Girls volleyball: Fremd takes care of Libertyville in 2
Before Wednesday night, the last time Libertyville and Fremd met in girls volleyball was in the 2019 Class 4A supersectional on the Vikings' court.
The two teams were in the same gym again and the result was the same: a Fremd victory.
Some of the players were even the same, such as Vikings senior Rylen Reid, who had what many would say, including her coach, her same game.
The outside hitter put down a match-high 8 kills to help lead the Vikes to a 25-12, 25-19 nonconference triumph.
"I think Rylen had a Rylen match," said veteran Fremd coach Curt Pinley, whose team took fourth in the 2019 state finals. "Obviously she is someone who we are going to watch and look to go to a lot."
Reid really made her presence felt late in Set 1. Following an ace by classmate Claudia Wala, Reid produced back-to-back blocks of overpasses to give the hosts a 21-11 cushion. Shortly after, Wake Forest recruit Rian Baker (17 assists) served out the set , getting an ace and a set -ending kill from freshman Victoria Belmonte (3 kills).
"I thought ' V' (Belmonte) did a nice job," Pinley added. "I know being a freshman she has a lot of pressure in trying to help this team succeed and I thought she had a real nice night. Everybody played pretty well tonight. I thought we did a nice job passing and Samantha (Gump) did a nice job swinging in her outside shots."
Gump, a senior, finished with 4 kills and 4 aces while the back row was led by Isabela Segoviano (5 digs), Maeve Miller (4) and Reid (3).
"I think we came out really strong," Reid said. "We missed a few serves but as a team we did a good job keeping our energy up and playing as a team."
"I thought we were siding out well," Pinley added. "So we never gave Libertyville many opportunities to score multiple points in a row. At the same time, we were pushing to score. So if we can play like that the whole season, that would be fantastic."
Junior Keira Kasten (4 kills) and sophomore Hannah Fleming (3 kills) led the attack for the Wildcats (2-7).
"I thought Hannah was swinging more aggressively than she did in our tournament last weekend," said Wildcats coach Greg Loika. "That's the biggest thing. We have a lot more room for error when we are aggressive. We just can't afford to go tip and roll against teams with great defense and offense."
Fleming's kill got Libertyville to within 13-11 in Set 2 but the Vikes (2-0) began to inch away and led 16-11 after a kill by Gump and ace by Reid, who eventually ended the match with a block.
"I think both teams were a little nervous at the start," Loika added. "Fremd is good at every position so you can't make a lot of mistakes without them punishing you. We're going to work on being consistent, aggressive and controlling the ball on our side of the net. Obviously, when we don't do that, we're going to struggle."
The Vikes' other win is over Naperville Central.
"We talked about Libertyville wanting to win this match and avenge that last match," Pinley said. "So I'm sure that gave our kids a little extra motivation and we wanted to play well because this weekend is kind of the start of our season with our tournament (16-team Early Bird) and then conference beginning the following week."