Lemont digs one out at Oak ForestOak Forsest's Gina Ryan hits the ball as Lemont's Tess Moeller (12) and Cara Howell (10) block. |Allen Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 29, 2011 9:48PM
Senior Emily Brown hit a lot of balls very, very hard during Lemont’s 18-25, 25-23, 25-21 South Suburban Blue victory on Thursday over host Oak Forest.
And that wasn’t all she hit.
The Indians were still in comeback mode in Game 2 when Oak Forest power hitter Gina Ryan hammered an overpass and sent it screaming into the Lemont backcourt.
Brown? She didn’t scream. Instead, the 5-foot-6 outside/right side hitter made the defensive play of the match.
“It was a little bit over my head,” Brown said. “So I put my hands up. Then I rolled backward and hit my head on the ground.”
The ball went back over the net, and Lemont eventually got the point. And more than that.
“After a play like that, yeah, it gets people pumped up,” Brown said.
Obviously, the Indians were, because they played like a team possessed for the rest of the match.
Brown finished with 15 kills and nine digs, Kiley Rendak six kills, Megan Litaborski 20 assists and nine digs, Katie Pellegrine seven digs and Gabbi Alvarez 17 digs as Lemont improved to 15-11, 8-1.
Oak Forest (12-9, 8-1) was led by Ryan (17 kills, 9 digs), Autumn Seiler (9 kills, 12 digs), Kaitlynn Zickus (36 assists) and Stephanie Dagenais (8 kills).
It was a pretty remarkable comeback for the defending league champion Indians, who came out flat in Game 1, committing eight hitting errors. Oak Forest took the charity and ran off to a 10-4 lead.
The Bengals, behind strong hitting by Ryan, prevented Lemont from getting on any serious runs. In Game 2, Ryan and Seiler were both key during an early surge that saw them again race in front, 13-6.
Then, something clicked for Lemont. Brown, not all that involved in the offense during Game 1, began getting the ball and putting it down. She had three kills during the initial comeback surge that saw the Indians get within 16-14.
After her sterling defensive play she added two kills and Tess Moeller one, as Lemont seized the advantage for the first time.
The Indians kept it in Game 3, jumping on top 8-2. Oak Forest played a competitive game of chase but never got closer than three.
“We didn’t do a tremendous amount of things great in the first game ... but we were controlling the pace, controlling the tempo,” Oak Forest coach Amanda Brown said. “Then we got out early in that second game. But then (Lemont’s) younger hitters settled down and their offense started clicking.
“That third game is usually about momentum. They had it coming in, we got down early, and we pretty much tipped our cap the rest of the way. We showed some fight at the end, and I give my girls credit for that, but disappointing, obviously.”