Girls volleyball: St. Viator starts fast, sweeps Carmel
St. Viator's girls volleyball team got off to strong starts in each set on Tuesday night and that pattern led to a strong start for the Lions in the East Suburban Catholic Conference matchup with Carmel.
With 6-foot-1 senior middle hitter Lilly LaFleur putting down a match-high 10 kills along with 2 blocks and 2 aces, the Lions posted a 25-19, 25-14 triumph in the conference opener at the Cahill Gymnasium in Arlington Heights.
"We're 5-0 now so obviously that is a good start," LaFleur said. "This gives us a lot of momentum for the rest of the conference season. I think we are really confident. Our team bonding and the way we mesh, along with the cheerleading section on the bench really helps us."
Also helping the Lions' attacks were senior outside hitters Marie Torosian (8 kills, 6 digs, 2 aces) and Lauren Allaifre (6 kills,
Viator raced ahead 6-1 in Set 1, getting 2 blocks and a kill from LaFleur, an ace from junior libero Reanne Valera (12 digs) and a kill by Torosian.
"We talked about getting to a great start in the conference and taking care of business and I thought they did a great job of just that," said Lions coach Charlie Curtin, who will be awarded the Patrick Mahoney Dedication to Coaching Award at the 2022 St. Viator Hall of Fame Ceremony. "Lilly came out and was able to dominate from all different attacking points. We've been working on the connection between her and Cailyn (Harrington, Lions setter who had 21 assists) and they did just what they needed to do tonight. I'm proud of the way Lilly played."
The Lions gained a 10-4 lead on a tip by LaFleur before Carmel roared back and took a 16-14 lead on an ace by senior Julia Shrofe (10 assists, 3 aces) and a kill by classmate Milan Moore (4 kills).
The set was tied at every point from 16 to 19 before Viator scored 6 unanswered to put it away.
LaFleur served all 6 points, including another kill for herself and an ace. Allaire put down kills for the final 2 points.
The hosts got off to another quick start in Set 2.
Allaire's kill made it 5-1 before Carmel came back to tie it at 5, getting 3 service points from senior Milana Moisio, including an ace.
The Lions then proceeded on a 11-3 run to lead 16-8 following 5 straight service points from Harrington. Two service points by Mary Grace Lynch on back-to-back kills by Torisian gave Viator a 20-12 lead. The Lions closed it out with LaFleur's 3 service points, including a kill by Allaire and a kill and a block by junior Marcelina Gorny.
"Our kids never stopped competing," said Carmel coach Dave Pazely, whose team is 6-4. "That is one thing these kids have in them. We just didn't have it offensively tonight. And Viator kept firing at us. They did well. Their middle (LaFleur) was able to turn on the ball and send it to the left side of the court. Their outsides were able to work both corners. They are a complete team and we made too many mistakes, Granted, they earned a lot of their points but we didn't do ourselves any favors."