Girls volleyball: Palatine notches impressive win over Stevenson
Palatine's girls volleyball team had a fill-in head coach on Monday when it hosted North Suburban Conference co-leader Stevenson.
With Dan Gavin attending the Mid-Suburban League all-conference meeting, his brother and assistant coach Pete stepped in to direct the Pirates to a 25-21, 14-25, 25-12 triumph.
"It's all good," said Pirates senior Jillian Smith (2 kills) of the changing of the guard for one night. "I think we were all pulling in the same direction, and when that happens good things happen."
Nursing a 21-20 lead, one of Emily Campe's match-high 18 kills commenced a 4-1 run to end the first set in favor of Palatine.
Julie Garcia's ace made it 22-20 when Patriots coach Tim Crow called for a time out.
But the Pirates (22-12) came right back with a kill from the Virginia Tech-bound Campe and 2 points later the hosts won on a hitting error.
Stevenson (20-13) bounced back in Set 2 by taking a 5-1 lead on an ace from setter Grace Tully and a hitting error.
The set was tied at 8 and 9 when the visitors pulled ahead for good on 7 straight service points from Lily Cozzi for a 17-9 lead that was never relinquished.
The third set was tied at 3-3 but a kill by Karina Szafraniec put Palatine on top to stay.
Three service points from Smith made it 10-5 and four in a row by Allison Drake extended the advantage to 18-7.
Campe eventually closed out the win with 3 straight service aces thanks to her own kill, a kill by Drake and Drake's quick set to Sarah Elischer, who slammed home the match-winner.
"Allison did a great job of putting the ball up offensively and she was able to make adjustments real quickly which helped," Campe said. "I think this match was really good for our confidence heading into our (Class 4A) regional where we could see them (Stevenson) again."
Elischer and Szafraniec finished with 5 kills apiece while teammate Sydney Wiebe put down four.
Drake handed out 29 assists.
"I think we really found our groove offensively and defensively," Drake said. "That really helped with our trust and playing together as a team."
Pete Gavin, who is also the head boys volleyball coach at Palatine, is now 1-1 as fill-in for his brother's team.
"We know Stevenson is good team" Pete said. "And I thought our girls did a nice job bouncing back after that second set. They finished nicely and played well together.
"Jillian stepped up with real good defense and I thought Brianna (Squeo) played real well, too. She started on the freshman team this season and through hard work and her passion for the game worked her way up. We've kind of been blessed to have a bunch of kids who have filled that role and we're still kind of letting kids compete and figure out what the best lineup will be heading into the state tournament."
Sophomore Amanda Holsen led Stevenson with 13 kills while Tully, Cozzi and Makayla Uremovich each had three. Tully collected 20 assists.
"Palatine did a great job and our discipline was very bad in the back row," said Crow, the school's winningest girls volleyball coach with more than 500 wins since 2002. "Our decisions weren't the best in what we were doing whether it was attacking or serving to certain areas.
"We just didn't have a good performance on our part, especially compared to how we've been playing recently. Palatine was ready to go and we obviously weren't. The regional here next week is going to be a tough task."
The Patriots' next task is vying for a conference championship. They play Lake Forest (1 loss in the league) on Wednesday and Libertyville (undefeated) on Thursday.