Sunday, September 1, 2013

North Stars Win Plainfield Invitational

Volleyball: St. Charles North wins invite

Updated: September 1, 2013 3:44AM

The first one is the hardest.
“And the sweetest,” said fifth-year St. Charles North coach Lindsey Hawkins. “We’ve got close. We got a second and a couple of thirds. But I’ve never won a tournament.”
That changed Saturday at Plainfield North.
The North Stars improved to 7-0 on the young season, winning the Plainfield North Invite by defeating Naperville North 25-19, 25-21 behind Northern Illinois-bound outside hitter Taylor Krage’s 11 kills, two aces and a block and Sydney Wohler’s 13 assists.
“Typically, we’re the underdog,” Hawkins said. “People typically look over us. But this group of girls…I don’t know. It just felt different when we walked in the gym this summer. I think about the drive in them and the competitiveness that has been unrivaled so far.
“Taylor and Sydney have been up with me for three years,” Hawkins added. “The senior leadership from them and [libero] Alex Seavey, it’s been amazing. They get these girls in the gym every day and play at 110 percent. They’re the reason these girls are so competitive.”
St. Charles North defeated Huntley and Sandburg to reach the finals, then used a 7-0 run in Game One to build a 16-10 lead against the Huskies. A kill by Krage extended the lead to 18-11 before sophomore Daley Krage put the game away with her first kill of the match.
“This team definitely has a lot of heart,” Taylor Krage said. “We’re really young. We have a lot of young girls. We’re interested to see what the season has in store for us. We’re really hoping that these young girls step up in their roles and help us do some things we’ve never done before.”
A kill by Angela Jurek off a Sydney Cheatham set gave Naperville North (4-1) a short-lived 15-13 lead in Game Two. However, consecutive hitting errors by the Huskies allowed the North Stars to build a 20-16 lead and the tournament champions never looked back.
“Our focus was on controlling the net,” Taylor Krage said. “We knew we had to shut down their offense. We pressed our blocks, and our ball control helped.”
St. Charles North sophomore rightside Claire Anderson provided the finishing touch with her fourth kill of the match.
“Our goal from the beginning of the season was to win this tournament,” Anderson said. “My setter got me a great ball and I was happy to help my team win. “
Sophia DuVall added four kills for the North Stars, Emily Carroll had three blocks and Taryn Dal Degan added eight assists and an ace.
Emily Mankowski had 10 kills, a block and an ace for Naperville North, which rallied from a 19-14 deficit in Game Three to defeat Plainfield North 25-22, 21-25, 25-23 in its semifinal. Cheatham added 12 assists and two blocks, all in Game Two, and Angela Jurek, Lexi Turek and Megan Wernette each had three kills.
“The whole time we were looking for that fire that could just put us over the hump,” Naperville North libero Ellie Ivancich said. “We just couldn’t find it. We changed our lineup in Game Two in hopes of getting a new outcome, but we still got a little bit of work to do.

“It took a lot out of us playing two long game matches earlier in the day,” she added. “We played some really good teams. We know we have a lot to improve, but we’re just excited to see where we will reach later in the season.”

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