Girls Volleyball: Elizabeth Hyland leads Plainfield Central past Plainfield South

As a freshman who saw significant court time on a senior-dominated team last season, Plainfield Central’s Elizabeth Hyland did her best to act like a sponge.

Listen, observe and take it all in.

Now a team captain as a sophomore, Hyland has been a go-to player for the Wildcats. The sophomore outside had seven kills and four aces to lead Central in a 25-14, 25-13 Southwest Prairie win at Plainfield South.

Thursday’s action was a Volley for the Cure match.

“Last year was such a building year for me,” Hyland said. “I learned a lot from my sister, Erin, and all the seniors, and I’m trying to mimic last year’s leaders now.”

Hannah Evatt (9 assists), Erin Eulitz (9 digs) and Shannon Hagen (6 blocks) contributed for Plainfield Central (9-17, 5-5).

“Elizabeth is a leader, and we don’t look at her as a sophomore,” Central coach Jessica Clark said. “She’s one of our smartest all-around players.”

After the Wildcats served up six aces in the first set, Hyland’s smart play sparked the team early in the second. The sophomore placed a hit deep over the defense for a kill and then added three aces as part of a lightning-quick 7-0 run after Central fell behind 6-3.

“We were just more positive and shook off our mistakes,” Hyland said. “We were having fun, and there were smiles on the court.”

The route was on as Central went on an extended 20-4 run. Plainfield South aided the cause, committing nine errors. Hagen and Hyland’s back-to-back kills finished out the match. Central had 11 service aces overall.

Plainfield South (5-16-1, 3-7) was led by Jordan McNeill (9 digs, 2 kills) and Kayleigh Harper (8 digs, 2 assists).

“We were out of sorts, and there wasn’t a lot of emotion on the court,” South coach Amy Larson said. “We were out of system all night, and that hurt us.”

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