Girls volleyball: Stevenson 2nd, Cary-Grove 6th at Jacobs tourney
Cary-Grove girls volleyball coach Patty Langanis realizes that patience will be a virtue she will need to possess during the 2016 season.
Losing five key starters from last season's team, which finished third in Class 4A, the Trojans have struggled early in the season.
Waukesha (Wis.) Catholic defeated Cary-Grove 25-15, 23-25, 25-23 in the fifth-place match of Saturday's Jacobs Invitational.
Even with a sixth-place finish, Langanis sees improvement from her team, which posted a 3-2 record overall and was 2-1 in pool play.
"It has been a roller-coaster ride so far this season," said Langanis. "It may take awhile for this team to reach its potential. I saw some good things and a lot of improvement today."
After losing the first game, Cary-Grove (4-5), rallied to win Game 2. Down 23-20, Maddy Katchen collected 2 kills and Emily Schuster served 3 aces as the Trojans scored the final 5 points to win the game and match.
In the pivotal third game, the Trojans seemed to be in good shape after a kill by Katchen gave them a 20-15 advantage. The Crusaders rallied to tie the game at 22-22 on a kill by Ivey Whalen and won the match on a kill from Lauren Mudlaff.
Katchen (16 kills, 4 blocks) and Amber Olson (9 kills, 24 set assists, 4 aces), both all-tournament selections, paced the Trojans.
Cary-Grove defeated Rockford Boylan 25-13, 26-24 in the first match of the Gold Bracket (fifth through eighth place bracket),
"We lost a lot of players from last season and we are very young," said Katchen. "We have had some ups and downs so far this season but we think we are up to challenge to have a good season."
Marian Central captured its second straight Jacobs Invitational title, defeating Stevenson 25-23, 25-13 in the championship match.
Northern Illinois bound senior hitter Jori Radtke, an all-tournament selection, paced Stevenson with 12 kills. Junior setter Alex Cuc joined Radtke on the all-tournament team.
"Marian Central is a very talented and skilled team," said Stevenson coach Tim Crow. "We played awesome and just ran out of gas in the second game. We made some mental mistakes because we were tired. Overall, this tournament is great because we play great teams and our weaknesses are exposed."
Lauren Hanlon and Sydney Nemtuda paced the Hurricanes (9-0) with 9 kills each.
'I was impressed that we stayed so focused against very good teams for five matches," said Marian Central coach Laura Watling "We were really efficient and played at a fast tempo. To win the championship, we had to beat a very good Stevenson team."
Stevenson advanced to the title match with a hard fought 25-23, 25-27, 27-25 win over Wheaton North. Radtke paced the Patriots with 27 kills and 5 blocks.
After a heartbreaking loss to Stevenson in the semifinals, Wheaton North (9-3) bounced back to defeat Hersey 25-15, 25-13 to claim third place.
Falcons receiving all-tournament accolades were Elizabeth LaBue and Haley Horner.