Girls volleyball: Wauconda comes back to down Grayslake North

  • Wauconda's Savannah Johnson stretches for the ball during Thursday's girls volleyball match against Grayslake North in Grayslake.

      Wauconda's Savannah Johnson stretches for the ball during Thursday's girls volleyball match against Grayslake North in Grayslake. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Grayslake North's Jessica Pozezinski, center, celebrates a point with her teammates before defeating Wauconda in the first game of Thursday's girls volleyball match in Grayslake.

      Grayslake North's Jessica Pozezinski, center, celebrates a point with her teammates before defeating Wauconda in the first game of Thursday's girls volleyball match in Grayslake. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Grayslake North's Emily Bongiovanni-Schafer (9) goes up for the block against Wauconda's Tara Bierdz during Thursday's girls volleyball match in Grayslake.

      Grayslake North's Emily Bongiovanni-Schafer (9) goes up for the block against Wauconda's Tara Bierdz during Thursday's girls volleyball match in Grayslake. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Wauconda's Emily Johnson and Delaney Lemay (15) go for the block against Grayslake North's Teagan Johnston during Thursday's girls volleyball match in Grayslake.

      Wauconda's Emily Johnson and Delaney Lemay (15) go for the block against Grayslake North's Teagan Johnston during Thursday's girls volleyball match in Grayslake. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Grayslake North's Emily Porter (7) finds a hole past Wauconda's defense during Thursday's girls volleyball match in Grayslake.

      Grayslake North's Emily Porter (7) finds a hole past Wauconda's defense during Thursday's girls volleyball match in Grayslake. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/19/2019 9:20 PM

The Wauconda lead in the decisive third set was solid at 13-5 Thursday night at Grayslake North.

The momentum all went to the home-standing Knights. It was soon a 2-point game at 19-17.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

And then Wauconda senior Tara Bierdz went to work. She powered 3 kills in a row on her way to a dozen kills for the night.

Wauconda came back from a set-one loss to record a 19-25, 25-19, 25-21 Northern Lake County girls volleyball victory.

"We really came together tonight,'' Bierdz noted. "We were highly motivated."

The night was marred by an ankle injury to North's 6-foot middle hitter Emily Bongiovanni-Schafer. Before departing, she fired off 2 kills in a row to up the Knights' lead to 15-8 in set one.

Even in the first-set defeat, fellow senior Nicole Callahan showed off her serving skills. On the night, the Wauconda middle hitter had 10 digs, 6 kills and 2 aces.

"We just needed to keep our focus,'' Callahan said. "We had a team talk to start with. We needed to work together and keep our energy up."

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Callahan was at the serving line in the second set. She used kills by Emily Johnson and Delaney Lemay to up the Bulldogs' lead to 6-3. The set was knotted at 17-17. Lemay added another kill as the Bulldogs evened the match with a win in set two.

"Wauconda played really well tonight,'' admitted North coach Jim Sarver. "But I was proud how we fought in that third set."

Sarver mentioned the play of sophomore Emily Porter.

Callahan was serving when the Bulldogs went up in the final set. She used another Lemay kill and an Emily Johnson kill and she had the final kill of the rally to open up a 6-2 lead.

Lemay finished the night with 6 kills, 4 blocks and 2 aces. Setter Savannah Johnson had 14 assists, 6 digs and 2 kills. Wauconda is 12-11 and 2-0 in conference play. North fell to 9-7 and 1-1.

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