Naperville North's girls volleyball team has plenty of depth this year, and it came in quite handy Thursday.
Minus a starting setter and coming off a tough, three-set loss to Neuqua Valley, the Huskies swept rival Naperville Central 25-20, 25-19 at Naperville North. Several players contributed in the match, including the usual strong play from Sarah Kushner, the co-captain who had 6 kills and provided a calming force on the floor.
Setter Anna Jaworsky, who was called up from the freshman squad this week after senior setter Mackenzie Schulte sprained an ankle last weekend, stepped in and helped the Huskies run a smooth 6-2 attack along with setter Grace Selman. Selman spread the ball around well but also seemed to find Tyra Burton whenever the Huskies were in need of a spark. Burton, who sometimes gets overlooked on a team that features two great outsides in Kushner and Ariana Budnik, came up big.
The 5-foot-11 Burton had a team-high 7 kills against the Redhawks and was all smiles afterward.
"Grace really did a good job of getting everyone the sets they needed and staying consistent and so did the new setter, Anna, that just recently came in," said Burton, who had a block kill that gave the Huskies an 18-13 lead in the second set and later slammed a kill into the corner for a 21-15 lead.
"Like out of nowhere she came in and she did so well. Everyone's energy worked really well as a collective group."
Selman finished with 11 assists, but the team also picked up a boost from Jaworsky's passing and setting and from libero Caroline Surges, who had 14 digs.
"I thought we did a good job siding out tonight and trying to limit their runs," said Huskies coach Jen Urban, who added that Schulte may return to action this weekend. "I thought we were in control most of the match, so I felt good."
She felt really good watching Burton soar and slam down several key attacks for Naperville North (23-5, 4-2).
"Tyra had a great night. Our setter, Grace Selman, was doing a great job trying to find her in serve receive but particular in transition," Urban said. "She did a great job swinging when we were in system, and then even when we were out of system just finding deep hard driven balls to the corners. We always talk to the kids that we need at least three hitters producing every night and it's not always the same kids each night, but she really stepped up."
For the Redhawks, who dropped to 16-12, 3-3, Sarah Shank had 11 kills and Alex Vanwestrienen led the defense with 9 digs.
"I thought we played hard and that's always our goal as a team," Naperville Central coach Brie Isaacson said. "But I think if we could have found a way to sustain a little bit maybe we could have been able to give them a better run. But I've got to give credit to them that they didn't allow that to happen."