on an ace by Kelly Regan) as the Huskies eventually built a commanding 21-11 lead.
Hersey got to match point at 24-16 before Elk Grove senior Becca Maher served 3 points, including an ace to make it 24-19.
Stedman then ended the match with her seventh kill.
"Liz Fuerst did an amazing job," said Stedman, a junior. "Especially when the sets were off. She'd still go up and put them down."
Katie Krebs did her best to make sure kills didn't go down for the Grens. Hersey's senior libero collected a season-high 28 digs.
Elk Grove stunned Hersey on Sept 24, ending the Huskies' 53-match winning streak in the MSL East which dated back to 2007.
"This was so exciting," Fuerst said of Thursday's win. "We played much better defense than the first time. We definitely knew where we had to hit the ball this time. We wanted the match so bad. We want to win conference so bad."
The Huskies (13-9, 7-1) can win the East with a victory over visiting Buffalo Grove (9-8, 6-2) on Tuesday.
"We followed our game plan and made the adjustments from the last time we played them," Lill said.
Elk Grove (13-16, 3-5) was led on attack by Melissa Solorio and Taylor Brown, who each had 4 kills.
"I just think once we got down, we kind of let it get away from us," said Solorio, who also served an ace. "Even though we were pumped up for this match, we didn't have as much energy as them. When things didn't go our way, we kind of shut down."
Regan collected 9 digs while Amber Lindfors and Taylor Socha each had a block.
Kerry Souder (56-of-56) handed out 14 assists.
"We have just hit a little bit of a rough patch," Maher said. "Hersey just came out stronger this time and their serving was real good."
Senior Megan Solans (13-of-14) served 3 aces for the Huskies while sophomore Katie Rozanski (9-of-10) had 1 ace. Fuerst (7-of-7), Stedman (4-of-4) and Pisano (6-of-6) were all perfect at the line.
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