Girls volleyball: Holsen reaches 1,000 kills in Stevenson's win
The' Big Show' was a four-star performance on Monday night in Palatine.
Senior Amanda Holsen, a Columbia University recruit, put down a match-high 13 kills, just enough to reach the 1,000 mark for her career as the Patriots downed the host Pirates 25-19, 25-14 in the nonconference match for their 14th win in 15 matches.
Holsen's 1,000th kill came on match point.
"I called her "Big Show" ever since she was a freshman because I knew Amanda would be the show after Jori (Radtke, Stevenson's all-time kills leader who graduated five years ago with 1,311 kills and then finished at Clemson)," Stevenson coach Tim Crow said.
"Jori helped lead our third-place team (Class 4A in 2016) and I knew Amanda would be the next big thing for that. What's amazing is Amanda had only 9 kills as a freshman, then 471 as a sophomore, 225 in the shortened COVID-19 season (15 matches) and now 314 this season."
Amazing also is that Radtke also had the exact same number of kills (9) as a freshman.
"I played sparingly as a freshman," said Holsen, whose father Stan stands 6-feet-8 and played lineman on Northwestern and Maine South's football teams.
"My goals back then were to be the best I could but then as soon as I hit my stride as a sophomore I said 1,000 kills is what I want. So I just tried lights out to get there. I really wanted to get there by the end of this season. I was glad I could get it done with this special group of girls."
"We were all trying to get her as many sets as we could to make it happen and it did, so it's really exciting," said classmate Michelle Gonchar. "We all count on her every day. She gets the job done and we're so grateful for that."
The first set was tied at 5, 6 and 7 before the Patriots grabbed the lead for good on a service error by the hosts.
Two aces by Abby Minin (12 assists), a hitting error and 2 points (block and a kill) by Gonchar made it 13-7 before Lyana Rivera's first of 4 kills.
The Pats got the lead back up to 17-12 on a kill by Holsen but Palatine came back to within 17-14 on a kill by Mia Hanson (5 kills) and ace from Erin McGinn (2 kills).
Stevenson then held the Pirates at bay, outscoring the hosts 8-5 the rest of the way. Bayarmaa Bat-erdene (6 digs) served for three straight points, including an ace to get the Pats a 24-17 advantage. An ace by Maya Szafraniec and a kill by Gabby Storelli (2 kills) made it 24-19 before the set ended on a service error.
Stevenson was nursing a 12-10 lead in the second set when Mija Jegers (7 digs) served the Pats to a 15-10 lead. During the rally, the Pats got a kill by Faith Cozzi (5 kills), block by Gonchar and a powerful kill to middle by Holsen. The Pats closed out the set on a 10-4 run.
Brynn Smith had 2 kills and Lilli Wangard handed out 8 assists for the winners.
"Stevenson is always a solid team," said Palatine coach Dan Gavin. "They're experienced and athletic and they've played (16-7) a good deal more matches than us (2-9). We're going through some growing pains right now.
"She (Holsen) is a nice player. She is very physical and athletic. She is smart and blocks well. She is exactly the type of hitter that we as a team have to learn to take a better approach at stopping."
Gavin felt Hanson had a nice match offensively for his team.
"She is stepping up and starting to terminate more plays for us," Gavin said. "And the more we get Lyana (Rivera) involved, the better she looks. I thought she did some really nice things."