Girls volleyball: Fremd closes out season with victory over Prospect
At the start of the school year, Deme Yianas, Allie Belmonte and Annalise Peterson were hardly guaranteed they'd be playing volleyball for their senior years at Fremd High School.
When they left the Jean Walker Field House on Tuesday night in Mount Prospect, you can guarantee they'll never forget the final moment of their high school career.
Yianas passed to Peterson, who set Belmonte for the match-ending kill of a 24-26, 25-14, 25-12 triumph in the Mid-Suburban League second-place crossover.
The match marked the final one for Fremd and Prospect in this shortened COVID-19 season, where Fremd finished at 9-3 and 7-3 and the Knights at 8-5 and 8-2.
"I thought that was so exciting," Yianas said of her final high school play with her fellow seniors. "It was absolutely perfect. I would not have had it any other way."
"To see that happen for our three seniors on the final play, you couldn't write a story much better," said an elated Fremd coach Curt Pinley, who began the season by winning his 1,000th combined match as a girls and boys volleyball coach at Fremd.
"That was great to be able to have everyone in the match and for them to be able to do that."
Prospect came out on strong with a 10-3 lead in Set 1 after senior Jenna Acosta put down one of her team-high 7 kills. Fremd came back to tie the set at 19-19 on a kill from Sarah Graham (7 kills) and a hitting error. At 24- 24, Prospect got a kill by Cam Mather (4 kills, 3 aces, 11 digs) and a double-hit violation ended the set.
Fremd charged ahead 6-1 in Set 2 and never looked back as Claudia Wala served for the final 4 points. She was 16-for-16 in the match with 1 ace.
Set 3 was tied at 2-2 when the visitors pulled in front for good with 4 straight points from Wala, including one of junior Samantha Gump's team-high 16 kills and a block by Rian Baker (20 assists, 5 kills) for a 6-2 lead. The Vikes led 17-5 after 3 service points from Izzy Segoviano (12 digs, 3 aces).
"I thought we played well in the second set but we actually elevated that in the third set," Pinley said. "Prospect is a really nice team. You knew that by taking second place on the other side that they were going to be a good team. I feel fortunate that we played as well as we did to be able to get a win."
Yianas (7 digs) will play at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, while Peterson is committed to Augustana.
"I'm so grateful we got to play this season," said Yianas, who will study bio chemistry.
"We had to talk afterward about how we were able to get all our matches in this season without any major COVID issues," Pinley said. "I think they came together as a team, as well as a program with three undefeated teams (junior varsity, sophomore and freshman A). Considering everything, I thought we had a very successful end of the year."
Other attack leaders for Prospect were Lauren Wiley (4 kills), Ashlyn Gadson (3 kills) and Alex Uemura (3 kills). Claire Beattie had 9 digs while the offense was set by Rachel Keil (11 assists, 6 digs) and Lauren Mueller (20 assists, 8 digs).
"I'm really proud of our girls," said Prospect coach Laura Gerber. "In a short period of time this season, they did a lot. They played really well together. Like I told them, it's really about becoming a better player, a better person and a good teammate. And doing those things in these times, I'm really proud of them."