There was a very good reason Elgin girls volleyball coach Scott Stewart desperately wanted to win on Tuesday night. In his previous 6 years coaching the Maroons, the Larkin graduate had yet to beat his alma mater. However, that ended with a dominating 25-6, 25-10 win over the host Royals in Upstate Eight River Division action. It snapped a losing streak for the Maroons against their crosstown rivals that dated back to 2009.
"I really wanted to get this win bad," Stewart said jokingly. "You never want to go 0-fer against anyone especially not your old school. So it felt good to finally get a win over them. It was long overdue. I was just really pleased with the way we played."
The Maroons had a great night serving the ball with 15 aces. Senior Karen Aguirre led the way with 6 aces. She had 3 in each game.
"We came out very focused and were consistent the whole way," Aguirre said. "We really wanted to win and we were ready to go from the start. The line was open on their defense and so were the cross courts. Everyone just got on a roll serving."
Simona Simeonova had 3 kills in the early going to help the Maroons jump out to a 9-1 lead in Game 1. A 6-point service run by Aguirre, including 3 aces, extended the lead to 15-3. Moments later Kierra Turpin served 4 straight aces to make it 20-4. Kylie Graves closed out the game for the Maroons with a pair of aces.
"We usually have 1 or 2 girls serve really well," Stewart said. "But tonight it was everyone. I also thought our passing was a lot better and we had good pressure at the net. Absolutely no complaints. It was a really good night all the way around."
The Maroons (6-7-2, 1-1) had 6 more aces in Game 2 with 3 each from Aguirre and Kennedy Venable. Elgin again led 15-3 in the second game and coasted from there.
The Maroons also had a 17-4 kill advantage at the net. Venable led the way with 4 kills. Inga Suceska had 11 assists.
The Maroons were coming off a solid fourth-place finish at the West Chicago tournament this past weekend and now play powerhouse St. Charles East next.
"We seem to be hitting our stride," Stewart said. "I really like the way they are playing together as a team. They really get it that they are going to be better if they do it together."
Amber Allen had 3 kills to lead the Royals (0-10).
"We are so young with only one senior on the team and our inexperience really showed today," Larkin coach Henry Graack said. "When things start going downhill we just don't have the veteran leaders that can step up and get things turned around. So things start getting out of control and that's what happened tonight."