With the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division outright championship already clinched, you might have thought Crystal Lake South's girls volleyball team would have a letdown.
Forget about it.
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The motivated Gators, on Senior Night, cruised past Huntley 25-20, 25-16 in FVC Valley action Thursday at The Swamp.
Crystal Lake South, 26-2 overall, moves to a perfect 11-0 in conference action. A win Tuesday against Prairie Ridge would give the Gators a perfect slate in FVC Valley play.
"This group is always motivated by goals and this team wants to go undefeated in the conference," said Gators' coach Jorie Fontana. "This was a very emotional night and the girls responded with a good effort."
Fontana inserted all 5 seniors in the starting lineup and they all contributed to the win. Usual starters Nicole Slimko and Avalon Nero collected 5 kills each while libero Hannah Wilson led the Gator defense with 20 digs.
'This was a huge win for us," said Wilson. "It was a special night and emotional night for the seniors. The seniors want to accomplish a lot this season. We play with a lot of fire and emotion. I try to do the little things that help us win."
Sara Mickow and Katy Hoenle, top reserves for the Gators, delivered 3 kills apiece. Junior Carly Nolan who led South with 11 kills, 4 blocks and 3 aces.
The upset-minded Red Raiders (17-11, 6-5) tested the Gators in both games.
Huntley actually held a 15-14 lead in Game 1 after a kill by Emily Westermeyer, but the Gators seized control with a 6-1 run to take a 20-16 lead on an ace by Nolan.
South grabbed a 1-0 lead in the match on a kill by Hoenle.
Huntley stayed within striking distance of the Gators early in Game 2, taking a 6-3 lead on a kill by Kelsey DeWulf. With the score tied at 8, South flexed its muscles with a 10-0 run to take an 18-8 lead.
Mickow, Nero and Slimko contributed 2 kills each while Nolan had 2 aces. A kill by Nero gave Crystal Lake South the game and match.
Westermeyer and DeWulf paced the Red Raiders with 9 kills each.
"We ran a quick offense and mixed it up well with South at the net," said Huntley coach Karen Liss. "We had some good swings. We had too many mental mistakes and missed serves. You can't do that against South."