Naperville North takes care of businessNaperville North's Madison Murphy puts a point past Glenbard North at Naperville North High School in Naperville, Ill., on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011. | Corey R. Minkanic~For Sun-Times Media
Entering the regular season finale against Glenbard North Thursday in a three-way tie atop the DuPage Valley Conference standings, Naperville North’s girls volleyball team could only do one thing.
“We know that we can only do our best right here,” Huskies senior Ashley Crawford said. “We can’t control what the other teams do. As long as we do our job, we’re good.”
After a sluggish start to Game 1, the Huskies did just that. They easily handled the Panthers, 25-15, 25-4, on Senior Night to finish 12-2 in the DVC and share the conference title with West Aurora. Naperville Central fell out of the three-way tie with a three-set loss to West Chicago Thursday.
“I thought we played a really good match, especially the second game,” North coach Jennifer Urban said. “It was really clean on our side. I thought all of our seniors all really contributed. It was a great match for them to finish with.”
It was tight early on, but when Naperville North (23-7 overall) pushed the lead to 15-10 in Game 1, it forced Glenbard North to call a timeout to regroup, and the Panthers were never quite the same. Two kills apiece from Madison Murphy and Sami Scroggins down the stretch helped the Huskies pull away in Game 1.
“I think that we knew this game was for the DVC, so that’s when we really got serious and got down to business and realized that we have to really go for it and work hard,” Crawford said.
That carried over to the second game. Glenbard North tied it at 1-1, and that’s the closest the match would ever get. Two nine-point stretches behind juniors serving, one from Colleen Larson and one from Corinne Gajcak, turned the match into a blowout.
Larson’s stretch pushed the lead from 5-2 to 14-2 and featured four aces. Two crucial digs from the back row from Crawford kept that rally alive. Then with the score 16-4, the Huskies put the hammer down to finish the match on a 9-0 run. Crawford had four kills, including the final two points of the match, to seal it.
“It was great,” Crawford said. “I thought that we were really working hard and working together. We were just going so hard that I didn’t realize how badly they were losing, really.”
Crawford led the way with eight kills and added seven digs in her final home match. Scroggins had six kills and Murphy added five kills. Larson led the team with nine digs and senior Christine Wu added seven.
“It’s sad that this is our last (home) game and this is the last time that we’ll be on our home court, but it’s great to have a good win like this, too,” Crawford said.