Girls volleyball: Stevenson outlasts Cary-Grove for regional title
That first set wasn't close.
Visiting Cary-Grove stormed the Stevenson gym on Thursday night. Behind the power arms of Evynn Layshock and Lauren Passaglia and the power jump serve of Jenna Splitt, the No. 11 seed took the Stevenson crowd out and prepared for a two-set win in the Class 4A Stevenson regional final.
And then what happened?
"I told the girls I wasn't done," Stevenson junior Lily Cozzi said. "We really cleaned up our game. We had the drive to win."
Stevenson turned the trick in the second set, which went the distance. Stevenson held a 14-11 lead in the final set. Cary tied it down the stretch. Sophie Sorenson (16 kills) completed the comeback with a kill in Stevenson's 18-25, 25-15, 27-25 thriller.
The win earned No. 3 Stevenson (26-11) a berth in the Grayslake Central sectional, while ending the Trojans' season at 19-18. The Patriots will play No. 2 Crystal Lake Central (29-5) at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
"It's been a crazy season," Stevenson coach Tim Crow said. "There are a lot of teams that are similar from (seeds) 3 down to 15. I knew it would come down to the final two points. I've seen this before."
With Cary-Grove defensive specialist Grace Eyrich at the serving line in set one, a kill from Splitt and an serving ace made it 19-13 Trojans.
Set two was clearly different for the home team.
"I knew we were going to win," said Stevenson setter Grace Tully, who had 28 assists. "I had the confidence. We just came out a little slow in the first set."
Crow complimented his setter.
"Grace ran a great offense tonight," Crow said. "She made such good decisions."
With Stevenson's Abby Keevins at the serving line, the Trojans began to make some hitting errors. A kill from Makayla Uremovich and a Keevins ace opened up some breathing room at 7-3. As the second set matured, Sorenson began to pound the volleyball. She scored 4 of her kills when C-G was serving the ball.
"We needed to forget about that first set," Sorenson said. "We needed to come out swinging in that second set,"
With Stevenson senior Vanessa Obrycki at the serving line, Sorenson put one down. An ace and a C-G error and this set was over.
There were several good volleys in the final set. C-G managed to grab a 19-18 lead late. Again Layshock kept her team in it with clutch kills. Uremovich and Anne Armgardt answered back for the Pats. And Sorenson's last kill made sure.
Uremovich added 8 kills, Cozzi had six, and Armgardt added five. Libero Keevins had 16 digs. Sorenson checked in with 13 digs.