South Elgin responds to game-three pressureHampshire's Dana Seger (7) goes up for a block, Wednesday, at home against South Elgin. | Dave Shields~for Suntimes Media.
Updated: October 19, 2011 9:36PM
The South Elgin girls volleyball team has seen its share of three-game matches this year. Wednesday was no exception, as the Storm beat the Whip-Purs 25-22, 20-25, 25-20 in nonconference action in Hampshire on Teacher Appreciation Night Wednesday.
By now, South Elgin is used to the pressure, drama and excitement that comes with that third game.
“We go into regionals Tuesday, and I told the girls, ‘Let’s pretend it’s the pressure of the last game of the season,’” South Elgin coach Joni Plach said. “If it were Tuesday and we lost, that’d be it. The girls get along so well, they are all friends. They are just a nice group of young ladies. They want to stay together. If we keep winning, they’ll keep staying together.”
“(South Elgin) did a nice job keeping up the intensity,” Hampshire coach Karen Whitehouse said. “You have to give them credit. They were all over the place. They had that ‘refuse to lose’ attitude.”
Game 1 featured nine ties, with the final at 22. South Elgin (12-17-1) scored the last three points, with the game-ender coming from a double block by Amanda Nadler (7 kills) and Sam Kummerer. Prior to a timeout called with the game tied, Hampshire (8-20) scored the previous four points. Prior to that, the Storm tallied five straight, which got them out of an 18-18 knot. Neither team led by more than five points.
“We missed five serves and we hit two free balls out,” Plach said. “We can’t be doing that toward the end of the season. “But we did play steady, even with those things, we were able to pull it out.”
In Game 2, Hampshire led the whole way, despite five ties. The most the Whips led by was six points twice. South Elgin got as close as 23-20, but after a timeout, the home team scored the final two, including the game-ending kill from Jennifer Dumoulin. She finished with eight kills, as did Michelle Dumoulin.
“The biggest thing that second game was serve-receive,” Whitehouse said. “We were playing consistent. We never gave them four, five points right off the bat.”
Aside from four early ties, South Elgin led all of Game 3. It led by as much as 15-8 after a Hampshire hitting error.
The Whips got as close as 18-15 after a Storm serving error, but the guests tallied the next five points behind the serving of Ali Osborne and kills from Bri Reum (match-leading 9 kills) and Kummerer.