Girls Volleyball: Homewood-Flossmoor tops Stagg
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org September 20, 2012 10:42PM
Bremen's Erik Avalos celebrates his first half goal against Eisenhower. | Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 22, 2012 6:19AM
Homewood-Flossmoor had plenty of success hitting in Thursday’s SouthWest Suburban crossover against host No. 5 Stagg.
But when push came to shove, it was defense that made the difference for the Vikings in their 25-19, 20-25, 25-23 upset.
First, there was Kassie Wallace, with the Vikings down 22-21 in Set 3, making a nice one-handed dig on a would-be Chargers kill to keep the rally going.
On the next Stagg spike, Lexi Jung made a spectacular diving save. Somehow the ball found its way over the net and landed untouched for an H-F kill to tie the score at 22.
Then, with the tally at 23-all, Kandace Tate, who had moments earlier spiked a sure-thing quick-set into the net, made up for it by blocking down a blast by Stagg’s Lexi Mantas.
Moments later, H-F had one of its most meaningful victories of the season.
“I just wanted to win,” Tate said of her match-turning block. “I saw my team was down, and they (Stagg) had made a couple of plays. She (Mantas) is a very good hitter, and she got us. But I was motivated to get up there and make that block.”
Kaitlyn Shereyk led the way for H-F (12-5) with 11 kills and 12 digs. Jung added nine kills and Evelyn Wiedman eight, while Wallace (31 assists, 11 digs) and Katherine Whited (11 digs) also starred for the Vikings.
Save Tate’s late block, Mantas nearly was unstoppable for Stagg (14-3) with 18 kills and four blocks. Jill Conrad added 11 kills and 16 assists, while Alexa Janus had 15 assists and Morgan Thomas 17 digs.
H-F, which lost last season’s battle to Stagg in straight sets, seized the advantage early in Set 1 and never trailed. Jung and Tate both had big kills late.
It was 3-0 H-F early in Set 2, but Stagg eventually found its rhythm and used two kills by Liz Panella to fuel a key 6-0 run to take control.
Stagg trailed for much of Set 3, but looked poised to steal the win after tallying three straight points, one on a monster kill on a quick-set by Mantas to go up 22-21.
But H-F refused to let go.
“This was big, probably the biggest win I’ve been in since I started playing volleyball,” Jung said. “Last year we lost to them 16-25 in both games. We came out really wanting it.”