St. Charles North is in a little bit of a rut right now. Waubonsie Valley wanted to make sure it didn't fall into a rut also.
Coming off a disappointing loss to sister-school Metea Valley, ninth-ranked Waubonsie Valley bounced back with a solid 25-20, 25-18 victory against No. 4 St. Charles North on Thursday in an Upstate Eight Conference crossover match.
"You live and you learn," Waubonsie Valley coach Kristen Stuart said about the Metea Valley defeat. "We went back to practice the next day, and I felt like we came out great today. That was exciting to see."
"It's awesome," Warriors junior outside hitter Becky Breuer added. "It's great to beat a fantastic team like St. Charles North."
It wasn't so awesome from the North Stars' perspective.
"We're still playing at the same level, it's just that people are slowly getting really good," North Stars coach Lindsey Hawkins said. "We've always been playing at this really high level, and teams are starting to catch up now and we need to make sure we're in the gym every day getting better and working hard so we can compete with really good teams like Waubonsie."
Game 1 was tied at 10 when the Warriors took the lead for good on a St. Charles North serve into the net.
"They're a good team, but they weren't doing anything we haven't seen throughout the rest of the season," Hawkins said. "We just made huge mistakes when it came down to it. We were making hitting errors. Serve receive wasn't great at all. Defensively, we were getting caught up on balls that are normally very easy to pick up. We just were not getting the job done."
That showed at the end of Game 2, when Breuer put down a pair of consecutive aces to give Waubonsie Valley (22-4) a 23-17 lead. The Warriors clinched the victory when St. Charles North (16-5) hit wide.
"I think we just had more energy tonight and the fans helped us," Breuer said. "It's nice to play on our home court again. We only have one more home match -- that's against South Elgin -- we were trying to use that home match to keep our energy up."
Breuer finished with 7 kills, 2 blocks and 3 digs for Waubonsie Valley. Rachel Minarick added 10 kills and 10 assists, setter Lauren Hiller added 11 assists, Brooke Burling had 5 digs, and sophomore Caroline Cordes added 4 kills and 4 blocks for the Warriors.
"We were much more consistent in serve receive, able to stay in system a majority of the time," Stuart said. "We were able to run pretty much all of our hitters, whereas Tuesday night we were out of system probably 75 percent of the time."
Follow Orrin on Twitter @orrin_schwarz