Girls volleyball: Metea Valley downs Neuqua for 16th straight win
With virtually its entire current roster electing to play club instead of the shortened 2020-21 spring high school season, Metea Valley didn't get the chance to show just how special a group it had.
The Mustangs are finally getting that opportunity this fall and the results are nothing short of spectacular.
Overcoming a late second-game deficit, Metea ran its winning streak to 16 straight with a 25-13, 25-22 victory over Neuqua Valley in a special Dig Pink event that raised $8,000 in T-shirt sales for cancer research.
The Mustangs improved to 31-2 on the season and most importantly, stayed undefeated at 8-0 in the DuPage Valley Conference. The team can clinch its first league title since 2017 when they take on second-place Naperville North Tuesday.
"I knew we would be good but I'm not sure I knew we'd be this good," said junior Kira Hutson, who recorded a match-high nine kills. "The key for us is energy. Bringing that good energy on the court, that keeps us up no matter what the score is. And also that trust we have in each other, we know each other will do our jobs."
The visitors trailed 21-18 in game two before rattling off 7 of the final 8 points. Included in that run was an ace by Morgan Rank and a pair of kills from Annabelle Troy.
In the opening game, Metea jumped out to a quick 7-1 advantage and cruised behind six kills from Hutson.
"We are a very talented and dynamic group," said Regan Holmer, one of 10 seniors on the squad. "And we've been working so hard, not only during the season but also during the offseason. We are gelling together really well.
"Our mindset is one game at a time, one day at a time, one practice at a time. Just work hard every opportunity we have. We've been doing a great job of that so far and we are not going to stop."
Troy finished with six kills and two aces and Holmer and Maura Pilafas each totaled three kills.
"First off that was a special event for both of us," said Metea Valley coach Dave MacDonald, whose team's only losses have come to Plainfield North and Willowbrook in three games. "I love doing this (event) with her (Neuqua Valley coach Kelly Simon); the collaboration with her and Neuqua is amazing.
"Secondly, this is a special group and I can't talk enough about these girls. They've been awesome. They've set the tone for this program not only now but for the future and we've just got to keep it rolling. They care so much about each other and this program."
Metea will be the No. 1 seed at the upcoming Oswego sectional.
As for the Wildcats (15-16, 4-4), they will be the 7th seed at that same sectional. Neuqua Valley was led by the six kills of Liel Thomas and the five kills of Anja Kelly. Bryanna Jones added three kills and two aces.