Girls Volleyball: Loyola, pull upsets on New Trier, Glenbrook South tops Evanston
Updated: November 1, 2011 9:12PM
Sarah Udelhofen didn’t fill up the stat sheets like some players, but the Loyola junior might have been the team’s MVP on Tuesday.
Udelhofen’s ace and kill were two of the team’s final three points as the Ramblers upset top-seeded New Trier 25-22, 25-20 in the sectional semifinals at Glenbrook South.
“She was stoic,” said Loyola coach Jenny Morris of the back-row player. “Not only in her passing, but also her serving. She came into the game at the right time.”
Udelhofen finished with six digs and the ace. More importantly, she made no errors on the back row or at the service line.
After winning the first set, fourth-seeded Loyola (24-14) took control of the match by running out to an 11-6 lead in the second set. The Ramblers never led by fewer than three the rest of the way. The match was the first between the two North Shore schools this season.
Despite trailing 24-16, New Trier (29-8) made a spirited run to close the gap to four before Udelhofen’s kill ended the match.
“Winning that first game gave us so much momentum,” said junior outside hitter Anna Pontarelli, who finished with a team-high eight kills and had eight digs. “It was amazing. We played with an energy at the end of that first game I’d never seen before. We could see they were scared.”
Kaitlin Mohr contributed to the win with six kills and three blocks. Esme Condon had 20 assists.
Loyola plays either Glenbrook South or Evanston for the sectional title Thursday. The Ramblers, owners of three regional championships in a row, have never won a sectional title.
“We were loose,” Morris said. “We didn’t play tight, and it showed.”
Glenbrook South d. Evanston 25-16, 23-25, 25-16
Glenbrook South probably was one of the unsexiest No. 3 seeds coming into the state tournament.
But the Titans prettied themselves up for the playoffs, and Tuesday’s three-set win over Evanston was a thing of beauty.
After losing to the Wildkits twice during the regular season, Glenbrook South powered its way to a 25-16, 23-25, 25-16 victory over the No. 2 seed in the sectional semifinals at home.
“We knew what we had to do to beat them,” said senior Lisa Mahon, who finished with a team-best eight kills. “We came out with so much energy in that first game, and we knew we had to bring that back for the third game.”
The Titans (16-20) were two points away from winning the match in two sets before the Wildkits (26-10) closed it out on a 4-0 run, highlighted by Julie Abrigo’s two aces and Casey Durham’s block.
But the Titans didn’t fold. Instead, they raced out to an early lead in the third set and never looked back. Evanston made another run late, but Glenbrook South answered by scoring four of the final five points.
“I’m so proud of our captains for stepping up and staying focused,” Glenbrook South coach Katie Hoover said. “We never lost confidence out there.”
Kelsey Eenigenburg followed Mahon with six kills, while Carson Weaver assisted on 23 points. Abby Watkins finished with five aces, and Kiva Talty added three aces in the team’s second three-set win in a row.
Glenbrook South plays Loyola on Thursday for the sectional final. The Titans are going after their first sectional championship since taking third in 2009. Loyola’s never won a sectional title. The teams split two earlier meetings this season.
“They looked great,” Hoover said of the Ramblers in their upset win over top-seeded New Trier. “They are explosive and athletic. It’s going to be a great match.”