Girls Volleyball: T.F. South stifles Shepard
By Tony Baranek email@example.com October 10, 2013 8:10PM
Updated: November 12, 2013 6:28AM
How adept is T.F. South setter Abbe Mullen at spreading the ball around?
During Set 1 of Thursday’s 25-19, 25-12 South Suburban crossover victory over host Shepard, six different Rebels had kills.
“We need to spread it around because Bri (Briana Lilly) is a big hitter and they follow her everywhere,” Mullen said. “Me and her talked about it and she was like, ‘Abbe, just spread it out and we’re going to win this game.’ ”
To that end, Leah Lagestee, Crystal Lee and Madyson Anthony all finished with seven kills. Lagestee added seven blocks and Lee eight digs, while Ashtyn Kapovich (10 digs), Cori Reynolds (7 service points), Jenna Pasko (4 blocks) and Lilly (4 blocks) also contributed for South (21-2, 9-1).
For Shepard (15-8, 8-2), Kendall Yerkes, Abby Graham and Amanda Carberry had four kills each, Caroline Graham 17 assists, Brianna Volpentesta eight digs and Briana Haugh seven digs.
T.F. South needs wins over T.F. North and Hillcrest to cinch at least a tie for first place in the South Suburban Blue with Lemont.
“It’s so crazy,” Lagestee said. “This is our, like, second family. We encourage each other through every play, and it just feels awesome to bring it (a conference title) back to our school.”
The match essentially was decided at the net, from the power hitting of Lilly Lee and Anthony to the blocking skills of Lagestee and Pasko.
Lagestee, in particular, always seemed in the right place on Shepard overpasses.
“I call those my birthday sets,” Lagestee said, smiling. “I don’t really have time to think about it. It’s just there and I go for it.”
T.F. South, which never trailed, made its key surge late in Set 1 when Lagestee put down a kill from the left side and Lee served an ace during a 3-0 run that extended a 17-16 lead.
Lee also had a hand in the separation process during Set 2 when she went back to back with kills — the second from the back row during her own serving turn — to put the Rebels in front 8-4. Later, Lee gained another serving turn with a kill, then scored five more points in a row (2 aces) as South blew the set open.
“It came down to, I think, being nerves,” Shepard coach Dan Grunauer said. “We had four sophomores starting, a high-intensity crowd, Senior Night ... it was just not knowing what to do with that energy. We made very, very uncharacteristic errors throughout the match. I think the outside factor just affected us a little bit (Thursday).”