Lyons downs Glenbard West in three games
Updated: September 20, 2011 9:34PM
Glenbard West wants to get where Lyons was last year and still is until proven otherwise, but there were two very good reasons the Hilltoppers didn’t get there Tuesday – Alexis Viliunas and Laura Williams.
Viliunas had 19 assists and 13 kills, and Williams added nine kills, five assists and an ace to lead the defending Class 4A state champions to a 25-20, 23-25, 25-13 victory over Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn.
The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Hilltoppers (20-2, 1-2 in the West Suburban Silver).
“I think if you saw the demeanor of our kids, they wanted it so bad,” Glenbard West coach Pete Mastandrea said. “But they (Lyons) were relaxed under the pressure. They have experienced players like Williams and Alexis. There’s a reason they’re going where they’re going.”
The Illinois-bound Viliunas had six kills and six assists in Game 3 to help Lyons (11-4, 2-1) break away from an 11-8 lead.
“I liked that we didn’t give up after losing that second game,” Viliunas said. “Glenbard West came back on us and we didn’t give up in that third game. We just kept going. We didn’t want to lose, so we fought though that third game.”
Viliunas, the Duke-bound Williams and junior Alyssa Keeve (eight kills) got help from youngsters like freshman Hannah Juley (seven kills) and sophomore Catherine King (three kills, three blocks).
“I definitely do see progress,” Viliunas said. “We’re clicking better with the underclassmen. The younger girls are starting to play at a higher level and picking up the intensity to be able to play against girls who are going off to college next year.”
Glenbard West, however, does not have many girls heading off the college next fall. Mastandrea started four juniors and a sophomore. Seniors Sydney Pearson and Charlotte Karp alternated at outside hitter.
Junior setter Caleigh Ryan (16 assists, kill, ace) is making the conversion from outside hitter, while most of her sets are targeted for juniors Amanda Perry and Megan Wagner (eight kills) and sophomore Katie Ball.
“We knew this match was going to be a challenge,” Ryan said. “For the most part, we did pretty good. Obviously, we don’t have people slamming it from the 10-foot line. It helps that they have some great seniors who played an awesome game.
“I think we played very well for our age,” she added. “We’ll just continue to grow. This is a good thing for us. We’re going to come back even better. We’re getting there.”
Mastandrea thinks Tuesday’s match might be an indication that his youngsters are closer than even they think.
“We want to be just like everyone else in our conference who has been successful in the state tournament – Downers Grove North, Hinsdale Central, Lyons, York,” he said. “We want to be right on their heels. This is going to make our kids believe we’re not as far away as we thought.
“If we consistently play good defense and serve aggressively like we do, were going to hang around,” Mastandrea added. “We’re going to bite people in the ankles. That’s what we’re going to do...keep nipping and nipping and nipping.”