Girls volleyball: Larkin sweeps rival Elgin
Elgin's version of Rivalry Week kicked off Tuesday night.
With the Town Jug football clash on tap Friday night, the Elgin and Larkin volleyball teams took center stage at Chesbrough Field House.
The Royals secured bragging rights on the court, surviving a back-and-forth first set before pulling away late in the second for a 25-22, 25-12 win.
Katrina Zamudio's 6 kills led Larkin's balanced attack. Amiya Jackson and Ava Willigman added 4 apiece. Yoanna Hernandez delivered 10 assists while Lilah Hanson contributed 7.
Larkin lacks a great deal of size and power on its front line, but makes up for it by doing the little things and literally keeping balls in the air.
"We really work on those fundamentals and just putting the ball in the court," said Larkin coach Mattie Boyd. "I told them we don't have to go up and take that big swing, we don't have to get those huge blocks, all we have to do is put the ball in the court because volleyball is a game of errors. Whoever makes the least amount of errors is going to win the game."
Elgin made its share of mistakes in the first game and the Royals eventually took advantage. After 8 ties and 4 lead changes early, the Royals took control with a 6-0 run to go up 17-11 with Ariela Bermudez at the service line for most of it.
The Maroons fought back getting within 24-22 on a Nela Magana kill and a Larkin error, but Jackson's kill put it away for Larkin.
The Royals found their rhythm in the second set, rolling to an 11-3 lead. A 6-1 run, including back-to-back kills by Alyssa Wysuph, got Elgin with 12-9, but the Royals took off from there, winning 13 of the final 16 points.
"We told them to calm down and relax," Boyd said. "This is our third time playing Elgin this year. We know what to expect. We told them to just put the ball on the court and things will go our way. They were just much more relaxed in that second game."
Wysuph finished with 5 kills, and Trinity Evans added 3 for the Maroons.
"We take awhile to get rolling and once we get rolling then it's kind of a roller-coaster ride from time to time," said Elgin coach Amy Zapata. "That comes with a young team. We've got a pretty inexperienced team, so we're going to keep working through that. They're going to keep learning that tempo of the game. We're hoping that once we get those out of the way, we're going to take off."