Girls volleyball: Beedle does it all for Wheaton North against Glenbard East
If you want everything to come together, someone who can do everything certainly helps.
That role was played by Wheaton North senior outside hitter Amee Beedle in her team's nonconference girls volleyball match with Glenbard East on Thursday night in Lombard.
In the third set Beedle stepped into the spotlight in both rows -- securing the back line on defense and finishing strong up front on offense -- as the Falcons regrouped for a 25-22, 17-25, 25-18 victory.
"We definitely improved our communication while passing and learned how to put the ball down," Beedle said of the third set. "There was more leadership shown on the court. We were working as a team."
While Beedle socked 8 of her game-high 14 kills in the final set, her coach, Carole Kristensen, said it was her defense and court command that made the difference.
"Aimee had a very good game," Kristensen said, "and just defensively, she's one that I have to leave on the court, with her play. Whether the leadership is verbal or just by example, she's got it."
Kristensen also credited fellow senior Maggie Biegalski with stepping up late. The middle had 8 kills overall, including a floor-rattling shot late in the third set.
The talented Falcons offense was inconsistent in Sets 1 and 2, as a short-handed lineup struggled under the pressure of the Rams aggressive serving and steady offense.
Wheaton North was up 14-9 in the first set, but errors and inconsistent serve-receive kept Glenbard East in the game until the Falcons pulled it out.
The second set was mostly Rams, who jumped out to leads of 3-0 and 7-3 behind their strong service game.
The Falcons, though, took an 11-10 lead thanks to a Beedle ace. But it was short-lived as Falcons errors and smart offense from the Rams sparked a 9-2 run for the hosts, who never looked back.
In the third set, however, it was the Falcons' service that made the difference, and Glenbard East's serve receive faltered, the Rams' coach said.
That gave Wheaton North a chance to reset its offense.
"When you're not serve receiving well then you're sending free balls over," Rams coach Marci Maier said, "and if you are sending free balls over, then you eat the ball and give momentum to the other side."
It was the sixth Rams three-set loss against one three-set win, said Maier, whose young team fell to 4-10 on the season.
Getting a majority of Glenbard East's swings Thursday were freshman Madison Manning, junior Cassie Schweikle and junior Becca Honig, who also played setter much of the match. Manning and Schweikle each had a team-high 4 kills.
The Rams senior libero Libby Huriburt tallied 22 digs, while senior Gabbie Spontak had 4 aces and 13 digs.
The Falcons, on the other team, are an experienced bunch that rosters 10 seniors; however, stars Beedle and Biegalski have missed time and two key starters were out sick Thursday.
But the Wheaton North crew pulled things together in time to leave Lombard with a win it hopes is a meaningful one.
"This definitely was a turning point for us," Beedle said. "We struggled in the last tournament (at Jacobs), but this is gonna lead us to more improvement throughout the season. It was good competition."