Oak Forest finds its rhythm, beats ShepardOak Forest's Stephanie Dagenais (left) gets a kill against Shepard's Stephanie Korbakes during their volleyball game Thursday, September 1, 2011. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 1, 2011 10:04PM
Oak Forest’s 21-25, 25-14, 25-21 South Suburban crossover volleyball victory Thursday over host Shepard was a real pulse-pounder.
Bengals coach Amanda Brown had proof.
“I’m sure it went off a few times,” said Brown of a heart monitor she wore while being treated for an irregular heart rhythm. “We sure made it interesting.”
Gina Ryan (12 kills, 9 digs), Stephanie Dagenais (11 kills, 4 blocks), Autumn Seiler (9 kills, 11 digs), Jill Krygowski (8 digs) and Kate Zickus (33 assists) led the way for Oak Forest (4-4, 2-0).
Shepard (1-4, 1-1) was paced by Natalie Carberry (8 kills, 12 digs), Sam Ziola-Vega (7 kills), Stephanie Williamson (16 digs) and Stephanie Korbakes (16 assists).
The Bengals trailed 17-14 in Game 3 when Seiler, a senior outside hitter, came up big with back-to-back kills down the left line and off a double block. Alissa Tattas also had a kill and Gina Ryan an ace serve during a 4-0 run that put them in front.
Dagenais also was key with a kill during a later 4-0 streak that put the Astros in a hole from which they would not escape.
There are a lot of new faces this season in the Oak Forest lineup, which has only three returning regulars, one of them moving to a different position.
“We’re a new team but we’ve starting click well,” Seiler said. “We’re working out the kinks. We’re learning when to step up and come together as a team, help each other out.”
The 5-foot-10 Dagenais spent most of her time on the right side in 2010, but this season is the full-time middle blocker.
Dagenais had six of her kills in Game 2, during which the Bengals turned an 8-7 deficit into a 15-8 lead with Krygowski at the service line.
“At the Wheaton North Tournament (where the Bengals went 2-3) we really struggled to get momentum, and when we did to keep it,” Brown said. “So I was really proud of them tonight to see them go through the ups and downs, find their way back, and finish it out.
“We know what we’re going to get out of Gina, but we’ve been talking about other people stepping up and finding their way when she’s in the back row. I’m extremely proud of the people who stepped up. That’s what it’s going to take for us to be successful.”