Girls volleyball: Grayslake North spoils Marian Central's senior night

Marian Central senior Anna Lingle stepped into an unfamiliar position about halfway through the season after an injury to starting setter Alex Rewiako.

Lingle, who played mostly in the back row as a defensive specialist and libero, suddenly was thrust into the setter position, a role she had not played since middle school.

"I freaked out a little bit because it's a stressful situation, and I was kind of settling into where I was," Lingle said. "I was like, 'OK, I'm going to do the best I can.' I had my whole team supporting me the whole way."

Injuries to Rewiako and a few other key players have affected the Hurricanes' performance in recent weeks.

Marian was unable to overcome them and tough serving from Grayslake North in a 25-21, 25-20 nonconference loss Monday at Landers Pavilion on senior night.

After losing the first set, the Hurricanes (10-21) looked to gain momentum on big swings from senior outside hitter Ella Conlon (eight kills, ace), one of two captains on Marian and the team's go-to player.

Marian was up 14-8 in the second set, but the Knights (17-16) responded with an 8-0 run. The Hurricanes grabbed the lead back at 17-16, only to see North end the match with another big run (9-3).

Grayslake North senior setter Macie Ahmer had eight straight service points, including three aces, during the Knights' 8-0 run. She finished with five aces, nine assists and 13 digs. As a team, North had 12 aces.

Ahmer said the Knights really wanted to get a win back from Marian after losing to the Hurricanes last year.

"We lost to them last year on our senior night, so everyone really wanted to win," Ahmer said. "Recently in practice, we've had a really good mindset. We've been working our hardest and gave it our everything tonight."

Ahmer has been a serving machine for the Knights and recently set the program record with 11 aces in a match.

"Ever since I walked into high school, I knew I wanted to be on that [leaderboard], and I was going to find a way to be up there," Ahmer said. "I've really been working on my serve. It feels amazing to achieve my goal my senior year."

Also for North, Chanea Butler had four blocks, two kills and three digs; Maddie Von Allmen had eight kills and seven digs; and Emily Owen added four aces, three kills and a block.

North, too, has suffered injuries. Starting setter Gina Roscoe suffered an ACL injury earlier in the season, and Reese Oatsvall, who played Monday, missed time with a concussion. Ahmer, normally a libero, has stepped into one of the other setting positions as a result.

"We've had our ups and downs, and we've had to readjust quickly, and the girls bounced back," North coach Nikki Kirchway said. "This team has just been incredible with changing up everything and being supportive."

Marian Central finishes the regular season Wednesday against Jacobs and faces Marengo at 6 p.m. Monday in the first round of the Class 2A Richmond-Burton Regional.

"Our passing has drastically improved this season," Marian coach Robin Secrist said. "We just have to be mentally tough, and it's hard to do that with injuries and a lot of other stuff going on. I think it's the mental aspect of the game that we have to push past and just learn how to win these close games."

Secrist said the team has done a good job of sticking together in a challenging season. The Hurricanes just finished their first year in the Chicagoland Christian Conference.

Marian will graduate seven: Conlon, Lingle, Caroline Stumpf, Jordan Orlos, Michaela Johnson, Mary Keane and Lucy Iden.

"The impact that they have had on this program is very positive," Secrist said. "They've really just come together as a group this year. I think this is the most cohesive team that I've coach here."

Grayslake North's Hailey Ryan blocks against Marian Central in girls volleyball in Woodstock Monday. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local
Grayslake North's Hailey Ryan, left, and Reese Oatsvall celebrate a point in girls volleyball at Marian Central in Woodstock Monday. Patrick Kunzer/for Shaw Local
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.