Girls Volleyball: Stagg takes down Sandburg
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org September 10, 2012 10:02PM
Stagg's Lexi Mantas (18) and Hannah Henderson (2) attempt to block a spike by Sandburg's Kristy Theisen. | Paul Bergstrom~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 12, 2012 6:20AM
History was a topic among Stagg’s players before Monday’s SouthWest Suburban Conference crossover against Sandburg.
“Alexa Janus said before the game that she had never beaten Sandburg in any sports in the real seasons, only once in fall league for basketball,” Chargers outside hitter Ali Conrad said.
Surely, a lot of frustration was wiped away after No. 7 Stagg pulled out a sledgehammer and whacked the No. 5 Eagles 25-14, 25-19.
Ali Conrad and her twin sister, Jill, were double trouble for the Chargers (6-2), with Ali Sandburg (3-1) was led by Paige Bendell (7 kills, 8 digs), Dakota Hampton (7 kills) and Sami Knight (10 assists).
Stagg led just 6-4 in Set 1 after Hampton put down a kill for Sandburg, when the Chargers scored seven consecutive points — a Hannah Henderson kill, a block by Liz Panella and five straight kills in alternating fashion by the Conrad sisters.
“We came out with everything we had,” Jill Conrad said. “We just wanted to beat them, for once. We were loose and absolutely confident. Once we got going we just kept going from there.”
Only once in Set 1 was Sandburg able to string together more than two points. By then Stagg had raced to a 23-10 lead.
Sandburg found a spark early in Set 2 and led 6-4. But Stagg’s defense continued to make plays that prevented the Eagles from building any kind of offensive rhythm, and Ali Conrad caught fire on what seemed like an endless stream of sets.
Her final two kills, from the back row, made it 21-11.
“It seemed like the ball just kept coming to me,” Ali Conrad said. “Even those two rough passes (to the back row) just happened to come to me. And instead of trying to set up a front-row hitter with a bad set, I decided to take it over.
“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” she said, smiling. “It was fun.”
It was Sandburg’s first match since winning three Aug. 31 in the Lyons quad.
“I knew that Stagg was going to be good,” Eagles coach David Vales said. “I marked this one on my calendar just to see where were. Clearly, we have some work to do.
“We looked a little disheveled and they looked like they were crisp. Until we get to that point, they’re the better team.”