Girls volleyball: Glenbrook South takes down Maine South
Sammi Klemm's final kill of a career-high 17 on Wednesday night took her Glenbrook South teammates to new heights in Park Ridge.
Her explosive slam hit off a Maine South defender ricocheted all the way up to gymnasium's rafters, before falling to the floor and giving the visiting Titans a 23-19 lead in the tense final set which had been tied eight times.
With the momentum in tact, moments later, MJ Noteman recorded her match-high 33rd assist thanks to a kill from freshman Ava Pratt (14 for the match) followed by a 4-hits violation by the hosts to give Glenbrook South an exciting 25-21, 23-25, 25-19 Central Suburban South girls volleyball triumph.
"That's not very common," said Klemm of her kill that hit off the rafters.
Also not very common is the fact that coach Kelly Dorn's Titans did not open their season until two days earlier when they dropped a two- set loss at home to the same Hawks.
"(Due to COVID-19 protocol) our girls hadn't been together for 14 days so it was just nice to see each other's faces on Monday," Dorn said. "Then we had our first practice (on Tuesday),"
The Titans were without Miami recruit and standout middle hitter Ashley Carr on Wednesday.
"The girl we brought up to play the middle (freshman Caroline Crawford) didn't even know the name of our players until Tuesday," Dorn said. "Now we have 15 more games so we'll be playing matches Monday through Friday for the next three weeks."
The Titans (1-1) handed Maine South (4-1) its first loss.
"It's really nice to be back after a long break," said Noteman, who does not have plans to play in college but is called a 'Division I setter' by Dorn. "We had a really good practice on Tuesday with a lot of work on team bonding which helped us pull out this win."
"We were a lot more together this match," Klemm added. "Our connections were there and we were talking more. We really wanted to show we were a different team from Monday."
Junior Aiden Lefler led the Hawks with 5 kills while classmate Elizabeth Ryser had 4. Senior Jenna Warren collected 18 digs.
"Jenna was on fire," said Hawks coach Kathleen Durkin. "She was phenomenal.
"We were trying to force them to hit crosscourt and Jenna was in the right spot to dig up so many of those balls. She did exactly what we needed. That's why she had many digs. She also served well."
Maine South trailed 23-21 in Set 2 when it scored the final 4 points with 2 kills from Lefler, one by Ryser, and the final one on an ace by Ryser.
"Aiden has come a long way," Durkin said. "She did not even play in the front row last year and now she is a six-rotation player. She doesn't come off the court and she was on fire with her hitting."
The third set was tied at 18-18 but a quick set by Noteman set up a kill by Klemm and the visitors outscored Maine South 7-1 the rest of the way.
The Hawks were without three-year starter Anna Birkett on Wednesday.
"Hats off to GBS for serving tough at us," Durkin added. "I thought that was a bit of the difference in our slump at the end. But I was really happy to take a team like Glenbrook South to three sets. That's what it's all about."