Girls volleyball: Huntley stays perfect in Fox Valley
Senior middle blocker Katelyn Bower is just happy to be playing at the varsity level.
After being a member of the junior varsity last season as a junior, Bower has been a main contributor for the Red Raiders during the early portion of the 2019 campaign.
Bower, with 6 kills and 3 blocks, helped Huntley defeat Crystal Lake South 25-15, 25-14 in Fox Valley Conference action in Huntley Thursday night.
"I felt I had a chance to play at the varsity level as a senior," said Bower. "I wanted to do everything in my power in the off-season to get the opportunity to play. I have great teammates who helped me in my workouts. It is a great feeling to be on the varsity in such a great program."
Huntley coach Karen Naymola is happy Bower's hard work paid.
"Katelyn did a lot of jump training in the off-season and her hard work earned a spot on the varsity and considerable playing time," said Naymola. "She was behind two very good senior blockers last year. Katelyn has taken advantage of her opportunity. Her blocking and timing have been very good early in the season. She is a great teammate and everybody is happy for her."
The visiting Gators (1-3, 1-3) scared the Red Raiders (5-0, 4-0) early jumping out to a 7-1 lead. Kelly Carlson served 3 aces as South took a 6-point advantage.
"Before we took the court to start the match we talked about communication," said Naymola. "We go out there and don't communicate. I was not happy with that and called a quick timeout to address. After that we settled down and played well the rest of the first game."
After the timeout, the Raiders outscored the Gators 24-8 to win Game 1.
Emma Konie led the comeback with 6 kills while Taylor Jakubowski had 3 aces during that pivotal surge.
"We had a sluggish practice yesterday so it was nice to see us come out with our minds mentally alert in the first game," said coach Jorie Fontana. "Huntley has so much talent and they sped us up and took advantage of our youth and inexperience."
In Game 2, Huntley catapulted to a 6-1 lead after a kill from Allyson Panzloff.
The Gators didn't quit and whittled the Red Raider lead to 13-12 after a kill by Jessica Proszenyak.
But Huntley rebounded and ended the game and match on a 13-2 run. Konie collected 3 kills and Bower had 2 kills while Josie Schmitendorf served the matching ending ace.
Konie paced the Raiders with 12 kills and 3 blocks. Kylie Jenkins added 8 kills and defensively came with up 7 digs. Schmitendorf had 12 digs while senior 4-year starter Jakubowski set up the offense with 28 assists.
Sam Wesoly collected 5 kills for the Gators while Jenna Rhoades had 10 assists and Carlson served 5 aces.