Girls volleyball: Bartlett sweeps South Elgin, ties for UEC lead
On more than one occasion, Bartlett girls volleyball coach Robert Schwantz has had referees come over and ask him if his versatile standout Madison Hankins is a senior.
Schwantz is in no hurry to see Hankins leave Bartlett, and he quickly tells those refs that while Hankins plays like a senior, she's still a junior.
And that's a very good thing for Schwantz.
"She's unbelievable," Schwantz said after Hankins led the Hawks with 12 assists, 7 kills and 5 aces in a 25-20, 25-16 Upstate Eight win at South Elgin on Tuesday.
"Ever since she came in freshman year, she just jumps out of the gym. She just gets it. She gets everything."
Hankins came through at the big moments against South Elgin (5-7, 5-3). Tied at 20-20 in the first set, Hankins served the final five points including an ace.
She also started the second set with a five-point service run with three more aces.
And Hankins capped the night with a perfect pass on serve receive to Alayna Hawes who set the ball back to Hankins for one final smash.
"We played with a lot of energy," Hankins said. "We earned all of our points and we celebrated them. It (the strong finish to set one) definitely carries into the second set."
The win wrapped up second place in the Upstate Eight for Bartlett (10-4, 7-1) who has one game left vs. East Aurora. The Hawks are tied for first with Glenbard East who knocked the Hawks off last week.
Both the Storm and Hawks started slow Tuesday. They combined for 21 errors in the opening set, which was tied 13 times as both sides traded mistakes.
During the set-deciding 5-0 surge from Hankins, Jade Lindstrom and Bria Lomax teamed for a block, Hawes landed back-to-back kills, Hankins fired an ace and Lomax ended the set by stuffing a big swing from the Storm.
Bartlett never trailed in the second set. Lomax (5 kills), Hawes (4 kills, 2 aces), Lindstrom (3 kills), Kirsten Munar (19 digs) and Klaudia Bartoszewicz (10 digs) all contributed.
"Once they got that fist set out of the way, we just played more calm, and we were earning our points," Schwantz said. "I felt they gave us a lot of free balls we were able to get to our middles."
Maddie Shaner led South Elgin with 7 kills and Jorden Pray had 6 assists.
South Elgin finishes its season Thursday against West Chicago.
"We came out really flat tonight," Storm coach Joni Plach said. "We had a good practice yesterday so I thought it would be a different team. We want to end this season playing good volleyball. Tonight was not good volleyball for us so hopefully Thursday we can end the year, whether we win or lose, it's better volleyball than that."