Oak Park blocks Glenbard South
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Glenbard South hoped to make history with its first sectional win, but it wasn't to be as the Raiders fell to a very strong Oak Park-River Forest team 25-15, 25-23 at the Class 4A Morton sectional on Thursday in Berwyn.
The Huskies stood tall with front-line combinations of either Symone Speech and Amy Schembari or Speech and Ariel Hamby to repel any attempt by the Raiders to stage a run.
"We have to use our size to our advantage," said Huskies coach Don August. "That's one of our big weapons."
The Raiders (32-7) fell behind in the first game 17-13 when the Huskies went into overdrive with an 8-2 run to close it out 25-15.
"You have to give them some of the credit," said Raiders coach Chad Grant. "(Speech) and (Hamby) doing the blocking took us out of our game. Tarah (Valdez) at 5-foot-9 is not used to hitting against two giant blockers like that. Then you got to send the ball around to other people and see what you could do and we just couldn't execute."
The Raiders started to come back in Game 2 led by the aggressive play of Sydney Bauman. With the Raiders down 17-12, Bauman had key blocks during an 8-2 run to give the Raiders a slim 20-19 lead. But the Huskies came back with a 6-4 finish to seal the win and the sectional.
"I feel like we just never got into a rhythm much of the time tonight except when we went on a run late in Game 2 to come back and take the lead," Grant said. "They called a timeout and we didn't get it back."
Grant is glad to have Bauman, a junior, back next year.
"The bigger the game the better she plays," Grant said. "She's going to be a really good player for us next year too."
The Raiders played hard but were just overmatched.
"They had a really great serving run that put them right back into the match," August said. "That kind of caught us off guard a little bit. I thought we should have did a better job handling it. They fought hard with some good plays."
It was an emotional finish for the senior, particularly Valdez.
"I came up with these girls," said Valdez. "I never thought in my senior year that we would make history and come this far."
The Huskies (30-9) move on to face Mother McAuley at the Lyons Twp. supersectional.
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