Girls Volleyball: Schaumburg knocks out Larkin; faces St Charles next

Updated: October 23, 2012 10:31PM

Class 4A regional host Schaumburg had its backs against the wall all night on Tuesday, but rallied time and again — including from four points down late in Game 3 — to pull out a dramatic 16-25, 25-22, 25-23 victory over 11th-seeded Larkin.

The fifth-seeded Saxons advance to their own regional championship game on Thursday to face third-seeded St. Charles East.

Schaumburg (20-16) overcame 34 unforced errors to just 20 for the Royals. Kelly Koutnik led the Saxons with 13 kills and Kiana Lewis added 11 kills, including nine in the final game.

Schaumburg trailed 21-17 late in Game 3, but pulled even at 23-23 on tip from Marisa Christy, then took the lead 24-23 on a kill by Jada Blackwell, and won it on a kill from Lewis.

The Saxons had to bounce back from a lackluster performance in Game 1 when they committed 15 unforced errors. Game 2 was tied 13 times and the Saxons trailed late again 21-19.

However, they rallied to tie it with back-to-back kills from Koutnik and Blackwell and pulled ahead for good 22-21 with an ace from Sarah Stuehm.

“The great thing about volleyball it doesn’t matter if you win ugly or pretty,” said Schaumburg coach Jeanette Pancratz. “We played a tough schedule all year to prepare for exactly this. We’ve been in a lot of these types of situations, so there was no panicking. We just stayed focus and disciplined on staying in a rhythym.”

Larkin finishes the season 19-17, a dramatic improvement over last year’s 12-23 mark.

“This is about as tough a loss as you can end the season with,” said Larkin coach Henry Graack. “But it doesn’t take away from what we accomplished. The girls worked extremely hard to get this program turned around. I have to give a lot of credit to my seniors for hanging in there through it all and giving us a big lift.

“We are definitely headed in the right direction.”

Brianna Stewart had another great match for the Royals with a game-high 16 kills.

Olivia Kofie added 12 kills and Alyssa McGhee had 21 assists.

St. Charles East was an easy winner over Elk Grove 25-9, 25-10 in the first match of the night. Nichole Woods had 10 kills to lead the Saints.

Erienne Barry had 21 assists. East beat Schaumburg at the Glenbard East tournament in three games two weeks ago.

“I feel like we are playing very well right now,” said St. Charles East coach Jennie Kull.

“We are focused in right where we need to be.”

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