the voice of Lakes Community High School

Lakes Student Media

the voice of Lakes Community High School

Lakes Student Media

the voice of Lakes Community High School

Lakes Student Media

Girls Volleyball Clinches Undefeated Title

Gisele Muzones
Photo taken after winning the Conference Championship

The Girls volleyball team has had quite the season to remember. Our Lady Eagles rounded out their regular season with a record of 22-9 with an undefeated record of 7-0 in the Northern Lake County Conference (NLCC). Going into their final matchup of the season, the Eagles faced off against the undefeated Grant Bulldogs.

The Eagles were down a key player in their roster, Jillian Ellenwood, their starting outside hitter. Ellenwood sustained a season-ending knee injury in their previous matchup against Grayslake North.

The Eagles were in for a challenge going into the matchup without Ellenwood in the lineup but were not phased. “Everything stayed the same except for who’s coming in. Now, [Junior] Rylee Bode is going for [Ellenwood] in the front row. That was all, we tried to keep it as normal as possible because we did not want to cause too much chaos on the team,” said Katie Lage, a senior defensive specialist.

The Eagles came with a different mentality knowing that a conference title was on the line. “This was a huge game for us, knowing that we could win conference if we won this game. It was important for us to stay focused and stay consistent, which we’ve been trying to work on this whole season. Knowing that Grant was a really good team, we talked a lot about stepping up for each other and to be good teammates,” Lage said.

The first set of the match was neck and neck, each team trading off points right away. The Eagles had a short lead of 11-8, but Grant responded with a 3 point run to tie the game at 11’s. Both teams continued to keep each other in sight, neither team leading by more than 4. The Eagles were able to slow down the Bulldogs offense and eventually put them away with a 4 point run to finish the first set 25-17.

“[Winning the first set] definitely calmed us down a bit, but it might have calmed us down a bit too much because we did lose the second set. Regardless, it was definitely a relief because we had worked ourselves up so much for the game,” Lage said.

“In a lot of other important matches we started out slow and lost the first set but in this game against Grant, we came out really strong and won the first set and I think that was huge for us,” said Senior Libero, Lainey Russo.

The Bulldogs got the best of the Eagles in set two, narrowly winning 25-22. The set was just like the previous, neither team surrendering points easily and putting up a hard fight.

The conference title game brought the hype that was expected. The gym was packed from both schools and the conference title was coming down to the final set. “I knew that we just had to come out stronger in the third set and put the momentum back on our side. I knew we had it in us,” Lage said.

The third set was a thriller, it looked like all Grant in the first half, keeping a safe 2 point distance from the Eagles until a Ray Sundquist tip evened the score to 11. Grant responded by creating a substantial 5 point lead making it 18-13. The Eagles backs were against the wall at this moment, but a Grant serve went long, giving the ball to Sundquist to serve.

From here the Eagles did not look back, eliminating Grant’s lead with great offense and standout defensive plays like from Lage at 18-18, who made a clutch play of getting a second touch off a surprise tipped ball from Grant. The tip put Eagles on their heels but with quick reactions from Russo and Lage, Russo managed a touch which redirected to an already on the ground Lage, who from her knees leaning backwards, punched the ball back over the net to keep the rally alive eventually leading to a Kylie Ledyard kill and a Grant timeout as the Eagles now took the lead, 19-18.

“[In the timeout coach] Yeager told us that she knew we could fight back and she was so proud of us and that’s when I knew we’d be able to close out the game,” Russo said.

The Eagles did not let up after the timeout. Sundquist continued to serve and the offense was too much for the Bulldogs to handle. The Eagles finished off the Bulldogs with a kill from Rylee Bode and the gym erupted. Lakes defeated Grant in the third set with a final score of 25-19 and claimed the conference title.

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About the Contributors
Derek Lucier
Derek Lucier, Intern
Derek is a senior and this is his 1st year on staff. He plays varsity baseball and basketball. He likes all Massachusetts sports teams, especially the Red Sox. His favorite athlete of all time is either Andrew Benintendi or Ken Griffey Jr.
Gisele Muzones
Gisele Muzones, Photo & Design Editor
Gisele is a junior and this is her first year on staff. In her free time, she enjoys figure skating. She also for some reason subjects herself to managing boys varsity lacrosse which consists of digging lacrosse balls out of the bushes and baking brownies. Her friends only hang out with her for access to her talking bird.