West Aurora fights off GenevaGeneva's Jess Wicinski goes up high to spike the ball against West Aurora on Monday at Geneva High School. Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 29, 2011 9:47PM
GENEVA – Not this time.
West Aurora’s volleyball team twice fought off Geneva comebacks Monday and held on to win a non-conference match in straight sets, 27-25, 25-21.
“This weekend we had a tournament (at Benet Academy) and kind of had the same situation,” said West junior standout Lauren Carlini, who only re-joined the Blackhawks midway through last week after playing for the U.S. national youth (18-under) team at an international event in Turkey.
“We were basically ahead the whole game and then at the end, kind of let it go. But today, one of our goals was to stay ahead and we pulled it out. So it was a good win for us.”
Carlini, a 6-foot-2 setter and rightside hitter for coach Kari Nicholson’s 2-4 club, was instrumental at the end of both games and led her team with a double-double with 10 kills and 11 assists.
The hosts rallied from a 15-11 deficit in the opening game to take a 19-18 lead. TheVikings then led 23-21, but West closed with a 6-2 flurry.
A kill by Geneva’s Hannah Buck broke a 24-all tie but Carlini set junior Kaitlin Richter for a kill that tied it at 25. Seniors Lauren Wilson and Kelsey Richmond combined for a block kill to give the Blackhawks a lead and then Carlini set sophomore middle Abriya Zeitz, who put down the game-winning kill.
“She was one of our all-stars tonight,” said Carlini, who was at it again late in the second game after Geneva rallied from an early four-point deficit (8-4) to tie it at 10, 16 and 19-all.
Carlini put down a kill off one of Krystal Brown’s 14 assists, then reeled off five straight service points in a run that included two assists and two aces, to give her team an insurmountable 24-20 lead.
“Tonight we played 25 points solid,” said Nicholson. “When we did get in trouble we got ourselves out of it.”
The finish was anticlimactic, coming on a Geneva service error.
“West Aurora is a pretty solid team this year,” said Geneva coach KC Johnsen. “They’ve got a little better supporting cast for Lauren.”
Richter finished with six kills, 6-foot junior Peyton McKenzie (7 digs) added five and Zeitz had four.
“We’ve got a lot of options and a lot of depth,” said Johnsen, whose 1-1 team got seven kills each from Hannah Buck and Jess Wicinski, 13 assists from Stephanie Earl and 11 digs from Ashleigh Shain.
Both teams host eight-team tournaments on Saturday.