Wednesday, September 18, 2013

North Defeats East!

St. Charles North players celebrate a point against St. Charles East during a varsity volleyball game at St. Charles North on Tuesday evening.
St. Charles North players celebrate a point against St. Charles East during a varsity volleyball game at St. Charles North on Tuesday evening.

St. Charles North snaps St. Charles East’s streak

With all the noise, emotion and general craziness going on in the St. Charles North gym on the 5th annual Volley for a Cure night Tuesday, the North Stars did an amazing job of tuning it out against a St. Charles East program that has owned this series lately.
The result was a third game with just a single North Star hitting error and no service mistakes. The Saints, meanwhile, missed three serves and committed seven hitting errors in the deciding game, and the steady, calm play by the North Stars proved to be the difference in a thrilling 25-17, 23-25, 25-22 victory that snapped an 8-match losing streak to St. Charles East.
The North Stars didn't lead in the third game until 15-14 when Taryn DalDegan set Emily Carroll for her first kill of the night. They never let go once they got it, improving their perfect record to 11-0 overall and 2-0 in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division.
"We don't have people on our team that will freak out even when we were behind in the third game," said the North Stars' Northern Illinois-bound senior Taylor Krage who led all players with 18 kills. "We knew if we controlled our side there was a good chance to come out with a win."
That the North Stars did, with Krage putting away the final point on a cross-court kill.
"Senior leadership," North Stars coach Lindsey Hawkins said of the difference. "Sydney Wohlert, Alex Seavey and Taylor Krage, they were all on the court, they wanted to win, they have been dreaming of this since they started here. They have been with me a long time and they are some of the best senior leaders I've ever had. They just really dug deep and stayed calm. They did not let the atmosphere rattle them, and they relied on each other."
It also marked the first win in seven tries for the St. Charles East alum Hawkins against her mentor Jennie Kull, and fittingly the North Stars did it with fundamentally sound volleyball.
The North Stars finished with 35 kills and just six hitting errors. The Saints put away more balls with 41 kills but also hit out or into the net 17 times, and they also missed seven serves in the match while the North Stars didn't miss a single serve.
"The big thing is cleaning up our side of the court," Hawkins said. "We have been focusing so much this year on what is going on on our side of the court and not worrying too much about their side of the court."
St. Charles North got off to a great start in front of a large and lively crowd for both sides. The North Stars led by as many as five points early before falling behind briefly at 15-14 on a block by middle Mikaela Mosquera, who was a force all night for the Saints.
The North Stars closed the game on a 13-2 surge. On one rally during the run Wohlert dug what looked like a sure Saints point, getting the ball to Seavey who set Krage for the kill. Strong serving late from Sam Lappin and Seavey and a couple more Krage kills got the North Stars to game point, which Carroll won with a block.
The Saints bounced back in Game 2 behind 5 kills each from Dana Voltolina and Meagan Smith and 4 from Mosquera. They overcame a 9-3 North Stars run in the middle of the game that put them in a 17-13 hole with an 8-2 burst of their own to go up 21-19. An Anne Hughes ace gave them game point, and Carly Jimenez set Mosquera in the middle for a kill that forced the third game.
"In a gym like this I was very pleased with the way they battled back and won that game," Kull said. "We mixed it up, did some different things."
St. Charles East (12-4, 1-1) had its chance early in Game 3 to take control but missed three straight serves at one point and made several other mistakes.
"The first eight points of the third game were our errors," Kull said. "That's what you live and die with in volleyball."
Leading 15-14 Carroll served four straight points to open a 19-14 lead. The Saints did respond and closed within 21-20 on Mosquera's kill and 22-21 on a North Stars lift, but Krage's tip kill made it 23-21, and Claire Anderson slammed down a Saints overpass for a 24-21 lead setting up Krage's kill on match point.
"We were trying to treat this game like any other game and we just need to take care of business," Hawkins said. "I have so much respect for Jennie Kull and so much respect for that program and that school. We want to emulate their tradition."
Jaclyn Taylor and Daley Krage both had 6 kills for the North Stars and Anderson 4. Wohlert (5 digs), Seavey (10 digs), Sophia DuVall (3 blocks) and Carroll (3 blocks) all made key contributions.
Hughes (21 digs, 2 aces), Jimenez (36 assists, 13 digs), Smith (9 kills, 4 digs), Megan Schildmeyer (9 kills, 2 blocks, 6 digs), Mosquera (11 kills, 3 blocks) and Voltolina (9 kills) led the Saints.
"I was really proud of our kids," Kull said. "Everybody said this team was down or whatever and they proved we are not. If we eliminate those errors, those young mistakes we made, if we get that done by the end of the season, it's going to get better."

Girls Volleyball: Taylor Krage takes St. Charles North past rival East

St. Charles East’s young girls volleyball team had found ways Tuesday to counter a rival St. Charles North’s outside power game led by Taylor and Daley Krage.
What East couldn’t match was when Taylor Krage came up with her own counter move. Krage’s off-speed hit provided a 23-21 advantage and the Northern Illinois University recruit put down three of her team’s final four points for a 25-17, 23-25, 25-22 victory in North’s own raucous gym.
“That’s the thing with Taylor is she’s a smart hitter,” North Stars coach Lyndsey Hawkins said. “She’ll come up and she’ll bang a couple balls and then she’ll throw you off with a tip. She’s just real smart. She finds the open court really well and she puts the ball down.”
North broke East’s eight-match winning streak behind 18 kills from Taylor Krage and six by Daley to keep a perfect (1-0 record on the year with its second Upstate Eight River win.
“We knew the atmosphere was going to be crazy,” Taylor Krage said. “Both the teams started off really well this year. It’s always a crazy match.”
North seemed in command of the third set after a five-point run with Emily Carroll serving for a 19-14 lead. But East, as Saints did all night, rallied within 21-20 by relying on the middle hitting of Mikaela Mosquera (11 kills) and the outside attacks of Meagan Smith (9 kills).
“We haven’t played a team that’s been that strong with middles like that,” Krage said. “It was a challenge. We just knew we were going to pull it out in the end.”
Krage then went up and put down a tip kill from what essentially was the back row.
After a setting error put the Saints within a point, Krage went to work again by getting high against the East block, and then putting down an off-speed hit — not quite a tip, but not a full blast.
Claire Anderson’s kill off a free ball made it 24-22 North, and after a long hit by the Stars, Krage’s kill finished the match.
“Our senior leadership -- (setter) Sydney Wohlert, (libero) Alex Seavey and Taylor — they all wanted to win,” Hawkins said. “They wanted this win and have been dreaming about this since they started here. They have been with me a long time and are some of the best senior leaders I’ve had.”
East had 21 digs from libero Anne Hughes and 36 assists by setter Carly Jimenez, but its strength in the middle wasn’t quite enough. And three serving errors in the beginning of the third set returned to haunt the Saints. (12-4, 1-1).
“They have lots of different weapons, they deserved to win,” East coach Jennifer Kull said. “But you can’t miss three serves. The first eight points of the third game were our errors.”
Kull came away feeling positive about her team despite the loss.
“Everybody had said, ‘Oh, this team is down,’ or whatever,” she said. “We proved that we’re not. If we eliminate those errors, we eliminate the young mistakes that we made and we get that done all by the end of the season, it’s going to get better.”

St. Charles North won’t let big win go to its heads 
Daily Herald by John Lemon Article updated: 9/18/2013 5:05 PM 

Super scene: It's always interesting to see what unfolds when St. Charles East and St. Charles North's volleyball teams square off, and Tuesday certainly was no exception.
For the first time in nine tries, St. Charles North was able to come out on top, 25-17, 23-25, 25-22.

North Stars senior Taylor Krage led all players with 18 kills but downplayed the significance of the win afterward. Maybe it's a sign that the North Stars, who improved to 11-0 heading into Wednesday's games, have bigger goals on their mind.

"East game always means a little more but it's not the state championship," Krage said. "Just another game. It's a great game to win but it's just another game."

North Stars coach Lindsey Hawkins had a similar take. She didn't seem as interested in talking about getting her first win over the Saints as seeing the continued consistent play by her team taking care of what happens on their side of the net.

"Our team has been working on their resiliency and I think that helps in matches like this because we are not going to give up," said the fifth-year coach.

Gracious in defeat: Saints coach Jennie Kull had kind words for Hawkins afterward.
Hawkins played on Kull's 2001 state championship team at St. Charles.

"I'm proud of what she's doing. You love to win but when they aren't playing us I'm rooting for them," Kull said of the North Stars. "I'm glad she has put the program together like she has. She's a wonderful person. If they are going to beat us I'm glad it is a former Saint who did it."

Chicago Sun-Times    From the Back Row by Pat Brozynski

Another grudge match in the Upstate Eight Conference Tuesday saw St. Charles North nudge their rivals from St. Charles East 25-17, 23-25, 25-22.
"The atmosphere was intense and the match was a dogfight for both teams," St. Charles North coach Lindsey Hawkins said.
Taylor Krage led the way for St. Charles North with 18 kills. Jaclyn Taylor and Daley Krage each had six kills and Claire Anderson added four. Alex Seavey anchored the defense with 10 digs, Taylor Krage had six and Sydney Wohlert added five. Sophia DuVall and Emily Carroll both had three blocks.
The North Stars are now 11-0 and play Plainfield Central and Hinsdale Central in pool play at the Wheaton Classic on Wednesday. St. Charles East slipped to 12-4.

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