Girls volleyball: The comeback is West Chicago's friend again
It turns out Lake Park was playing into West Chicago's hands when the Lancers won the first set of their nonconference girls volleyball match Thursday night in Roselle.
And that was the case again when the Lancers rallied in the third set from a 4-point deficit to go ahead. West Chicago quickly regained the lead in that third set and pulled away to complete an 18-25, 25-20, 25-17 victory.
"We like to do that," West Chicago sophomore Brianna Pechman said. "That's our classic move. We like to struggle a little bit.
"We love the comeback."
Truth be told, the comeback has its drawbacks, even if it all turns out well in the end.
"I don't love it so much, but I mean I guess I'll take it," Wildcats coach Pam Pater said with a laugh.
"It makes us nervous, but hey," added Pechman, deciding Pater probably gets a little more nervous. "It makes us entertaining, I guess."
The Wildcats' never-say-die attitude is why Pater never doubted the Wildcats would come back. After giving up that 4-point lead they turned an 9-8 deficit into a 22-16 advantage in that third set. A Lilly Smith kill finished the match.
"No, I've kind of learned with this team that we're always going to have that fight, no matter what the score is, and no, we keep pulling them out, which is awesome," Pater said.
There's just something about these Wildcats (11-6).
"When we're doing good we're talking to each other. We have a lot of energy. And we kind of lift each other up," Pechman said.
Lifting each other up has become a habit for these Wildcats, both coach and player agreed.
"I've been on some teams where it's like, you get in that huddle and you're just like, Oh, God, what are they going to say. We're really good at keeping each other positive and looking forward to winning the next game, winning the next point," Pechman said.
Pater, in her third season coaching the Wildcats, is a 2001 Lake Park graduate.
"(The Lancers) always kinda come out ready to beat us, and I don't know if that's because (Lake Park coach Tom) Bergen tells them that," Pater said. "But every time we play them it's a tough game, and I like leaving winning. But we have a great relationship and we're going to continue this on as long I'm coaching and he's coaching."
Lake Park (7-7) switched its offense on a day's notice to a hybrid 5-1 and 6-2 looking for a spark. The Lancers saw improvement, but not enough.
"We were lacking in consistency in offense. We still seem to be lacking consistency in offense," Bergen said.
It didn't help that the Lancers were without 6-foot-3 middle hitter Klaudia Rygula due to a sprained ankle.
"She's definitely a difference-maker," Bergen said. "She pretty much can control the net. We've missed her this week."