Girls Volleyball: Andrew serves up a winner against Oak Forest
By Tony Baranek email@example.com August 26, 2014 9:22PM
Oak Forest's Ana Lambros (12) and Renee Rosko (3) both go for a ball as the Bengals play Andrew in Tinley Park, Illinois, August 26, 2014. | Allen Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 27, 2014 2:43PM
Andrew’s girls did plenty of running after plenty of errant serves during their final practice before Tuesday’s season opener against visiting Oak Forest.
It apparently was good motivation. The Thunderbolts were doing plenty of smiling after plenty of aces in a 25-19, 25-14 victory in the varsity coaching debut of Emily McGinnis.
Alexi Pranckus had seven kills, seven digs, three aces and 10 service points, Chrystal Suich three kills, four aces and eight digs, Mary Farrelly eight digs and two aces and Kaileen Herman 18 assists for Andrew.
Oak Forest was led by Alex Lambros (4 kills, 2 blocks), Jenna Brown (6 digs), Alyssa Kolecki (6 assists) and Ana Lambros (9 service points).
The Thunderbolts earned 11 aces in all and ran for the most part a smooth offense. It was a dramatic turnaround from their preseason scrimmages as they learned a new offense.
“I’ve said from the beginning that if we can serve the volleyball we can be a great team,” McGinnis said. “But we have been missing so many serves at practice we haven’t even been able to scrimmage because everyone has been missing their serves.
“You would have never known that by this. They were phenomenal. It was awesome.”
The Thunderbolts twice converted on a “two” out of the middle, straight from the playbook McGinnis had as an assistant coach for six years at Mother McAuley.
“It’s a totally different (offense),” said Herman, who started at setter in 2013 as a freshman. “Different hitters can run different things. It’s easier for them to hit.”
If there were jitters it was at the beginning, when Oak Forest built a 6-1 lead on a kill by Ana Lambros and five Andrew miscues. The Thunderbolts rallied, starting with back-to-back aces by Pranckus, and went in front for the first time at 12-11 with Farrelly at the service line. Darina Postupaka and Taylor Oleksy came up big with kills late to help cinch Set 1.
Big service runs by Suich and Farrelly keyed an early runaway in Set 2. Suich set hers up with her own kill, then put down four aces during a five-point burst.
“I think we really worked as a team,” Suich said. “There was a lot of talking on the court, and it made it a lot easier.”
Oak Forest’s Achilles’ heel was serve-receiving, but Bengals coach Amanda Brown had a laundry list of things to work on, stat-wise.
“We missed 15 serves, we had 10 service errors, we had 11 zero passes, we had two net faults and three bad sets. We scored 41 of their 50 points,” she said. “We’re not going to win a lot of matches when we are scoring for the other team.
“We need to go ahead and clean up our side. I’m going to hope that’s kind of the beginning of the season jitters, with new people in new positions.”