Girls volleyball: Cary-Grove busts off win over Stevenson
An antenna had poor reception.
One of Warren's volleyball antennas just couldn't handle a spike by Stevenson outside hitter Lily Cozzi during the opening set of the Patriots' Class 4A sectional-semifinal match against Cary-Grove on Monday night. The plastic piece that attaches the antenna to the net snapped off, causing a short delay until a new antenna was fastened.
"I've never seen that happen," C-G coach Patty Langanis said.
"She must have hit it pretty hard," Trojans junior right side/setter Jenna Splitt said of Cozzi.
Cary-Grove won the point, and while Stevenson coach Tim Crow thought the strange play provided his team a spark -- Makayla Uremovich and Amanda Holsen delivered back-to-back kills to get the Patriots within 11-7 -- the Trojans never broke down en route to a 25-21, 25-16 win.
No. 2 Cary-Grove (31-9) advanced to Wednesday's 6 p.m. final against top-seeded Libertyville, which beat Lake Forest 25-16, 25-18 in the first semifinal.
No. 3 Stevenson (23-15) actually pulled even at 20-20 in the first set on Connie Song's ace, but a kill Lauren Passaglia and then an ace by the junior lefty helped give the momentum back to the Trojans. Evynn Layshock's kill ended it.
"You know Stevenson. They know how to win at this level," Langanis said. "When Stevenson made that run, we just really focused on keeping our composure, staying calm, staying disciplined and doing what we need to do. A couple of good plays went our way, and at this level, that's all you need."
Cary-Grove remained poised in the second set, too, despite not taking the lead for good until a missed serve by Stevenson snapped a 9-9 tie.
"We keep our huddles (on the court) pretty long, just to try to make eye contact with everybody," said Splitt, who had 11 assists and 4 kills. "We just want to make sure that we're focused and that everybody has each other's back."
Stevenson had trouble with the topspin serves of Splitt, Passaglia (6 kills, 2 aces, 5 blocks, 11 assists) and Layshock (5 kills, 11 digs). The Patriots also didn't have their usual balance on offense. Holsen, the 5-foot-10 sophomore, finished with a match-high 15 kills, giving her 451 on the season.
"Our serve-receive was not very good, and we got pretty much one-dimensional with giving Amanda the ball," Crow said. "You're not going to beat a team like Cary with just one hitter. And we didn't serve aggressively, which has been one of our strengths all year."
Holsen also served 2 aces, while Uremovich provided 5 kills coming off the Stevenson bench. Grace Tully dished out 22 assists.
"We were 'off' all night," Crow said. "The epitome of that was after we lost, we had a group talk and the girls couldn't even do the group hug right."
"We were just sad," said Tully, one of six seniors on Stevenson's roster. "A lot of crying."