Girls volleyball: Addison Trail tops WW South in three
Addison Trail junior Nina Muell had plenty of fun in Wednesday's girls volleyball regular-season finale at Wheaton Warrenville South, and the Blazers' three-set thriller has her and her team headed to the postseason on a high note.
Muell, a 5-foot-7 outside hitter, had a match-high 14 kills as Addison Trail outlasted the Tigers 25-17, 22-25, 25-22 in a nonconference match. The win sends the 15-20 Blazers off to Monday's regional at Proviso West in a good mood.
"It was a lot of fun," Muell said. "That was the first time we actually played together as a team in a while. We kind of played individually before we but we all played together (tonight). And it was not one person; it was everyone. We all worked together and I thought it was a lot of fun."
With a 17-14 lead in the opener, the Blazers picked up a pair of late kills from Muell and also an ace from their leader while claiming the set. But the Tigers (13-16) battled back to take the second set and built a 21-18 lead in the decisive set after a quick set from sophomore Sarah Burau set up Kaileigh Ammons for a kill in the middle.
But that's when the Blazers stepped up and finished off the victory. A perfectly placed shot in the corner by Muell put the visitors up 22-21, and then Nicolette Scorza added a big block followed by a redirect by Sam Pociecha that earned another key point.
"We had some ups and downs, just like any match. But you know one of the things we talked about in our last timeout was keeping our composure and finding any way to contribute," Addison Trail coach Dan Styler said. "Throughout the match every girl made a mistake, but they learned from it and were able to execute at the highest-pressure moments so we're proud of them. We're absolutely chalking that up as a good team win."
It was a different story for Wheaton Warrenville South, a young team that runs a 6-2 attack with a freshman and a sophomore handling the setting, and with just one senior who sees regular action. Burau finished with 18 assists, 5 digs and 8 digs, while talented freshman Zayna Meyer had 7 kills and 9 assists.
"At points in time we unfortunately still look our age," Tigers coach Bill Schreier said. "There's going to be growing pains with that. It's just unfortunate that they decide to do some things at inopportune times in the match. We made some mistakes at a time when we needed to play close to error-free."
But Burau has seen the team progress well this season. She's hoping Thursday's finale with Naperville North provides one more tuneup that pays dividends come playoff time next week.
"I feel like all these matches that we have are leading up to playoffs," the 5-foot-11 setter said. "Going into Lake Park I feel like we should be confident in that game, it's just those last points, those finishing points. We have to work on finishing those last few points. But we have really learned to grow and our offense has grown immensely.
"We'll have a few years of this group and hopefully that will benefit us in the future, too."