Lemont opens season with a winLizette Gonzalez #14 and Brittney Lange #2 Joliet Central High School battle Kiley Rendak #1 Lemont High School during varsity volleyball action Monday night August 2, 2011 in Lemont, Illinois. | Art Vassy~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 22, 2011 10:15PM
LEMONT — Undefeated in the South Suburban Blue last season and with 27 victories overall, Lemont was eager to start another season Monday against visiting Joliet Central.
After a 25-19 victory in the first game, Lemont overcame an 18-7 deficit in Game 2 en route to a 25-23 victory in front of a loud and enthusiastic opening night crowd.
“It was the first match so we were a little slow and hesitant,’’ the Indians’ Megan Litoborski said. “I think we need to jell more, but we definitely worked together to get back in that match.’’
Lemont put together a 10-0 rally to cut Joliet Central’s lead to 18-17 in the second game, which later was tied at 20 and 23. After a net ball made it 24-23, Litoborski recorded the game-winning kill.
“We just knew we could come back,’’ said Litoborski, who had 14 assists. “We didn’t want to play three games. I made sure I got my serves in and they all supported me while I was back there.’’
Gabbi Alvarez (12 digs), Rachel Rendek (7 kills) and Emily Brown (3 kills) made key contributions for Lemont.
“We have a lot of new people on our team so we need to learn how to work together better,’’ Litoborski said. “I think we just need to work on the basics and we could really be a good team.’’
“I like the fact that they came back,’’ Lemont coach Chris Zogata said. “They stayed calm. That was really good because we were down quite a few points. Megan went back there and did some really great serving.’’
Lemont was 27-10 in 2010 and has to overcome the loss of six players to graduation who were starters since they were sophomores.
“We just need to continue working on passing and our defense,’’ Zogata said. “This team really has a lot of team building on the court to do, movement, just trusting one another. That can come pretty quickly.’’
Joliet Central was led by Emily Malone (9 assists, 3 aces), T’ara Austin (5 kills, 13 digs) and Brittney Lange (3 blocks).
“You scrimmage your team and you’re not really sure where they’re at, but now we know exactly what we need to work on,’’ Joliet Central coach Suzzie Bambule said. “I really want to give Lockport, Sandburg and Lincoln-Way East tough games. We’re going to have to play really smart all year.’’