Girls volleyball: Barrington tops Grant to move on
Barrington picked a great time to put together a 10-point run.
Tuesday at their own Class 4A girls volleyball regional, the eighth-seeded Fillies reeled off 10 straight points early in the third set to take a 10-2 lead over No. 9 seed Grant.
That led Barrington to a 20-25, 25-23, 25-21 regional semifinal win, but it didn't come easy by any means.
The Fillies, who move on to face Libertyville Thursday at 6 p.m. for the regional title, had to hold off a hard-charging Bulldogs team down the stretch.
"We made it interesting," said Barrington coach Michelle Jakubowski. "I'm so proud of them -- I've got two freshmen out there and my libero is a sophomore. The underclassmen did a really nice job and calmed the environment, and when we needed a kill they got it."
Freshman Jessica Horwath led the Fillies with 17 kills, while classmate Campbell Paris added 10 kills.
For Grant, junior middle blocker Jazzlyn Linbo had 11 kills and 5 aces, while setter Grace Olszowka excelled with 31 assists.
And despite the tough loss, the Bulldogs are set up for a great 2020 season as they did not have a single senior on the roster.
"We've got a great core coming back," said Grant coach Michele Keenan. I'm excited about next year."
Stellar defense from Grant libero Courtney Levy led the Bulldogs to the first-game win.
Barrington (20-18) trailed 4-1 in the second game before Jakubowski called time out.
"(At that point) I just told the kids to enjoy the moment," said Jakubowski. "Just go out and know that you gave it everything you had and enjoyed it. This is the postseason -- this is fun."
The Fillies rallied and took set 2 when, leading 24-23, Horwath tipped a ball that rolled along the top of the net for a few anxious moments before falling untouched on the Grant side of the net.
Then came the big run in set 3, but Grant wasn't done. The Bulldogs closed to within 23-20 after 2 consecutive aces from Linbo.
But Horwath got another kill and after a side out, Barrington earned the match-winning point.
Arriana Armando finished with 15 points and an ace from the service line for the Fillies while sophomore Amanda Cleary had 8 digs and senior middle blocker Noelle Daehler hit 7 kills.
"Pretty big win," said Daehler. "We're excited to play for the championship."