Girls Volleyball: T.F. South sophs are Rebels with a cause
By Tony Baranek email@example.com September 3, 2012 9:26PM
Updated: October 5, 2012 6:11AM
Winners of 20 matches last season, T.F. South already is almost halfway there before conference play gets under way.
The Rebels won four of five matches to finish third at the Joliet Central Tournament, completing an impressive first two weeks in which they also defeated Lincoln-Way North 27-29, 25-19, 25-19 and took Marian Catholic to three sets before falling 25-13, 17-25, 25-21.
“So far so good,” South coach Kim Sands said. “We may be very young, but we’re really talented. Hopefully, it’ll all come together as the season progresses. I’m looking forward to it.”
The long-range forecast certainly is bright. Sands is getting significant production from the starting sophomore trio of Briana Lilly, Jenna Pasko and Crystal Lee, while junior setter Abbe Mullen is another varsity newcomer who immediately has fit in. Mullen had 24 assists and six service points in the Rebels’ 21-25, 25-18, 25-21 win Saturday over Bradley in the third-place match.
Junior libero Ashtyn Kapovich and junior hitter Leah Lagaste also are among those contributing.
“It was a very pleasant surprise,” Sands said of the emergence of Pasko and Lilly, who made the jump as sophomores to the varsity to join Lee (a varsity player as a freshman). “I was on the border as far as whether they were going to stay on the sophomore level. But Bri ended up playing club and really improved a lot. And Jenny Pasko has just been jumping out of the gym.”
Oak Lawn junior Becky Bradshaw (17 kills) and sophomore newcomer Simona Tomczak (18 kills) have been the hitting leaders on a 2-1 Spartans’ squad that this season is bigger, stronger and deeper than coach Dennis McNamara has had in some time.
Bradshaw, a 5-foot-9 junior outside, played up a level during her first two years.
“Her older brother (Bo) played for me and when he was in high school he would always brag about how good his little sister was,” McNamara said. “When she started coming to camp you could kind of see the skill.
“She definitely has a tall volleyball body. Her passing ability is good. And she comes in and free swings. Mentally, nothing seems to get to her too often. And at the varsity level, when you have a strong mental game, it adds to the physical skill of things. Without a doubt, she’s going to be our bread and butter, with a mentality that a lot of girls will follow.”