York takes down Lake Zurich
Updated: October 22, 2011 4:12PM
If the York Dukes weren’t looking ahead before Saturday, they can now.
No. 1 York (30-3) wrapped up the regular season by defeating Lake Zurich 25-11, 25-22 Saturday at the Lyons invitational. The Dukes can now begin to plot their return to Illinois State’s Redbird Arena, where they finished fourth in Class 4A one year ago.
“We’re excited, we’re ready to go,” York’s Caroline Rose said. “We’ve been working hard all regular season to be able to make it back to state. It was such a great experience for us last year. We’ve been in the gym working hard and keeping state in the back of our minds.”
But first, there was a little matter of closing out the regular season. To reach the finals, the Dukes had to get past New Trier (27-7), the team they faced in last year’s supersectional at Schaumburg and could meet again in the supersectional on November 5 in Elmhurst.
York needed three sets Saturday to dispatch the Trevians, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21.
“They came out ready to play the second game,” Rose said. “I knew they were going to be good team from the first game. We expected them to come back and play well in the second game. I think they came out and played a lot better in the second game.”
The championship match against Lake Zurich also provided a few anxious moments. After serving up six aces and getting three kills apiece from Melissa Deatsch and Sam Schrenker to win Game 1 going away, York had its hands full in Game 2.
A kill by 6-foot-1 junior Layne Self gave Lake Zurich (24-11) a 13-12 lead and Nicole Morrisey’s cross-court blast had the teams even at 19-19. But a kill by Rose and back-to-back putdowns by Deatsch gave York its second tournament championship in three tries in 2010.
“We worked really hard all weekend defensively trying to make ourselves an identity to be able to pass the ball,” Lake Zurich coach Matt Aiello said. “We showed in Game 1 we’re not perfect. Our serve receive broke down. They served well and we didn’t pass well.
“But we showed in Game 2 we still had a little in reserve physically to come out and play a little better, play clean,” the coach added. “When we pass, we can play with anyone here.”
Amanda Orchard, Morrissey and Self each had four kills for the Bears. Sophomore setter Kristen Walding added 15 assists and Self led with seven digs.
“We’ve never been in this tournament before, and I told the girls don’t worry about the outcome,” Aiello said. “Really, the plaque is nice for any team, but next week is what matters. We want to stick together as long as we can.”
Deatsch led York with eight kills and three aces, Rose had two kills and five aces and Schrenker added six kills and two blocks. York can now start thinking about reliving last year’s magical run, one game at a time.
“We have a lot of pressure on our backs,” York setter Katie Gallagher said. “We tried to take it step by step this season and focus on the game in front of us and not necessarily what’s going to be in the future, because we can’t get there unless we focus on what we’re doing right now.”
Lyons (27-8), which lost to Lake Zurich 25-18, 29-27 in the other semifinal, defeated New Trier 33-31, 25-17 to place third. Minooka (26-4) dropped Normal 25-22, 25-17 for fifth place.