Girls volleyball: St. Edward wins tight battle over Aurora Christian
St. Edward and Aurora Christian battled through 20 ties, 8 lead changes and 3 sets in their Metro Suburban match Wednesday in Elgin.
And when it mattered most, St. Edward had the right player at the service line.
Taylor Jannusch came through with clutch serves at the end of both the second and third sets, helping the Green Wave come from behind for a 24-26, 25-22, 25-23 victory in a match that was tight throughout.
Aurora Christian (3-5, 3-4) had a chance to win in two sets, leading 21-18 late in the second.
Jannusch helped fuel a 7-1 run with a pair of aces. Teammate Kailey Treiber delivered a kill on set point.
"It's better to serve aggressive and miss than serve an easy serve at the libero or something," Jannusch said. "The team came together and were getting more consistent in the second and third sets and we didn't let the ball hit the floor."
The Green Wave again had to rally in the third set, trailing 14-7 after Kalene Schalhamer set Loyrn Ellis for a kill.
That was the biggest lead either team had all night, but it began to disappear as St. Edward got 4 kills from Brooke Biggins and 3 by Madeline Pogorzelski to lead the comeback.
"Maddy, we started running some new plays and she got very comfortable with it and got a bunch of kills off it," St. Edward coach Dawn Gross said. "And my libero (Jannusch) was incredible all over the court trying to read what they were going to do."
A Biggins kill gave St. Edward a 20-19 lead. Kimberly Aquirre put a ball down to make it 23-20, then assisted Pogorzelski to get to match point at 24-22. Biggins ended the night with a quick tip that caught the Eagles off-guard.
"We had to come together as a team," Pogorzelski said. "We needed to keep fighting. We had to find ways to place the ball and work together."
St. Edward (3-4, 2-4) was its own worst enemy in the opening set, committing 10 attack errors. Senior Lily Karl led the Eagles with 4 kills in the set, and Ellis blasted a ball down on set point.
Ellis paced both teams with 11 kills and Karl added 9.
"It's all coming together," Eagles coach Taylor Knauf said. "We are a new team, a young team but each game we are playing more and more as a team. It stinks to work that hard and not come out with a win but I'm proud of them."