Lakes services playoff notice with triumph against Stevenson
The girls volleyball teams from Lakes and Stevenson could meet again next week in the Grant regional final.
Tuesday night, they gave a sneak preview in Lake Villa, and host Lakes shined on Senior Night, winning the nonconference match 25-15, 25-17.
"They looked like the best team tonight," Stevenson coach Tim Crow said. "They played amazing volleyball. They have serious length."
Lakes improved to 26-3, while Stevenson fell to 21-13.
Lakes has plenty of firepower at the net with Erica Grant, Keelan Bell, Katie Billetdeaux and Paule Ceneac. They get defense from libero Alyssa Bombicino.
"We knew what we had to do tonight," Bombicino said. "We work really hard in practice."
The Tennessee Tech-bound Grant fired off 15 kills to go with 5 digs and 1 block. Setter Devinn Bell set the tone early on at the serving line. Ceneac and Kelli Rettig registered kills as the Eagles opened up some breathing room at 8-3 in the opening set.
"We tell ourselves to play like it's your last game," Grant said.
Grant slugged a kill to expand the lead to 21-14.
"This was a good way to boost our morale," Lakes assistant coach Tyler Boyce said. "We have picked up after (2) losses in the Palatine tournament. We don't want to peak too early."
Stevenson received a serving ace from setter Alex Cuc to open play in the second set. Another ace from senior Rebecca Sullivan knotted the score at 6-6. But Lakes took control soon after that. Another thundering kill by Grant had Lakes up 13-11.
"Our passing wasn't near the net," Crow said.
Bombicino (6 digs) served an ace, Grant slammed another kill, and the Eagles' lead was 22-16.
Rachel Orpano (10 assists, 5 digs, 3 aces, 1 kill) also notched an ace, Billetdeaux delivered a kill, and the match ended with another Grant kill.
Bell notched 15 assists and had 5 digs. Ceneac, Bell and Billetdeaux all had 3 kills.
Stevenson junior Sophie Sorenson paced the Patriots with 7 kills. Cuc notched 12 assists. Chloe Robinson led the defense with 14 digs.
Stevenson will match wits with Marian Central in the Grant regional next week. The winner of Grant and Mundelein will draw the Eagles.