Girls volleyball: Libertyville rallies to beat Warren, win sectional title

Libertyville's Hannah Fleming loves the No. 17. She wears it proudly on her uniform.

And she loved the number even more Wednesday.

Fleming had a career-high 17 kills to lead the Wildcats past North Suburban Conference rival Warren 22-25, 25-20, 25-18 to win the Class 4A Huntley sectional.

Libertyville (30-9) will meet Barrington in the supersectional Friday at Barrington at 6 p.m. The two teams have not met this season.

That was not the case Wednesday. It was the third meeting between Libertyville and Warren, with Libertyville winning all three meetings.

"We knew Libertyville was tough," Warren coach Yun Chen said. "We came out ready to play. We knew we had to pass well and block well and we did."

Things went very well for Warren (26-11) in the first game.

Led by Illinois State bound Ruth Ziegler, Lauren Schilz, Maggie Carruthers and Maddie Wojdyla, the Blue Devils jumped to 10-5 lead. Warren used five block points, four aces and 10 kills in the game to win 25-22.

That's when Fleming and Libertyville leaned deep.

"She is a our six-rotation horse," Libertyville coach Greg Loika said. "She has many, many swings and in crunch times she wants the ball. It is the senior you want. I could stand here all day and sing her praises."

Fleming, who would total seven kills in the second game, said that her team's energy was the difference.

"We have been working on our stamina," Fleming said. "We wanted to keep the fight going and hopefully tire them out and get the win."

With the Wildcats' Jaimie Marquardt (29 assists, two kills, 11 digs) finding some open lanes, Fleming and her teammates began to find room to attack.

"Our setter was moving the ball around real well," Fleming said. "And our back row was getting every ball up. They were putting me in a good position to get a kill. "

The game was tied at 13-13 when Libertyville went on a run. The Wildcats had a trio of aces each from Fleming, Charlie Fleegle and Mia Colton to lead 19-14.

Warren battled back. With Wojdyla landing a pair of kills, the Blue Devils rallied to tie to game at 20-20 and had momentum.

Fleming then came up with consecutive kills to lead a 5-0 run and close out the second game 25-20.

Libertyville used a 6-0 run in game three to pull away from the Blue Devils.

Leading 7-6, Avery Maddux had a kill and block point, Fleming a kill and Fleegle a kill as the Wildcats began to put a stranglehold on the sectional title.

Warren never got closer than four points from there.

"Warren ran a good game plan," Loika said. "When we settled down, our defense tightened up a little bit, we got the kills that we needed."

This was the deepest run for Warren in school history.

"We gave it all we got," Chen said. "It was fun for us. I told the girls that we were going to make some history. And not just on the volleyball court. We want to make a positive impact on other people's lives."

Stella Meyer and Maddux each had five kills for Libertyville while Lily Evans had three kills.

"We passed well," Loika said. "We are smaller than many teams, so we need windows to hit in. We need space. When it is off the net and high and outside, it is pretty predicable on where it is going to go."

  Libertyville players celebrate their IHSA Class 4A girls volleyball sectional championship after defeating Warren in three sets Wednesday in Huntley. Paul Valade/
  Libertyville's Stella Meyer gets her team fired up after earning a point against Warren during Wednesday's IHSA Class 4A girls volleyball sectional championship in Huntley. Paul Valade/
  Libertyville's Hannah Fleming (17) hits into the Warren blockers during Wednesday's IHSA Class 4A girls volleyball sectional championship in Huntley. Paul Valade/
  Warren's Daria Rodriguez takes a Libertyville serve during Wednesday's IHSA Class 4A girls volleyball sectional championship in Huntley. Paul Valade/
  Warren players celebrate a point on their way to defeat Libertyville in game one of Wednesday's IHSA Class 4A girls volleyball sectional championship in Huntley. Paul Valade/
  Libertyville 's Charlie Fleegle sets the ball during Wednesday's IHSA Class 4A girls volleyball sectional championship game against Warren in Huntley. Paul Valade/
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