Huntley High School’s varsity volleyball team went up against Crystal Lake South yesterday night in a fast-paced, high-energy game. Huntley won in three games, losing the only the second game.
The red raiders dug themselves hole in the beginning of the first game, down 7-15 within the first 10 minutes. Eventually though, they came back from the huge point deficit to tie the game at 17-17. Most of game one was played as a catch-up game for Huntley, until senior Ally Dion, finally pulled the girls ahead, 21-20, and eventually closed out the game on her serves.
It was clear that Huntley came out game two much stronger and focused on winning, but CLS did as well. Most of game two was a tied game, each team scoring, then siding out. This continued until Huntley eventually lost the second game, 33-35. The 10-point overtime received a lot of reaction from parents and Raider Nation, as well as CLS parents. Both teams were evenly matched in competition, making the second game a real nail-biting game.
“I just knew we had to come together as a team and we had to fight for every single point and not give up on each other,” setter freshman Taylor Jakubowski said.
Game three was nerve-wracking for the players and the fans alike. CLS and HHS came out strong, both wanting the win, and either teams could have easily won. It was a toss up as to who would though. After a serving run by Jakubowski, lasting five points, HHS, however, secured their win. Game three ended on a kill by Dion, 25-16.
With both teams being evenly matched skill wise, there were many great and intense rallies that happened throughout all three games. Huntley played scrappy, picking up a lot of CLS’s strategically placed hits and tips, while CLS struggled to pick up any of ours. Many of the points Huntley earned can be traced back to their setter, Jakubowski, who played phenomenal tonight, getting her hands on the ball every rally, and placing it perfectly for the hitters to spike. Huntley, while they started off rocky, proved themselves to be the great team HHS knows them to be.
“This was a big game for us because it secured us a spot for first in the conference,” coach Karen Naymola said. “There was pressure on us and we were playing tense and not our usual relaxed, composed team we have been. Game three we really stepped up and played way more consistent and relaxed; we knew what was on the line and what was at stake.”