Girls volleyball: Belvidere North denies Huntley title
Belvidere North did its part to spoil Huntley's homecoming Saturday.
The Red Raiders looked to be in complete command, one set away from winning the championship of their own Huntley Invitational before getting ready for pictures and a dance.
Huntley rolled to a 25-12 victory in the first set only to see the Blue Thunder regroup and take the final two sets 25-21, 25-17.
Belvidere North improved to 28-2 with its only two losses to the same Crystal Lake Central team Huntley plays Tuesday night in Fox Valley Conference action. The Red Raiders fell to 23-3.
"We started making mistakes," Huntley coach Karen Naymola said. "Belvidere North played fantastic but that's not Huntley volleyball what we showed. Hopefully we can learn from it in the most important part of our season and get something out of it. In the long scheme of things it doesn't mean anything unless we can learn from it. Hopefully this will be best thing for them and they can respond and come out Tuesday."
Led by hard-hitting Kaitlin Leider, only a sophomore and committed to Bradley, Belvidere North never trailed in the second set to even the match.
Huntley did lead briefly in the deciding third set and was still within 18-17 after a kill by Kylie Jenkins and a Blue Thunder attack error.
But Leider blasted a ball for a side out, then Grace Betke served the final six points for a 7-0 match-ending run. She served 2 aces in that stretch which ended when the Red Raiders hit long on match point.
"We started to make mistakes and started to worry about ourselves and didn't pull together as a team like we usually do," Naymola said. "We gave them too much momentum and couldn't catch back up. We looked slow on defense and all season our defense has been what stood out."
Taylor Jakubowski spread around 22 assists and had 12 digs. Emma Konie and Jenkins both had 8 kills. Josie Schmitendorf finished with 17 digs.
Huntley started its day beating DeKalb 25-12, 25-6 in the semifinals, and the Red Raiders' pool play victories Friday included a 25-0 set against Yorkville Christian when Jakubowski served 25 points in a row.
Belvidere North defeated Dakota 25-21, 25-9 in its semifinal match Saturday.
"Definitely a big deal (to win the title)," Blue Thunder coach Amanda Carlson said. "We are fully aware of the success Huntley has had this season. We were hoping to play well enough to get the opportunity to play them because win or lose its something we can build on. I'm not sure what changed or transpired or why they turned the page (after the first set loss) but we told them win or lose nothing bad can come from this if we do what we do."
In other tournament action, Barrington bounced back from an opening 25-22, 25-22 loss to Dakota to win its final four matches including 25-17, 20-25, 25-18 over Jacobs and 25-9, 25-14 over Johnsburg on Saturday to finish 4-1 in the tournament and take fifth place.
"We did not play very well in the first match but I'm proud of the girls coming back and winning the next four," Barrington coach Michelle Jakubowski said. "We have a young team but they are really starting to come together and play really well."
Among the standouts for Barrington (15-12) were libero Amanda Cleary and outside hitters Noelle Daehler and Jessica Horwath.
"Amanda passed and serve-received really well, played some great defense," Jakubowski said. "My pin hitters Noelle and Jessica are doing a really nice job. Very consistent."
For the tournament, Horwath had 36 kills and 12 digs, Cleary 5 aces and 74 digs and Daehler 44 kills and 2 blocks. Other contributors included Amelia Sigaev (53 assists, 28 digs), Noelle Arianna Armando (30 digs, 4 aces), Felicia Guagliardo (56 assists, 16 digs, 14 kills, 5 blocks), Campbell Paris (17 kills), Alyssa Rodda (12 digs), Morgan Bunkner (6 kills, 4 blocks) and Christina Copertino (3 kills, 2 blocks).
After losing to Barrington, Jacobs defeated Boylan to take seventh.
St. Edward and Harvest Christian both went 1-2 in pool play. They both won their first matches Saturday over Freeport and Sycamore, respectively, to play each other for ninth place. Harvest came out on top in two sets, 25-17, 25-16.