Huntley dumps scrappy Carmel
Huntley's visiting girls volleyball team was on pace to thump Carmel Catholic in 12 minutes Wednesday night.
Give or take a few seconds.
Huntley sophomore outside hitter Lizzie Williams had struck 3 consecutive aces and served another point to open the match.
It was 4-0, just like that.
But Carmel's scrappy, indefatigable Corsairs refused to let Huntley's Red Raiders exit Salvi Gym perspiration-free. Not even a 16-6 deficit in the first set deterred the hosts. Coach Dave Pazely's resilient bunch got back in it with a 14-5 run and twice trailed by only 1 point -- 22-21, 23-22 -- in the nonconference clash.
Huntley regrouped, behind steady junior Ally Panzloff and her clutch kills, to survive the first set and earned a 25-22, 25-18 victory. Pantzloff's kill that put her club up 22-20 settled the visitors.
Allowed them to exhale, too.
"We stayed aggressive, after Carmel frustrated us, time after time, late in that first set," Red Raiders coach Karen Naymola said. "That was nice to see, the way we overcame momentum changes. Carmel did such a great job staying in points and putting pressure on us.
"But we handled it."
Avary DeBlieck's hands? Tape-laden. Picture your favorite mummy's digits and you'd have a pretty good idea what the Huntley junior middle -- and University of Miami (Fla.) recruit -- used to pound 5 kills, including the one on match point, Wednesday in Mundelein.
Earlier, DeBlieck raised her arms joyously and wiggled all of her fingers right after her block upped Huntley's lead to 12-9 in the second set.
Panzloff paced Huntley's attack with 9 kills, followed by DeBlieck (5) and Williams (5).
Corsairs senior libero Milana Moisio (12 digs), meanwhile, was magnificent and everywhere. Again. Deluxe dust mops don't cover as much hardwood as Moisio does in a match.
"She's ridiculous," Pazely praised. "She's D-I material, definitely. I mean, the girl has redefined the libero position. Her athleticism, her agility, her willingness to hit the floor, her balance -- all outstanding. Then you add her incredibly high volleyball IQ ... I love her knowledge and her energy.
"A volleyball court," he added, "is her happy place."
Corsairs Bella Lucero, Quinn Mainzer, Milan Moore and Julia Shrofe each finished with 3 kills. Shrofe lofted 11 assists, and Moore and Jess Greeby popped for 2 blocks apiece. Senior Molly Halaburt smacked a team-best 2 aces.
Carmel (1-1) was coming off a season-opening, three-set defeat of Warren, in which the Corsairs overcame a match point.
Huntley (2-0), which downed Crystal Lake Central in its season opener, got 20 assists from junior setter Maggie Duyos and a team-high 13 digs from junior defense specialist Luma Acevado.
Wednesday's server extraordinaire, Williams, wound up with 4 aces.
"We have a lot of loud, energetic players," said Huntley's Panzloff, one of the quieter Red Raiders. "I love being around them. Our girls on defense, they amaze me sometimes. They'll go all the way to the back of the gym to get to a ball.
"Their hustle inspires us."