Lake Zurich serves up NSC triumph
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It's an interesting thought. Why not train someone to be the best server possible in the sport of volleyball and let them dominate from the serving line?
It might make the sport a little boring but it could work.
At Lake Zurich, they really seem to have a designated server. She's Marta Tabaka. On Wednesday night in Lake Villa, Tabaka was at the serving line in set one and brought out her best topspin serve.
"I pretty much go into serve," Tabaka said. "I have the topspin serve, which is different from the rest of the girls."
OK, maybe the Bears (26-4) didn't need Tabaka to dominate the Lakes Eagles in the North Suburban Conference championship. That's because coach Matt Aiello's team was doing most everything right. Lake Zurich claimed the NSC title decisively 25-8, 25-16.
Tabaka did her part as this designated server took over from the line with her Bears up 17-7 in set one. She didn't surrender serving until it was 24-8.
"We did really well tonight," Tabaka said. "Winning this was one of our goals. We were playing for each other tonight."
Echoing similar thoughts was hitter Mickenzie Andrews. She helped out the Bears with 4 kills, 3 aces and a block.
"We finally came together as a team," Andrews said. "We trusted each other. We need to play as a team. We need to have fun and not worry about mistakes."
Andrews is one of the unsung heroes on the Bears' attack.
"I like her aggressiveness and her athleticism," Aiello said. "And she's one of the best blockers in the area."
The home-standing Eagles (24-6) had little to brag about in this loss. There were some strong kills from Megan Behrendt and a vicious block from Haley Halberg but this match was clearly one-sided.
"Lake Zurich played a flawless game," said Lakes coach Katie Cheek. "Lake Zurich blocked us and dug us. They delivered."
Sure, the first set ended with the Bears well in front. But it took a little time to build that margin. With Mallory Parsons serving, Allie McIlwain and gifted setter Kristen Walding registered kills. The Lake Zurich lead grew to 16-6.
"When we play with consistency, we can do a lot," Aiello said.
Set two was a little more competitive. Behrendt registered her team's first point with a kill. Morgan Phillips then served an ace and the Eagles were within 9-6. Lake Zurich built the advantage aided by 2 kills from Sydney Glover. Parsons got into the act as well notching 3 straight kills.
The Bears, who will head to the Highland Park regional next week, had good balance on this night. Setter Walding had 4 blocks, 2 kills and 21 assists. Parsons totaled 5 kills and a block. Glover had 3 kills and 2 blocks. Also helping the Bears cause were Kiley McPeek (3 kills), McIlwain (5 kills), Tabaka (2 aces) and libero Ashley Dina (15 digs).
Lakes had help from Behrendt (4 kills, 8 digs) and setter Maddie Demo (8 assists, 7 digs).
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