Volleyball’s spike OK in first test

By on September 4, 2014
Kaneland Girls Volleyball Tournament Wheaton No. 8-27-14-9608

Photo: Anna Senese spikes the ball over Raider defenders in action against Glenbard South Aug. 27. Photo by Laura Gampfer

Lady Knights manage comeback win over Romeoville as part of middle-of-pack finish at Wheaton
WHEATON, Ill.—Aug. 27 marked the return of Cyndi Violett to the Kaneland head coaching ranks, and also marked the beginning of the 2014 test for Kaneland volleyball.

After the opening night and Saturday’s conclusion in the Wheaton North tournament, the report card might note Kaneland’s perseverance, with some room to improve in other areas.

KHS managed a sixth-place finish out of 12 squads at the Falcon-hosted tournament, which has marked the unofficial beginning of the Kaneland volleyball campaign in recent seasons.

KHS began with a 25-19, 25-15 loss to former conference foe Glenbard South, and came back in the Aug. 27 nightcap against Romeoville, 23-25, 25-19, 27-26. On Saturday, KHS lost to Wheaton North 25-16, 25-15, beat Tinley Park, Ill. program Andrew 19-25, 25-17, 25-20 and lost to Glenbard West 25-16, 25-13.

Kaneland sits at 2-3 in the early goings of 2014.

Noteworthy performances after the first night of action had Ball State bound Ellie Dunn with 12 kills, two aces and nine digs, Anna Senese with 11 kills, a block and ace, Hannah Nauert with 15 assists and five aces and Sami Burgin with nine kills, eight digs and an ace.

“They finally got mad and let the nerves go away and played how they could play. Romeoville is a good defending team. Against Glenbard South, we had a lot of mistakes,” Violett said.

Against the Spartans of Romeoville, Dunn supplied two blocks to tie the score at 22, before Romeoville scored three of the next four points for the Game 1 win.

Romeoville went ahead 12-5, sending the Lady Knights to a possible defeat before a handful of Dunn kills and Romeoville errors gave KHS a 14-13 lead. Burgin and McKenzie McMullan executed a block to go up 19-15 and send Kaneland on a 7-5 run to end Game 2.

An evenly matched rubber encounter had the two squads tied at 17 and 22 after a Romeoville sideout, before a team block gave Kaneland a one-point edge. After Romeoville tied again, AnneMarie Franz and Senese combined on a block for a 24-23 lead. Romeoville scored twice before a Kaneland kill attempt. A sideout tied it at 26 before a Dunn kill gave the Lady Knights a one-point Game 3 win.

“There were jitters, and it’s a new team, so there was that aspect,” Dunn said. “We realized we lost and it was done with, and we came back and had to prepare for the season. It’s about never giving up. We were hesitant but then we were all-in and were like, ‘let’s win this game.”

Kaneland travels south to Centennial High School in Champaign, Ill., for the Charger Invite on Saturday, Sept. 6.