Girls volleyball: Metea Valley puts away Downers South

By Stan Goff
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/16/2021 10:53 PM

When you're as talented as junior outside hitter Kira Hutson is and you're surrounded by a deep, experienced squad, you might as well set some lofty goals.

After the Mustangs 6-foot-3 University of Florida commit led Metea Valley past host Downers Grove South 25-14, 25-17 with 9 kills and 4 aces Thursday night, Hutson admitted that the team is gunning for the top of the mountain.


"It feels really good. I know one of [Coach] Mac's big goals, and he deserves it, is to win a state title. So, we're going to go for it," said Hutson, who has helped Metea Valley get off to 15-1 start this fall.

The Mustangs entered the non-conference contest fresh off an impressive 3-set defeat of Sandburg at the Wheaton Classic. Hutson recorded 36 kills and 16 digs in her team's pair of tourney wins on Wednesday. But coach David MacDonald is thrilled to see the rest of his team pick up their play this fall.

"We're becoming more of a complete team than, you know, some people think we're just an outside attack with Kira. That helps her out a lot too because she then doesn't feel pressure that she's got to swing every time," said MacDonald, whose depth will be tested Saturday as two key players will not be back at the Wheaton Classic.

On Thursday, Metea Valley stormed ahead 10-1 following one of the team's 12 aces on the night. The lead grew to 20-8 after a block kill from Hutson and the talented hitter later closed out the first set with a big swing on the right side.

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Downers Grove South (4-8) started much stronger in the second set, trailing just 6-5 after a kill by Emily Petring. But the hosts' serve receive buckled under heavy pressure and Metea Valley used a 14-7 run to take a commanding 20-12 lead on its way to completing the sweep.

Junior outside/rightside Annabelle Troy added 6 kills, 6 digs and 4 aces for the winners, while libero Morgan Rank had 8 digs.

"Off the court and on the court we have really good bonding and we're super good friends," said Troy. "We've all played together before and having a lot of the seniors helps. They're older and real experienced it's really cool. The past few years we haven't done as well as we had hoped to and this year we have an opportunity to go really far."

It will be tough at the Wheaton Classic this weekend as Hutson will be attending training with the national team and Jada Wlodarczyk will be absent on a college visit. But this deep squad should still be a tough team to beat.

For Downers Grove South, Kayden Dempsey led the way with 8 kills, followed by Jenna Majchrzak with 6 kills and 4 assists, while Petring added 4 blocks and 4 kills.

The team's tough schedule so far only gets tougher in the next week, when they'll see Mother McAuley, Hinsdale Central, Plainfield North and Willowbrook.

"It's been a rollercoaster so far," said coach Madisen Babich. "We play real well in stretches and then we crash and burn. We have it in them, we just need everyone to do their part together and then we can compete with these top teams in the state."

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