Payton returns to state semifinals
Updated: March 22, 2011 5:08PM
The Chicago Public League endured a lot of girls volleyball poundings from
1975 through 2007 during a 27-match losing streak in the state quarterfinals.
Saturday, Payton got one back at the expense of Oak Forest.
The Grizzlies were dominant in a 25-10, 25-15 victory that vaults them into
the Class 3A state semifinals for the second time since 2008.
How nice it must feel to be on the other side for a change.
"Ohhhhh, yeah," senior Mari Faines said after her five-kill effort helped
tame the Bengals. "We felt like we were not only representing our school,
but we felt like we were representing the CPS as a whole.
"We know what it means. We've done it once (finishing fourth in 2008) and it
was great. But this time we're striving for something better, to prove that
it wasn't just a one-time thing and that our program is a force to be
Michelle Schultz had 11 assists, eight kills and eight digs, Leanne Okazki
11 digs and Lauren Lee five kills for the Grizzlies (31-8).
Oak Forest (22-17) was led by Brittany Doyle (8 kills, 5 digs), Kellie
Danaher (8 assists), Alyssa Hasman (6 digs) and Jill Krygowski (6 digs).
The upstart Bengals surprised No. 1 sectional seed Illiana Christian on
Thursday, but were never able to get their bearings against Payton.
Several misplays, combined with some strong hitting at the net by the Payton
trio of Lee, Faines and the versatile Schultz, resulted in both games
getting away fairly quickly.
Payton stretched out a 7-4 advantage in Game 1 by scoring eight of the next
nine points. Game 2 was still close at 11-8 Grizzlies when Schultz went
back-to-back with a kill and a block to start an 8-1 run.
"We came in here today really thinking that we could win this match," Oak
Forest coach Amanda Brown said. "We played so well against Illiana Thursday
"It's just disappointing, without taking anything away what my girls had
done to get to this point, to know that they can play at a different level,
a higher level, and they just don¹t."