Girls volleyball: Grampo helps Grayslake Central outlast Buffalo Grove
When asked what the key has been for the strong 6-3 start this season for Grayslake Central's girls volleyball team, Rams senior Megan Grampo had a simple answer.
"Communication, and we're all best friends," she quickly started. "That helps."
And Grampo certainly helps with her impressive play.
The 6-foot-2 outside hitter put down a match-high 10 kills, the final one a blast off a set from classmate Maya Cartee (11 assists) which ended the Rams' 25-18, 22-25, 25-20 nonconference triumph at Buffalo Grove on Thursday night.
"Megan really stepped up," said Rams coach Arian Colton. "She is our senior leader and go-to player. When she is on and making smart decisions, she is tough to stop."
The Rams' defense hardly took time to stop, led by the back row play of junior Catherine Guckenberger (14 digs) and senior libero Taylor Guenther (13 digs)."
"We were scrappy," Grampo said. "Nothing dropped on our side."
"We are really willing to run down everything," Colton added. "So that really helps."
The Rams helped their cause in Set 1 with a rally that took their lead from 5-4 to 10-5 as they received a kill from Piper Gallaher, and blocks from Ella Tews and Grampo along the way. Tews and Charley Topp each had 2 kills and Maddie Monahan served 2 aces in the match.
The visitors led by 7 late in Set 1 before BG got to within 22-18. Kills by Tews and Karolina Pintinas got GC to set point before a hitting error ended it.
In the second set, senior Alexa Lo Verde served BG to a 10-5 lead with 5 straight points. The Rams tied it at 16 but BG went back in front 20-16, thanks to 3 more service points from Lo Verde.
Grace Veller's service point from a kill by Abby Ferris (team-high 9 kills and 2 blocks) gave BG a 23-18 lead and the Rams never got closer than 3 points.
But GC rebounded in the final set, which was tied five times through the first 16 points.
Tied at 8-8, kills by Peyton Zastrow and Grampo and an ace by Guckenberger gave GC an 11-8 lead.
The Bison got to within 19-17 but the Rams scored 6 of the last 9 points to put away their first three-set win of the season.
"We know we can be successful when we serve well and take care of the volleyball," Colton said. "This is a great start for us (only losses to undefeated Deerfield, along with Warren and Lakes which were in the top six at the Libertyville tournament last weekend).
"There are things we need to work on and we'll continue to try and get better but we'll take 6-3. It's been a pretty solid start."
BG (2-6) was led by Ferris' 9 kills and 2 blocks. Sophomore setter Nishka Patil had 11 assists while Lo Verde served 2 aces.
" I was proud of how the girls stayed composed, especially after that first set," said BG coach Matt Priban. "They were able to battle back and take the second set and we were right there in the third set. We had great energy and stayed aggressive so I was really happy to see that. We fell a little short but we have a lot to build on as we continue into the rest of the season."