Girls Volleyball: Lincoln-Way East punches ticket in McAuley Preview
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org September 15, 2012 10:28PM
Lincoln Way East (9) Sarah Dobrich plays at the net vs. Crystal Lake South (22) Kylie Portera in the championship match of the Mother McAuley Volleyball Preview Invite 2012 on Saturday afternoon 9-15-12 at McAuley High School 3737 W. 99th Street, Chicago, IL.|Judy Fidkowski~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 17, 2012 6:28AM
The plaque was nice. The medallion cool.
But what Lincoln-Way East junior Kayla Currier took away with the most pride after the Griffins defeated Crystal Lake South 25-17, 25-17 to capture the 2012 McAuley Preview was a ticket.
By winning the Preview, Lincoln-Way East earned the right to compete in the Asics Challenge in 2013 for the first time in three years.
“We’re back for the Challenge. It feels great,” Currier said excitedly. “I played last year in this and we took second. We were definitely disappointed that we couldn’t get in there (for the Challenge) this year.
“We came in this weekend knowing that we were the No. 1 seed and we worked hard. We’re ready to go to the Challenge next year.”
Currier, a 6-foot middle blocker, was dominant at the net with five kills and four blocks as the No. 4 Griffins (10-0) beat Crystal Lake South for the second time in as many days. Other leaders for East were Jessica Lindsey (7 kills), Marissa DeGroot (10 digs, 4 kills), Sara Buchback (14 digs, 4 kills), Dana Van Dyck (16 digs) and Taylor Nirchi (19 assists).
Crystal Lake South (11-5) was paced by Carly Nolan (4 kills, 1 block), Avalon Nero (4 kills), Nicole Jurkash (3 kills), Nicole Slimko (3 kills) and Kylie Portera (3 kills).
East needed three sets to beat Crystal Lake South on Friday.
“Definitely, they have some big hitters and some good blockers,” Currier said. “We knew we had to come out as aggressive as we could and put everything we had out there, blood, sweat all out on the court.”
The Griffins broke away from a 12-12 tie in Set 1 with a 7-1 run highlighted by two kills and a block by Currier and a pair of kills by DeGroot.
Set 2 was close at 17-15 when Nirchi put down a misdirection tip and DeGroot a rifle-shot to the back line to send East on its way.
One constant for the Griffins was defense, with Van Dyck, Buchbach and DeGroot pulling up some powerful spikes by the Gators.
“They’re a strong offensive team,” Van Dyck said. “Making those digs back there, all you have to do is hold, and it’ll bounce straight up. Defense is our No. 1 thing. Offense can win you a game, but defense wins you championships.”
No. 6 Lincoln-Way Central (7-3) captured third place in the gold division via a 25-18, 25-9 victory over No. 10 Chicago Christian (12-3). No. 9 Marian Catholic (12-2) earned the silver division title with a 20-25, 25-17, 25-23 win over Lyons.
Wheaton-Warrenville South Tournament: Top-ranked Marist (6-3) lost to Benet 25-20, 25-16 in the championship. Mallory Salis had 23 kills and Taylor Holder added 28 assists over three matches for the RedHawks. Carolyn Yerkes chipped in 25 digs for Marist. No. 5 Sandburg (6-3) finished third after losing to Hinsdale South 25-19, 12-25, 26-24. Megan Litoborski provided 26 assists for Lemont (12-5), which beat Napervile North 25-19, 25-16 for seventh place.
Maine East Tournament: Jill Conrad totaled 63 assists and 40 kills over the weekend as No. 7 Stagg (12-2) topped Maine South 25-20, 22-25, 25-22 to win the 16-team invitational. Alexa Janus (64 assists), Morgan Thomas (36 service points, 54 digs) and Lexi Mantas (47 kills) also starred for the Chargers, who won all five of their matches. Oak Forest (9-8) closed with a 29-31, 25-17, 25-17 loss to Niles West. Kate Zicus paced the Bengals with 76 assists in addition to providing 23 kills. Kathy Flanagan (38 kills) and Cassidy Staunton (56 digs, 25 kills) aided the cause for Oak Forest, which went 3-2 in tournament play.
Oak Lawn Tournament: No. 8 Providence defeated Oak Lawn 25-23, 17-25, 25-19 in the championship of the 16-team event. Tournament MVP Alyssa Maloney had 37 kills and 17 blocks for the Celtics, who went 5-0 in the two-day event. Fellow All-Tournament honoree Krista Brakauskas added 69 assists for Providence (12-2). T.F. South beat Shepard 22-25, 25-12, 25-19 in the third-place match.
Hillcrest Tournament: T.F. North (5-8) won all four of its matches, the last a 25-9, 25-17 decision over Kankakee in the championship. Bianca Ruiz paced the Meteors with 47 assists on the day, while Devin Luster added 15 kills. Eisenhower beat Hillcrest 25-21, 25-19 for third place.
Contributing: Josh Krockey