Elgin shines in win over South ElginElgin's Monica Stockman (9) spikes the ball between South Elgin's Alyssa Montag (14) and Amanda Nadler on Thursday at Elgin. | Kevin D. Sherman ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 13, 2011 8:32PM
Over a two-week period, the volleyball teams from Elgin and South Elgin will get to know each other well with three matches, capped by a regional semifinal match.
The first shots were fired Thursday and the short-handed Maroons used the occasion of their homecoming match to deliver a 25-21, 25-19 jolt to the Storm in an Upstate Eight crossover battle.
“We’ve probably done a better job on individual things at times, but we have never put all the pieces together like that tonight,” Elgin coach Scott Stewart said. “I mean our blocking was good, our hitting was good, our serving was good, our passing was good. I mean, we looked good.”
Senior 6-foot-1 middle blocker Bree Hamilton (2 aces, 2 kills, 2 blocks) came up with some big points and had plenty of help from senior libero Rachel Roth (4 kills, 8 digs, 1 ace), junior outside hitter Jackie Shioli (5 kills, 1 block) and senior outside hitter Elyssa Helker (4 kills, 1 block).
Elgin is just 5-23 on the season, but Stuart has seen drastic improvement over the last month. Elgin beat the Storm even without junior setter Hope Demel, who suffered a hairline fracture of her ankle last week.
“I know what we’re capable of so seeing this makes me excited for what we have coming up the next few matches,” Hamilton said. “It was our homecoming and everybody came ready to go.”
Hamilton put down the match-ending kill and also had a critical block for a kill when the Maroons appeared to have lost momentum in the second game and fell behind 12-10. In the first game, the two-sport star ended it with an ace near the back line after Roth had a back-row kill to make it 24-21. Hamilton also had a kill to give the Maroons a 23-20 lead in the first game.
“We had 12 days without a match, it really helped us,” Stewart said. “I’ve been talking all year that the best time to come around is now and it seems like it’s happening.”
The serving of junior defensive specialist Taylor Powers was especially critical in the second game. She served seven straight times after Elgin fell behind 17-16, and the run included one of her three aces.
Mya Redburg (3 aces, 2 kills), Kassie Rife (2 aces, 4 digs) and sophomore setter Tanya Welch (12 assists, 5 digs), who was promoted to the varsity after Demel’s injury, all had big parts in the win.
South Elgin (7-15) is seeded second in the Elgin Regional and Elgin third. The teams will play again Saturday in the Elgin Invitational, then in the regional Oct. 25.
“I told the girls take this feeling tonight and times it by 1,000 because we’re going to be in this same situation in this gym in a week and a half and if it happens again, instead of going home on the bus and having practice on Wednesday, we’d have no practice and what’s that going to feel like?” South Elgin coach Joni Plach said.
The Storm had four kills by Ali Osborne, three from Ashley Oandasan and Alyssa Montag, and 12 assists from Corbin Kehe, but struggled with consistency.
“I feel like I have two teams,” Plach said. “I have a team that shows up and plays well which I saw Tuesday when we had a good match in a loss to Metea, and then a team like this tonight.
“We have to cut down our errors. Elgin did that and played well tonight.”