It's still early in the season, but Buffalo Grove senior Monica Browne has already had time to improve in one area.
And it really paid off on Thursday night.
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"At the very start of the season, I was having a tough time keeping my serve consistent," she said. "And I know missed serves can bring the team down after a big run."
Sure enough, the Bison made a huge run from a 15-6 deficit on Thursday night at Elk Grove -- and then it was up to Browne to take the service line.
With the score tied 20-20, she delivered for the final 5 points to give the Bison a 25-11, 25-20 victory in the Mid-Suburban East season opener.
Included in Browne's late accuracy at the line was 2 of her team-high 5 aces for the match.
"Monica hit some real nice serves there," said BG coach Matt Priban. "They are hard to read because they are like line drives."
"I was determined to finish the game," Browne added. "I'm so proud of my teammates for not letting that (15-6 deficit) get to their heads. We were a new team after that timeout."
The timeout was called by Bison coach Matt Priban when his team (5-3, 1-0) trailed 13-4.
"I told them we could play better," Priban said. "I said they should expect more of themselves and they just turned it around which is hard to do when you are in such a big hole."
A block by 6-foot-4 senior middle hitter Amber Lindfors gave the Grens their 13-4 advantage before the Bison staged their comeback.
Getting their cues from setter Marie Georgoulis (11 assists), Alicia Kantor (5 kills), Browne (6 kills), Sara Biesiadecki (3 kills) and Teagan Hutchings (2 kills) each had at least 1 kill for BG during its rally.
Georgoulis set Kantor for a crosscourt kill that ended the match and a 21-5 run by the Bison.
"It was all our teamwork," Georgoulis said. "Communication is the big key."
"Marie did a nice job running the floor," Priban said. "It's nice having a three-year starter with that kind of experience on the floor."
Hutchings added 3 solo blocks for the winners who also received aces from Kanela Kalyviaris (3), Kiarra Akiyoshi (2), Biesiadecki (2) and Georgoulis (1).
Lindfors led Elk Grove (1-2, 0-1) on attack with 3 kills and 4 blocks while Alex Masnica had a pair of kills with 5 setting assists and 1 assist.
Leading the Grens' back row were Tayler Merkel (6 digs) and Carly Crothers (5) while Crothers added a pair of aces.
"We need to learn to stop runs," said Elk Grove coach Stephanie Kezios. "I give a lot of credit to Buffalo Grove for coming back and not giving up."