Girls Volleyball: Shepard downs Oak Forest
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org September 6, 2012 10:50PM
Shepard's Stephanie Korbakes (7) and Chrystal McAlpin (10) go for the block against Oak Forest. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 9, 2012 2:31PM
Shepard right-side hitter Stephanie Korbakes wreaked plenty of havoc in and around the net, but it was from the back row where she landed her most lethal blow Thursday in the Astros’ 25-17, 25-23 South Suburban crossover victory over host Oak Forest.
The Bengals had roared back from a 23-19 deficit in Set 2 to get even at 23 when setter Caroline Graham spiraled the ball back in Korbakes’ direction. Her medium-speed liner pierced the center of Oak Forest’s defense and went down for the tide-turning point.
“I just wanted to get it nice and easily over and down, and get on to game point,” Korbakes said. “I feel like I get up higher (in the back row) and it’s like a top-spin serve to me. It just feels normal.”
Korbakes finished with nine kills, seven digs and three blocks, while Natalie Carberry had eight digs, seven kills, four aces and three blocks and Franchesca Graffeo 22 digs for the Astros (4-2, 3-0).
Kathy Flanagan (4 kills, 3 blocks), Cassidy Staunton (12 digs) and Kaitlynn Zickus (11 digs, 6 assists) led Oak Forest (5-5, 1-2).
Graffeo was at the forefront of a Shepard defense that held the Bengals to just nine digs. Her running save on what would have been an Oak Forest kill led to Korbakes’ late and decisive kill.
“I get so excited, so in the moment, so in the game,” Graffeo said. “I just want to get the pass up so that our hitters can put the ball down.”
Oak Forest did a fairly good job of blocking Carberry’s lethal left arm, especially during a stretch in Set 2 when the Bengals led as late as 17-15. But it was at that point Carberry started to break through, nailing four of her seven kills during a 7-2 run that put the Astros back in front.
“I don’t stop swinging. I just keep going,” Carberry said. “I’ve got people in the back row calling line, cross, so I can hear it and put the ball where it needs to go.”